Raghav Mehta on Stand-Up Comedy & Onion Headlines


Oh, hi again, people who listen to this podcast! I’ve been on a bit of a break getting married and going to Japan for my honeymoon. But my friend Raghav Mehta called me out of my podcast hibernation to talk to him about his upcoming roast and move to New York City. We also talked about his trial period writing headlines for the Onion. Juicy stuff guys. Jay Boller also made an appearance to do a lil’ surprise pre-roast of Raghav. Thanks for joining me, friends!

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Get to know Raghav more below:

1. You’ve been doing stand-up for a few years now. How has the way you look at it changed since you started?

I think more long-term now. When I started, all I was worried about was getting to the next joke or getting booked on some show. I was thinking, “Where am I gonna be in 5 weeks?” Now it’s, “Where am I gonna be in 5 years?”

I don’t take anything for granted anymore. As soon as you get complacent and comfortable, you stop being funny. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some great people but that’s all fleeting and if I’m not constantly improving, none of it will matter. No one who has been doing standup less than 6-7 years is probably very good at it. I’m at 4 right now and I’m constantly reminding myself I have a long way to go. And I’m looking forward to New York because it’s a scene that constantly reminds you that you’re not special. That’s what starting comedy anywhere generally feels like. I’m ready to be pushed again.

2. What did you learn from your trial period of writing headlines for the Onion?
I learned about the importance of writing every day. Humor is a muscle and if you don’t exercise it regularly you will get bland and uninspired and end up hating your comedy. So, now I try to write SOMETHING every day to help me maintain a certain frequency.

3. How do you think Minneapolis prepared you to move to New York and hit up their comedy scene?
Minneapolis has provided me with a lot of great stage time and opportunities to work with some immensely talented comedians. I’ve got to open for Hari Kondabolu here a couple of times and he is one of my heroes. I’ve got to learn from my comedy overlords like Pat Susmilch, Chris Knutson and Mary Mack. There are so many comics in NY so, you don’t get as much face time with people. I’m glad I started out in a smaller scene with great role models.