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The Laughter Queen: Urooj Ashfaq, Comedian In the next few months her objective is to keep putting her clips on YouTube, including the new tour she's currently doing, then write a new tour and later put it on YouTube again. She plans to keep doing comedy with sincerity and getting better at it

By Kabir Singh Bhandari

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Urooj Ashfaq, Comedian

Mumbai-based stand-up comedian Urooj Ashfaq got into comedy in 2016 as she had not got admission into any college. At that time she was studying psychology and wanted to do her masters. She managed to get through the entrance tests of various colleges but the interviews post that didn't work out. This led Urooj to take a forced gap year during which she started attending open mics and watching comedy. This is when she started doing comedy with another comic, Sumaira Shaikh. They were in college together and would make each other and their classmates laugh a lot. That's how her comedy journey began, with both of them motivating each other and taking part in shows.

All this certainly bore fruit, one prime example being when last year she won the Best Newcomer Award for her show 'Oh No!' at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, making her the first India-based comedian to win the award. She gives a humorous twist to her life stories, including going for therapy and her parent's divorce.

If people want me to do other things and give me lots of money, I'm open to it

But fast forward to 2024, isn't there a lot of competition in the stand-up comedy space? "Of course there is competition. But there are enough people also to watch everyone because our industry is roughly 15 years old, while in other other countries it's been around for decades. But it's really nice that we have YouTube because I've realized other comedy scenes in different countries don't have this thing where you put up your special on YouTube or your clips and the audience comes to the live show. Of course, there's an entire process involving a comedy producer, the coordinator of a festival or from an OTT has to like you," Urooj explained to us.

In the next few months her objective is to keep putting her clips on YouTube, including the new tour she's currently doing, then write a new tour and later put it on YouTube again. She plans to keep doing comedy with sincerity and getting better at it.

Of course, she ends by telling us that "If people want me to do other things and give me lots of money, I'm open to it."

Kabir Singh Bhandari

Former Senior Assistant Editor

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