Sumukhi Suresh Turns Complexity into Comedy Gold
Sumukhi Suresh Turns Complexity into Comedy Gold

The comedian gets candid on her rise from food scientist to creator of the cult-favorite TV series Pushpavalli.

Sumukhi Suresh in Pushpavalli (Amazon Prime)

Sumukhi Suresh in Pushpavalli (Amazon Prime)

Sumukhi Suresh has a stand-up comedian’s deliciously uncanny ability to make you feel like you’ve always known each other. The 32-year-old actor, quarantining at home in Mumbai during our chat, released her first hour-long stand-up special Don’t Tell Amma on Amazon Prime last December and season two of her TV series Pushpavalli this past March. And in 2016, she pioneered Disgust Me, an all-women, invite-only, stand-up extravaganza, a safe space where women could laugh openly. Over a grainy Google Meet on a rainy May morning, I asked Suresh how it feels to have Amma out in the world. “It’s like your virginity,” she said. “You’ve lost it! You can do whatever you want now! It’s all good!” she laughed, before adding more seriously: “I’m truly happy. Because now I know I’m meant for stand-up, and I will keep doing it.”

Indian comedy appears to have reached adolescence as it experiences growth spurts and finds its voice — it's no longer limited to slapstick, mimicry, or an hour on cable TV. The internet has ushered in the era of the “relatable” comedian: one who weaves jokes into a mix of first-person narrative and commentary on society, relationships, and politics. Platforms like YouTube and Instagram — with low overhead and the possibility of high reward — have allowed all manner of comedic content, delivered directly to hungry audiences, to flourish: from side-splitting Bollywood movie reviews and stand-up routines to entire we

Get access to this article and many more at The Juggernaut. No ads, no clickbait — just smart writing.


The Juggernaut tells untold, smart South Asian stories and news you won't find anywhere else.

The Weekly

It’s like your other email briefings. But browner. Join thousands and get the best newsletter that curates the global news on South Asia(ns) every Sunday. We also send updates on events, giveaways, our original reporting, and more. Unsubscribe anytime.


Business & TechCultureEditor's PicksOpinionPoliticsSports
Privacy PolicyTerms of Use