Having won the popular TLC show, Niveditha, who has a degree in automobile engineering, says she is very excited about the future.

Queen of Comedy Niveditha Prakasam on being a woman breaking into the stand-up sceneGlassbox
Features Stand-up Friday, January 26, 2018 - 16:11

At first sight, Niveditha Prakasam is your regular cool and affable girl-next-door. But when she’s on stage with a mic in front of her, you see her for the queen she is.

By winning the title in TLC’s 'Queens of Comedy – a TV show that came out last year – Niveditha now finds herself high on the list of comedians to watch out for in the country. 

The talent hunt show for women comedians was judged by actor Richa Chadha, All India Bakchod’s  Rohan Joshi and comedian Kaneez Surka. The first season saw eight women taking part. 

Having completed her automobile engineering degree, Niveditha moved to Chennai for work. “I love cars, but corporates just aren’t my thing,” she says.

So when did she know that she wanted to be a comedian? “My entire family is pretty funny actually. They’re all good at insult comedy, but I was the only one who decided to make money out of it,” she laughs. 

Niveditha was part of some of the earliest open mic’s held in the city. “It was in 2014 and the city was just beginning to dabble with stand-ups. My first performance was at Ashvita Nirvana at this event called Big Mic,” she says. During her earliest stints, none of her friends knew about her performances. 

Interestingly, Niveditha’s entry into the show was by pure chance. “I saw a tweet on the show and then applied two days before the deadline closed. Luckily, they loved my video” she says.

Watch her video here:

“All seven of the girls were great. I just happened to have a good set, I fluked through. None of them in my family expected for me to win. Neither did I. But I’m so glad it happened. It has been great,” she adds.

According to her, Chennai has a very vibrant canvas for stand-up comedians. “There are a lot of full-time comedians in Chennai. It’s a great scene and I'm very excited to see what’s going to happen in the future.” 

Asked about why we don’t see more woman comedians, she says that it comes down to interest. “Once they are exposed to it, when they realise that they can make a career out of it, I’m sure there’ll be more.”

There are, however, a few challenges associated with being a stand-up comedian. “You’ll have to be unapologetic when it comes to comedy. There’s a lot of rejection, but that’s just a part of the game. The art is in engaging the audience. And also it takes a long time to come up with a set.”

Niveditha recently performed at the launch of Vajor’s Chennai outlet in Phoenix Market City, Velachery.

Ena Bansal, marketing head at Vajor, says, “Vajor, as a brand, believes a lot in community and its members – people who have independent minds and are passionate about certain ideas. Niveditha belongs to that community and we’d like to be associated with her to match with our ethos.”