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ImmigraNation: Turning immigrant experiences into comedy

"I went to this meditation class recently…and I meet this woman and she's like, 'My name is Jennifer, but I prefer if you call me by my Sanskrit name, "Shavasana,'" opens comedian Dhaya Lakshminarayanan during one of her comedy sets. "Okay Jennifer, maybe you didn't know this, but Shavasana in yoga class just means lie flat on your back. Did your boyfriend give you that name?"

Lakshminarayanan performs with Samson Koletkar. Koletkar's stage name is Mahatma Moses, claiming he is "the only living Jewish Indian comedian in the world."

These are immigrants who are turning their immigration experiences into comedy. 

"Just because someone is a minority or they have the same skin color doesn't mean their comedy is going to be the same. So, it's important to differentiate yourself and at the same time say: here's comedy from a point of view that many people can relate to," says Lakshminarayanan. "That was the beauty of Chris Rock or Eddie Murphy -- they weren't just playing to black people, they're playing to people."

Koletkar and Lakshminarayanan came by our KALW studios to talk with Crosscurrents' Hana Baba. 

Click the audio player above to listen to the interview.

Crosscurrents comedy
Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.