Saadiya Ali is a burst of energy. This 26-year-old comedian has been making her presence felt in the comedy circuit since 2017, when she performed as a participant in TLC India’s Queens of Comedy. Her spontaneity helps her stand out, and she’s quick to look at everything for the comic value it can offer. “The reason comedy goes so well with life is because life was basically meant to be laughed at. Nothing should be taken out of context or super seriously,” says Saadiya.

But she wasn’t always a comic artiste; Saadiya started off as a theatre actor who, in 2014, “just wanted more stage time. When there wasn’t much theatre happening, I just wrote a monologue, made it funny and called it stand-up.” Her stand-up journey was interrupted when she was admitted to the LV Prasad Film & TV Academy. “I started stand-up and stopped to go to film school, and then I quit film school to go back to comedy. My life is hilarious,” she guffaws. While she loved making films, Saadiya realised that she didn’t want to spend her life behind a camera. She realised that she wanted to be known as “the greatest performer ever. Right now, I’m surviving just on performing — corporate theatre, comedy, emceeing. I’m pretty stable with what I have at the moment.”

An actor, comic, content creator and at one time, a spin cycle instructor too, Saadiya’s multiple facets add punch to her jokes as she believes, “everything is an experience and comedy is a wonderful language to communicate with.” In the comedy circle where everyone wants to be woke and few people truly are, Saadiya says it like she sees it.

Describe yourself
Quite pleasant when not anxiety-ridden

On a scale of 1 to 10, rate yourself on how funny you are
10/10 +2 for cuteness. I’m a gift to mankind.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Closer to finding my place in this universe, I guess? Actually I change my answer. I just want to find a cure for gluten allergies within the next 10years. Yep.

What needs to be funnier — the joke or the comedian?
Both. They’re two sides of the same coin. Without one side, the coin isn’t really a coin, is it?

What was the last piece of advice you gave to a fellow comedian?
“Kill your grandmother, it makes a better punchline.” They took it.

Who do you prefer — Tom or Jerry?
Tom. You can’t trust a rat.

7 ‘ate’ 9, why? How did 9 feel about this?
According to an Instagram post I recently saw, it’s because: “you’re supposed to eat 3 squared meals a day!” I don’t think 9 feels too deeply about this though, considering the fact that 9 is in fact… dead. Or digested.

What’s your favourite fairy tale? Why?
Cinderella. I relate to her journey of being seen as someone insignificant but then she ends up ‘correcting’ the Prince! That and my curfew is midnight.

How many women does it take to change a light bulb?
None. They end up having a candle light dinner because it’s more fun.

How different would men be if they were from Venus?
Not very different, I suppose. Humans, regardless of gender, are complicated. You could bring a dude from Pluto and a woman from Jupiter’s moon and they’d still act like fools.

When was the last time someone made you feel like a woman?
Valentine’s Day, when Amazon offered 75% off on décor items.

What do you do if you get tired of talking during a performance?
I never get tired of talking. The audience might get tired, in which case I drop my best joke and exit stage left.

What’s the worst thing about stand-up comedy?
Getting death threats from random men who accuse you of ruining Indian culture with jokes… then these same men will go online and ask Helga from Germany for pictures of ‘Bobs and Vagene.’ It’s sad to see people that don’t get a certain kind of humour take things out of context and make a scene. It makes them seem so dumb that you kind of end up feeling bad for the whole of humanity.

What do you do when you aren’t being funny?
Regular human activity, I guess. I’m very human and very millennial in that. I watch stuff, read stuff, do stuff, sometimes people as well, but mostly stuff.

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