Know Your Comic: Five Shreeja Chaturvedi Clips That Prove Deadpan Is Alive And Well

By Rohan Krishnan 8 June 2023 2 mins read

It only takes a few of Shreeja Chaturvedi's jokes to realise you’re dealing a comedy assassin armed with a razor-sharp mind and deadly wit.

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At first glance (never judge a book by its cover), Shreeja Chaturvedi is coy and soft-spoken. But it only takes a few jokes to realise you’re dealing with a comedy assassin armed with a razor-sharp mind and deadly wit. Lucknow-born Chaturvedi seems to have found her comedic voice pretty early on. When asked how people describe her comedy on DeadAnt’s interview series Next Big Thing (this was back in 2019, when she was a Comicstaan contestant) the answer was, “Traditionally, deadpan.” And you’ll see exactly what she means when you go through this list, so let’s get to it!


As a part of YouTube India Spotlight’s One Nation India Initiative to raise funds during the pandemic, Tanmay Bhat held a comedy roast. Watch in real-time as Anubhav Singh Bassi becomes a Chaturvedi fan, bursting out into laughter at her zingers a few times before dropping the iconic line, “Yeh bahut zeher ladki hai yaar!”


In a 15-minute set on Amazon Prime Video’s hour-long anthology special Stand Up Shorts, Chaturvedi satirises the ways in which businesses have capitalised on the concept of women’s safety. “Have y’all heard about it?,” she asks her audience as she makes another quip about women’s safety being the latest trend to pique the interest of the market. Chaturvedi’s delivery is laced with cynicism as she derides pepper spray for its usability and effectiveness.


At the time of publishing Construction, a standup clip from a set at Mumbai’s NCPA in December 2022, Chaturvedi’s deadpan style is so finely tuned that she gets laughs just by opening her mouth. Don’t believe us? Listen to an audience member laugh as Shreeja transitions between jokes in this clip. Then watch, as she goes after Andheri’s perennial construction crews. In this one, the comedian steals a point back for everyone stuck commuting daily in Mumbai!


If there’s one thing Chaturvedi can do, it’s channel her angst into comedy. And each punchline in this set is slick with her distaste. Yup, in this clip the comedian takes aim at Public Toilets, a topic she confesses is “close to [her] heart.” They say when you love someone (or something in this case), you appreciate the finer details, their idiosyncrasies and even their faults. This set shows Shreeja employing all her observational prowess to tear into public restrooms.


In the past, audiences unfamiliar with Chaturvedi’s performances might have been caught off guard by her deadpan performances. But over time, Shreeja has grown into herself and laced her soft-spoken style with comedic roleplay. In this case, she’s in character as an entitled, greater-than-thou princess, even referring to the audience as “civilians”. This one’s all about the comedian’s relationship with her parents, being treated as royalty while growing up, coming to terms with her middle-class status and her hatred for poha and upma


Rohan Krishnan


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