Aditi Mittal is one of the country’s preeminent comics, having held her own for nearly a decade in an industry dominated by powerful male cliques. Her position is in many ways unenviable—she’s chosen to speak out against the scene’s entrenched patriarchal power structures, at the very real risk of being labelled too serious, and not funny enough. But she’s managed to hold on to her anger and channel it into her comedic craft.
And while her 2017 Netflix special, Things They Wouldn’t Let Me Say, was patchy, her new half-hour, Girl Meets Mic, is the best 30 minutes of Indian standup there is online as of now. She displays a new sense of ease and stage, and a newfound felicity for devastating throwaway jokes. The half-hour serves as a shining example of how when anger, pain and frustration are channeled through irreverence, what can result is blazing comedy that rises far above strong individual jokes.
Her current YouTube videos don’t quite do justice to Mittal’s body of work, and her current form, but here are five of them, ranked.