Born to an Iranian mother and Indian father, Omid Singh is one of the top multicultural comics working today. Not that he considers himself a public symbol or boundary-breaker. As he puts it onstage, “I don’t do anything scary when I go to the airport…but I do like to see how far I can walk away from my luggage.”
Singh’s childhood found him living in far-flung locations ranging from San Diego, five years in Dubai, a year in fiercely conservative Katy, Texas, and back to the West Coast with addresses across Orange County. After hosting his fifth-grade talent show and participating in Comedy Sportz’s High School League, at 16 Omid produced his own stand-up night (for which he admittedly borrowed plenty of Eddie Izzard material). His participation in a 2008 Ice House comedy contest – this time with 100 percent original jokes – hooked him for life.
Despite experiencing stereotyping and even bullying, Singh doesn’t use his unique upbringing as a crutch. As he sees it, celebrating diversity allows him to connect with every type of audience imaginable.
Singh spent his developmental years in New York City. There he studied at the Upright Citizens Brigade, performed on 2011’s New York Comedy Festival, and was featured in Ben Affleck’s 2012 thriller Argo. Fun fact: In a scene depicting Iranians rushing the American Embassy, extras aren’t wielding U.S. baseball bats thanks to his outspoken fact-checking. 2013 short film Subway, based on his material about a post-workout commute gone awry, was voted the Audience Award winner at the annual No Budget Film Festival.
Now making his home in Los Angeles, Singh was a featured speaker at 2015’s Golden West College Peace Conference. With fellow comedian Jeffrey Baldinger he co-created storytelling gameshow Story Poker, which in 2017 received international acclaim at Scotland’s long-running Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The pair envision expanding the Story Poker podcast into an ESPN-style online series and eventually a home boardgame.
Singh also co-hosts The Patiocast alongside Meg Charles. Spontaneous and uninhibited, the weekly podcast invites listeners to eavesdrop on top talent at Sunset Strip institution The Comedy Store. Singh’s a top seed on the venue’s juggernaut Roast Battle show, a regular at Hermosa Beach’s Comedy & Magic Club, frequent host at Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club on the Las Vegas Strip, and an overseas favorite at The Comedy Store in London.
Between touring clubs and colleges across the country, every April Singh curates the Comedy Stage at Broke L.A.’s indie-arts weekend. Creating opportunities for others to perform is a responsibility he takes seriously: He’s even run an open mic in his family’s downtown clothing shop. As the favorite road opener of Maz Jobrani, Singh credits the Iranian-American trailblazer for imprinting his beliefs in hard work, uncompromising values, and conveying a genuine sense of self. For Singh, being a member of the comedy community means belonging to an extended family, but also serving as a force for positive change in society at large. It’s all about striving to give his best performance possible – both onstage and off.