Ashvin live: an interview with the creator of ‘The Ashvin Show’


Credit: Ashvin Kapoor (’24)

Zoe Poulis, Features Editor

It’s safe to say that New York City is a hub for all things comedy, especially considering the comedic powerhouses native to the city like “Saturday Night Live” or “30 Rock.” Occupying a space in the comedy world is not an easy thing to do, and breaking into the scene is even harder. But Ashvin Kapoor, 21, creator of “The Ashvin Show Live” and a junior at the University majoring in Arts and Entertainment Management, is not afraid of the challenge.

As described by the creator himself, “The Ashvin Show Live” is a comedy, musical extravaganza. What started as a YouTube channel, Kapoor has been working on the show since the second semester of his freshman year. Most recently, it has evolved into a web show that releases new episodes every Wednesday at 8 p.m. and once a semester “The Ashvin Show Live Live” a live special (the third installment will be held on April 14 in the Bianco Room).

The Pace Press sat down with Kapoor to talk about the past, present and future of “The Ashvin Show,” as well as who the young creator is when the cameras aren’t rolling. 


What got you into comedy in the first place and who are some of your biggest inspirations in the comedy world?

I was super into stand-up comedy at a very young age. I also talked a lot and people listened, so that was nice. I gotta shout out my Indian comedians, Hasan Minhaj and Aziz Ansari. They’re just the GOATS, blueprint. They actually made Indian American culture for us, so [I’ve] gotta respect the OGs because they came when there were no Indian American comedians ever. So at least I have a couple I could look up to. Also, Donald Glover because of the versatility that he has. He’s a rapper and a comedian. So those are definitely my inspirations. 

Tell me about “The Ashvin Show Live.” What exactly is it that you do? 

I call it a sketch variety show, it’s just so many different things. It’s what I imagine a Late Night show should be; we do sketches, we play games–I’m really proud of the games I come up with, we have one where I say a name and the person has to guess if it’s a senator or a superhero, which is one of my favorite ones–I do stand-up comedy, of course. Interviews are my favorite part of it, though, I like to have random people on. It’s been mainly the Pace community so far, and getting to know everyone through the things we do on the show is really nice. 

I’m so curious to know, what do you like to talk about in your stand-up?

I love to talk about myself, of course. Just like my surroundings, especially since coming to college because these people are weird out here, it’s crazy! I have never met this many crazy people! I also grew up in a very Indian town, so I didn’t have like a typical “Riverdale”-type high school experience.

Are there specific topics you hold close to your heart that you like to communicate through comedy? 

I just like to talk about my perspective, like Indians, we’re here, we’re there. But I feel like now we’re starting to get more representation and respect, and creating our own culture [within the comedy world]. Representation is key, especially new representation. It’s weird being a POC in America because, depending on your culture or race, there’s no “American” version of that. I’ve decided that I’m going to create that culture for future Brown boys, so they don’t have to appropriate Black culture. That’s my new creative slogan. 

What inspired you to put this out into the world? Was there a point in time when it all just clicked for you? 

It was during COVID, so I wasn’t creating for like a full year, which is probably the longest I’ve ever gone without doing anything creative. And I remember [thinking] I just needed to do something, I needed to put something out. So I did a radio show, and at first, it wasn’t the silly, goofy, variety sketch show it is now. But slowly I realized I wanted to do more funny stuff. I always thought I had to wait for when I could start doing real sketch comedy, like SNL-type, but I was like, “Let me just do it now, why am I trying to wait and be something I’m not?” Also, my friend made me a t-shirt for my show for Christmas in 2021, that had a logo and everything–once I had a logo for the show, it was over. I started treating it like it was the fanciest thing ever, I slapped that logo everywhere. 

I love that you still use that same logo today. Do you have a team of writers?

I have a bunch of people that I work with–my best friend, Georgios Kalogeropoulos (‘26) is the co-host. Then two of my roommates, Brian Steinberg (‘23) and Daniel Graf (‘25), are amazing, they write so much. Daniel is directing the “Live Three,” which is a new thing–adding directors. It’s nice to work in a community with other people because I think my ideas are great, but they help me realize that there are more ways to make them better.


When asked about what it’s like to work on The Ashvin Show Live, his collaborators responded, of course, with humor. Musical Theater (MT) major Graf explained, “Ashvin brings lots of great ideas to the table. He’s always creative, he’s always respectful and not only that but he’s a great overseer of other people’s creativity, which is especially useful in a free-form environment like ours.”

“On the Ashvin Show, I’ve been myself, a naked Batman and a Muppet with a drug problem. I am terrified for what Ashvin asks me to do next,” Steinberg, another MT major at the University, reflected.

Tell me about some of your most exciting/rewarding career moments so far. 

“The Ashvin Show Live Live Two” was a full house, we were expecting 20 people; we had 80 chairs and we had to add more. I just couldn’t believe that so many people cared about this little show that came out of my brain, and then when I went on stage, people started cheering and I was like, “Wait I haven’t even done anything, yet save it!” But also, I am in Hasan Minhaj’s DMs all the time, and he’s reposted me before…one day I’ll meet him and I’ll show him this article. 

What’s been the most challenging part of the show?

Honestly, probably marketing and writing. Those two go hand in hand because I can market the crap out of something, but if it’s bad at the end of the day, what’s the point? So constantly making sure that the show is worth the amount of marketing that I’m putting into it is a lot…because I have to wear both hats. 

What are some of your goals for the future of the show? 

We just entered our fifth season, which is amazing and crazy, and it finally rhymes–it’s “The Ashvin Show Live Season Five,” so I thought I had to change everything. It’s no longer on the radio, it’s no longer a podcast, it’s now a web show. I literally feel like “iCarly.” I love it, I’m really excited about that. And also “Live Live Three,” we’re just constantly renovating, reinventing the wheel, trying to do something different. I’m so surprised by the community we’ve been able to build because it’s just constantly expanding. The first live show that we did was like a regular sketch show, but the second one actually had a storyline that really featured my co-host. We always just want to get people to laugh at the end of the day and have some fun. The world sucks right now.

I’m sure you have a lot of personal goals outside of the show. Tell me what those look like–would you still want to be on SNL? 

Oh, anytime. If SNL is reading this, which I know they’re avid readers of The Pace Press, I will accept any job. I just want to constantly expand the brand, grow the fanbase and laugh with more people. I wanna be the first Gen Z late-night show host. Take over Jimmy Kimmel, since we don’t like him. 

What’s something you really want people to take away from this interview? 

If people haven’t listened or watched yet, they should watch now–check it out! Not even the whole show, there are clips on TikTok and Instagram. I understand our attention spans nowadays are bad, which is one of the reasons I wanted to shift platforms again. The one-hour radio show is a lot to ask of people, but now we’re moving to a 30-minute show and clips on social media. If I can’t pay attention to it, why should I ask other people to? 

Do you have a favorite episode of yours that you’d recommended for first-time viewers and listeners?

Oh, Season 4 Episode 8! Everything just worked, the sketch was really good, the game was really good and my guests were amazing. We all had great chemistry, so when the energy in the room is unmatched it just elevates everything. Even listening to it, you feel like you’re in the room. 

As a writer myself, I know how difficult it can be to come up with content. How do you keep the idea tank full? 

I’m gonna be real, I’m struggling with that a lot right now. You just gotta throw something and see what’ll stick, start writing, talk to people and watch other things. Knowing that it’s alright, it’s the beginning–I’m not going to create my Picasso piece right now, just some gems. And anything can be an idea. One time, I was outside of Beekman and saw a rat, and now “Ratvin the NYC Rat” is a character on my show. He has a thick New York accent, it’s one of my favorite bits I’ve ever done. Finding inspiration wherever you can. We try not to take ourselves too seriously. 

I feel like if you’re constantly taking yourself too seriously when creating, you’re always going to be stuck. 

Exactly, like, I’m not the next Shakespeare, I’m just Ashvin.

Do you have any advice for young creatives who are trying to put themselves on the map?

Create. This is when you’re supposed to make your worst work! When you’re 30 and you’re making pretty bad work, let’s talk. But right now, you are so young, we are so young–let’s see what works. Someone will listen to it, someone will support you and you will have people in your corner.