Sumukhi Suresh (born 18 October 1987) is an actor, stand-up comedian, writer, and director from India. She is popularly known for her humorous sketches which she writes and stars in for live performances as well as online platforms. In an online article, Hindustan Times referred to Sumukhi Suresh as “India’s Tina Fey.
Sumukhi Suresh was raised in Nagpur. She finished her graduation from M.O.P Vaishnav College for Women, Chennai. Suresh moved to Bengaluru in 2009 and started working at Hippocampus, a Children’s Library. She then went on to work as a chef and was also employed at a food laboratory for a brief period of time.
In 2013, Sumukhi joined The Improv, which was an improvisational comedy show in Bengaluru, while working at the laboratory. Along with the rest of the Improv team, Sumukhi performed in 100 shows in Bengaluru, Dubai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Sweden. In 2015, she quit her full-time job to start a career in comedy.
Sumukhi’s first video was Anu Aunty- Engineering Anthem with Varun Agrawal. She then did the Maid Sketch with Sanjay Manaktala as the boisterous Parvati Bai. Sumukhi rose to fame after portraying the character of ‘Sumukhi Chawla’, an NGO employee, in India’s first mockumentary-style YouTube series—Better Life Foundation. Sumukhi has performed comedy shows with Naveen Richard, the writer of the show Better Life Foundation. She also gained popularity for her property “Disgust Me” a by invite, women-only stand-up comedy show.
After getting much appreciation for her role in Better Life Foundation, Sumukhi launched a video series called Behti Naak on her own YouTube channel. In the video series, she plays Behti Naak – a 10-year-old girl with a deadpan style of humor. The videos became viral.
Sumukhi was approached by Amazon Prime, India to make a web series. Pushpavalli, created by Sumukhi Suresh, was released on December 15 on Amazon Prime Video in India and received positive reviews. The show is directed by Debbie Rao and stars Naveen Richard, Manish Anand, Preetika Chawla and Shraddha.
Sumukhi was approached by Amazon Prime, India for a second time to make a one-hour web show titled Don’t tell Amma which since its release has received positive reviews. This was a recording show in Begumpet, Hyderabad. The show wittily describes the relationship between millennials and their Indian Mothers. Though the title says Don’t tell Amma (Mother), interestingly enough, many people watched the show with their mothers.
Sumukhi, along with fellow comedian and absurdist Naveen Richard, co-created the Prime Video show Go Straight Take Left. The show is a compilation of six sketches.
In 2018, Sumukhi Suresh hosted the first season of Prime Video’s web series Comicstaan alongside comedian Abish Mathew. She was a part of the judges’ panel for the second season of the same show with Urooj Ashfaq replacing her as host.
In India, where stand-up comedy shows are generally dominated by men, Sumukhi is known as one of the very few successful female stand-up comedians.
However, Sumukhi has spoken against the tag. In an interview with Verve magazine, she was quoted as saying.
Comedy, like any other industry, comes with a set of challenges that you have to face, regardless of your gender. Creating regular content, writing as much as possible and drawing a crowd for your shows are some of the many points on your checklist. Then why was it that when I achieved even one of them, I was lauded for being able to do so “as a woman” and also congratulated for being the first woman to have done that? While initially, you enjoy the attention, soon enough you should want to be the best at what you do and not be limited by your gender. Thus I gave myself the goal of becoming the best comic rather than best ovary-producing laughter generator. The only way for me to break gender bias and related discrimination is by being so good at my work that I am unavoidable