Theater & art


Alingon Mitra’s comedic career move is seriously paying off


Age: 27

Hometown: Worcester

Think of: Mitra has a bit of Gary Gulman’s observational style, but his pedigree is writing for the Harvard Lampoon.


What caught our eye: Mitra fought his way through a particularly talent-filled field at the 2013 Boston Comedy Festival Contest in November. He won, and then split the $10,000 prize money with his fellow contestants.

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Lightbulb moment: “I don’t think there’s a moment I could pinpoint. I just always really liked watching stand-up, so gradually, it became more and more realistic, I think, as a career.” But the festival win is starting to change Mitra’s fortunes, and he’s getting work opening at Laugh Boston and headlining at Dick Doherty’s Comedy Den.

Biggest thrill: “When I’ve written a new joke and I do it in front of a crowd for the first time, you don’t know whether it’s going to work or not. And if it does connect, that rush, that’s sort of what I live for.”

Biggest surprise: “I think I was just shocked by how much talent, how many talented comedians there are.

I remember one of the first open mics I went to and being really impressed with the level of comedy I was seeing. And I was wondering why these people are telling jokes in a bar. They seem good enough to be in other venues.”


Inspired by: Mitra loves to watch Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, and Jim Gaffigan, but says his true inspiration is closer to home. “My chief inspiration is my family: my mom, my dad, my brother. My dad is a very genuine soul. He cares very much for the community. And my mom, likewise, is tremendously supportive. And my brother has a very good way of making me better. Those are the inspirations.”

Aspires to: “I just want to be the best comedian that I can be, and I’d like that to be a reflection of being a hard worker.”

For good luck: “Sometimes I’ll listen to ‘pump-up’ music or something, but that’s on the ride down.”

What people should know: “Hopefully when people see me, they’ll obviously laugh, but hopefully they’ll also say, ‘OK, that’s an experience that I wouldn’t be able to get if I went to see any other performer.’ ”

Coming soon: Mitra will play the


Comedy Studio in Harvard Square on Thursday and co-headline Dick Doherty’s Comedy Den on Friday.

Links: Follow on Twitter @Alingon,,

Nick A. Zaino III can be reached at