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Giveaway: Jay Chandrasekhar at the Scottish Rite

Deborah Sengupta

Editor’s note: This article was originally published June 24, 2013

UPDATE: THIS GIVEAWAY IS OVER. THANKS FOR PLAYING!

I’ll be honest, it’s hard for me to talk subjectively about Jay Chandrasekhar because the man is something of a personal hero. I don’t know a whole lot about his upbringing except that like myself, he’s a first generation East Indian American. His parents are doctors who practiced in suburban Chicago. My dad is a doctor who practiced in middle-of-nowhere Ohio. That’s how Indians got into the United States in the early seventies, medical professions and engineering. During my childhood and my early adult life I got used to being part of an invisible minority. This was long before Mindy Kahling cut her teeth in ‘The Office,’ before Aziz Ansari hilariously drawled his way into our living rooms each week in ‘Parks and Rec,’ before an entire generation of desis formed university societies, fraternites, sororities and the like. Growing up in the rural midwest, I’d occasionally meet another Indian, usually the child of doctor or engineer, but for the most part I was on my own.

But enough about me.

Chandrasekhar left Illinois to go to Colgate University in mid-state New York. There, he and a few of his college buddies formed a comedy troupe that would eventually morph into Broken Lizard. After almost a decade of minor success around NYC, in 2001 the crew put together ‘Super Troopers’ —- a movie that is either terrible or pure genius depending on who you talk to and how (ahem) inebriated you are at the time. In my home, a rundown rental on Red River, it fell into the genius camp. We watched it on loop, usually late at night in varying states of inebriation. Beyond the general hilarity of the stoner cop flick, there was something about watching Chandrasekhar, performing as lieutenant “Thorny” Ramathorn, good-naturedly offering ‘mustache rides’ that in some weird way validated my own life — working a crappy day job and blogging about music in varying states of inebriation as my sister dutifully pursued the family profession, working on her medical degree. Jay Chandrasekhar was the Indian stoner pioneer, providing inspiration for the rest of us dead beats. Maybe ‘Super Troopers’ didn’t pave the pathway for ‘Harold and Kumar,’ but in my world it sure felt like it did. And that was something sort of amazing.

Chandrasekhar and Broken Lizard went on to produce a series of stoner flicks of varying quality over the next decade including ‘Club Dread’ and ‘Beerfest.’ Sure, these are no great works of art, but they hold up as party flicks best taken with a few good stiff drinks. Throughout his career in television and film, which includes among other things, director credits on a series of ‘Arrested Development’ episodes, he’s continued to do standup.

That’s what brings him to town this week. Jay Chandrasekhar will be doing standup at the Scottish Rite theater on Wednesday night. If you’d like to be our guest at the show email us the answer to this Jay Chandrasekhar trivia question before Wednesday, June 26 at 9 a.m.:

Jay Chandrasekhar played a stereotypical Indian character in ‘Jackass: Number Two.’ What was he?

One winner will be selected at random from the correct responses we receive. The winner will receive a pair of guest list spots to the show at the Scottish Rite Theater on Wednesday, June 26. The winner will be notified by email by noon on Wednesday, June 26. Non-winning participants will not be notified.