Padma Lakshmi Is Branching Out to Stand-Up Comedy Upon Leaving ‘Top Chef’

The model and TV host has always been a comedy lover and witty woman.
Padma Lakshmi
Padma Lakshmi / Dan MacMedan-USA TODAY via Imagn

Culinary personality Padma Lakshmi has spent the past decade dominating the food industry, both as the former host of Emmy Award-winning Top Chef and the star and executive producer of Hulu’s Taste the Nation. One part of her life, however, that she hasn’t publicly spoken or posted about, until now, is her side hustle in improv.

The mom of one, who lives in New York City with her daughter, Krishna, is breaking into stand-up comedy. In March, Lakshmi performed her “Padma Puts On a Comedy Show” set for two back-to-back shows at The Bell House in Brooklyn.

“It felt incredible, like no other feeling I’ve ever had in the world,” she told The New Yorker. “I don’t care about being the most beautiful woman in the room—I want to be the funniest person in the room. That’s who stays with you. Beauty is not an accomplishment, but wit is.” 

While Taste the Nation is currently waiting to be green-lit for Season 3, Lakshmi is not too torn up about the show being “on the bubble.” She notes that she didn’t grow up wanting to be a food-competition-show host, so this period between filming created the perfect opportunity for her to thrive on the stand-up stage.

Lakshmi loves being free of any pressure of “regimen” and “structure” that comes with speaking on a stand-up stage—little luxuries that are often not associated with social media, thus her decision to never post about it.

“I’m starting from scratch. I don’t do it on Instagram, because I could f--- my career in a second,” she explained. “But among my friends and in safe spaces, I’m learning how to be more of my wilder, wackier, zanier self.”

Ananya Panchal


Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.