Nelu Handa is an actor, comedian, writer and producer. She is the creator and host of YAS KWEEN, a groundbreaking monthly night of comedy that showcases ethnic women at The Bad Dog Comedy Theatre. She’s also been named one of the top ten comic minds in Canada.

Next Monday, she’s one of the featured speakers at Boss Lady, a social gathering combining the power of Ted Talks-style storytelling with your ladies night hang session of wine and cheese. It’s a platform that brings together powerful stories of self, success and struggles, and it’s for anyone who identifies as female. 

SDTC: What’s at the top of your bucket list?

NH: Being on Jeopardy! and impressing Trebek with my pronunciations.

What’s your go-to song for getting stuff done?

“Apni To Jaise Taise” from the 1981 hit Bollywood film Laawaris. Search it on YouTube.

What advice would you give to your fourteen-year-old self?

It’s okay to wonder about everything in the universe. Don’t be afraid to dig into whatever catches your heart. It’s cool. P.S. The tenacity of your crush on Tom Cruise will be tested in upcoming years. Be ready.

Who has made a big impact in your life recently, and how?

My fam got a Labradoodle and I never knew I could love a dog this much. I’ve discovered I’m a late-blooming “dog person” and now I love all the dogs (most anyway, let’s be honest). So that adds to my travelling time, with all the stopping I do to canoodle cute pooches along the way. The owners are perfectly fine that I have these sacred moments with their pups; [it’s] like an unspoken understanding of the love-fix I need until I see mine again. I like knowing this level of humanity exists.

What does your ideal Saturday look like?

Good coffee and warm embraces.

What’s the best part of being your current age?

Laughing when I get ID’d.

What is your favourite quality in your best friend?

She marches to her own beat and helps me hear my own. Also, she funny AF.

What/who is currently inspiring you?


What art work would you love to have in your space/on your walls, and why?

Having a Monet in my bathroom would be a great conversation starter.

Fave rainy day comfort food? Or activity?

Just a big ol’ mug of liquid Vitamin D. I’m better with sunny days.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

It felt socially acceptable to want to be a Fly Girl on In Living Colour, but secretly I wanted to be another Wayans’ sister.

What was your favourite game/toy as a child?

I deeply loved every issue of Archie comics I could get my hands on.

What’s on your nightstand?

An assortment of healing crystals and my charging iPhone. #Balance.

What adult task would you like to get better at?

Decluttering now that I’ve mastered the adult task of Junk Drawer-ing.

If you could spend a year studying something, what would it be?

How to cook only delicious food.