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Bristol PhD student reaches Chortle Student Comedy Awards final

Image Courtesy - Mushin Yesilada 

By Milan Perera, Deputy Editor

University of Bristol PhD student, Muhsin Yesilada has made it to the final of the esteemed Chortle Student Comedy Awards cementing his position as a rising star in stand-up comedy.

With an outstanding display of talent and humour in the semifinals, held at Bloomsbury Theatre in London in May, Yesilada made to the final of Chortle Student Comedy Awards in emphatic fashion.

The Chortle Student Comedy Award is renowned for showcasing the up-and-coming talent in comedy, and has provided a platform for household names such as Joe Lycett, Ed Gamble, Chris Ramsey, Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal to shine.

Image Courtesy - Mushin Yesilada

The final will be held at Up The Creek in Greenwich on July 12, hosted by the Bristol-born comedian Mark Watson. It will be broadcast on Radio 4 Extra the following night.

Mushin Yesilada is studying for his PhD in psychology at the University of Bristol. According to Yesilada, balancing a degree and a fledgling comedy career at times proved challenging but his sacrfices paid dividends when he began to gain recognition working alongside some of his comedy heroes such as Guz Khan for whom he opened in front of 800 people.

Epigram spoke to Yesilada on his recent triumph at the Chrotle semifinals and his life at the University of Bristol. When asked about on how he began his journey in comedy, he said:

My parents let me watch Eddie Murphy Delirious when I was around 9 years old! Fell in love with it then and started going to shows in my teens. I decided to finally give it a go in 2019 and I bombed but knew it was something I would eventually pursue. I started taking it seriously in 2021.’

On balancing studies and a punishing schedule that involves travelling to different venues around the country, he said:

I bring my laptop on the road with me. So if I’m on a train on the way to the gig I’ll set myself a work goal for the journey. Setting small and incremental goals on a daily basis helps a lot!’

Image Courtesy - Mushin Yesilada

Yesilada draws much inspiration for his jokes from his family experiences, especially on living in a Muslim Turkish household. He said:

‘I think my family find it amusing that they are mentioned my shows. My sister doesn’t like my comedy though, she came to one show and just said ‘I can see why other people would find it funny’.’

Yesilada’s observational comedy looks into misinformation and extremism. He is currently on ‘The Muslims Are Coming' tour which garnered critical acclaim.

On Yesilada’s forthcoming final at the Chortle Student Comedy Awards, his PhD supervisor, Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, Chair in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Bristol said:

‘Good luck to Muhsin in the finals! I’m glad Muhsin is doing applied cognitive science enroute to his PhD - after all, humour requires lots of cognitive skills, from memory and timing to executive processes.’

In the final on July 12, Yesilada will be competing against nine fellow student comics for the coveted prize in front of a packed audience at Up The Creek in Greenwich. Speaking on the final he said:

‘I’m looking forward to it! I’m treating it like any other gig. That means doing my set and putting the effort in to improving my bits.’