In Friends Season 3 Episode 23:

[Scene: Phoebe’s Herbal Guy’s office, Ross is there about his thing.]

Guru Saj: You must be Ross.

Ross: Hi.

Guru Saj: I am Guru Saj. (takes the drawer back and replaces)

When he said "I am Guru Saj" the laughter was high (Although laughs don't always mean something).

I assumed it is because Saj means a type of bread, but it is not that funny, is there something I am missing?

P.S. As per my research I found that "Saj" is an Indian girl name!

  • 1
    I think it's simply because he's pretentious and pretending to be Indian.
    – Walt
    Dec 15, 2015 at 19:05

2 Answers 2


I think it's just a ludicrous character. He's calling himself Guru Saj but he looks like a white accountant in Indian garb. And yet he's announcing himself in a funny and pretentious voice, like this persona is totally believable (he turns out to be clueless later in the scene). The actor (Kevin McDonald) often plays self-important characters.

Although the show was filmed in front of a studio audience, the laugh track, like in many other shows, was augmented and is supposed to cue a funny moment, even if (or especially when) the moment isn't that funny. I think that the laughter here is just supposed to signal that this character is laughable and that we shouldn't take him too seriously. (Also, Ross looks at him dubiously for a split second when Guru Saj says his name. So the laughter's partly over Ross's funny reaction as well.)


For me the humour in the situation came from the fact that this "guru" doesn't appear to be Indian. By calling himself a guru (when he's actually pasty white and American Canadian) he confounds the expectation of how someone who practices traditional Indian medicine would actually look like.

He then tops this off by stating that he's attended some of the finest medical schools in Central America

enter image description here

  • OMG, why you selected Ramdev
    – Ankit Sharma
    Dec 15, 2015 at 19:22
  • @AnkitSharma - I picked the first one off the list when I googled the word "guru" :-) Note to self, check whether I'm picking a loony.
    – user7812
    Dec 15, 2015 at 19:34
  • 1
    Its just my personal issue with him and he is more a yoga teacher then spiritual guru. And he has some attention seeking issues too..
    – Ankit Sharma
    Dec 15, 2015 at 19:35
  • 1
    @AnkitSharma - I picked him purely for his aesthetic. Looking at his wikipedia page, it's pretty clear that the guy is not the sort of person I want to have associated with me.
    – user7812
    Dec 15, 2015 at 19:38
  • 2
    @Shrilekha - I changed the photo over.
    – user7812
    Dec 15, 2015 at 23:13

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