Kumail Nanjiani

Kumail Nanjiani (born February 21, 1978)[1][2] is a Pakistani-American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and podcast host. Nanjiani is best known for being a main cast member on HBO's Emmy Award-nominated series Silicon Valley, as well as for providing the voice of Prismo on the Emmy Award-winning animated series Adventure Time. He starred on the TNT series Franklin & Bash and the Adult Swim series Newsreaders. Nanjiani also co-hosted the Comedy Central show The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail. In addition to his television and film work, he hosted two podcasts: The Indoor Kids and The X-Files Files.

In 2017, Nanjiani starred in the semi-autobiographical romantic comedy film The Big Sick, which he wrote with his wife Emily V. Gordon. They were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay at the 90th Academy Awards.

Kumail Nanjiani
Kumail Nanjiani by Gage Skidmore
Nanjiani speaking at the 2012 WonderCon
Born February 21, 1978 (age 40)
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Alma mater Grinnell College, Karachi Grammar School
Occupation Actor, stand-up comedian, podcast host, writer
Years active 2008–present
Spouse(s) Emily V. Gordon (m. 2007)
Relatives Shereen Nanjiani (second cousin)

Early life

Nanjiani was born in Karachi, Pakistan, the son of Shabana and Aijaz Nanjiani.[3] He was raised as a Shia Muslim, but has left the faith.[4] The Scottish radio presenter Shereen Nanjiani is his second cousin.[5][6][7]

During his childhood, Nanjiani lived in Karachi and attended Karachi Grammar School. At 18, he moved to the United States and attended Grinnell College in Iowa, from which he graduated in 2001. He completed a double major in computer science and philosophy.[1][8][9]

Career

2008–2016: Television work

In July 2011, he and X-Play staffer Ali Baker began hosting a video game-themed podcast, titled The Indoor Kids. In late August of the same year Baker left the show and Nanjiani began hosting with his wife, Emily V. Gordon.[10] Until other commitments took over, he appeared regularly on Dan Harmon's podcast Harmontown, where he played Dungeons & Dragons with Harmon as a character named Chris de Burgh. He played a delivery man in the 2013 film, The Kings of Summer.[11] In addition to guest-starring in various comedy shows like Portlandia, Nanjiani was featured in a supporting role in the TNT series Franklin & Bash. He played the role of Pindar Singh, an agoraphobic science fiction nerd working for the title characters.

Nanjiani guest-starred on HBO's Veep as a statistician. He had a recurring role of Amir Larussa on Newsreaders, as well as Prismo on Adventure Time. His Comedy Central special titled Beta Male aired in July 2013.[12] In late June 2013, Comedy Central announced the pickup of a show The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail hosted by Jonah Ray and Nanjiani.[13] The show, featuring Nerd Melt comedy regulars and various comedians, began airing in July 2014.[14] In April 2014, he began playing the character Dinesh in the HBO sitcom Silicon Valley.[9] He voiced Reggie in the video game The Walking Dead: Season Two.[15] In July 2014, Nanjiani hosted a weekly podcast titled The X-Files Files, dedicated to discussion and fond reminiscences about The X-Files. Each episode features him and a guest, including former The X-Files writers, producers, actors and directors, in light-hearted banter about one or two episodes of the series.[16][17] On July 30, 2014, Nanjiani appeared on Ken Reid's TV Guidance Counselor Podcast.

In 2015, Nanjiani guest-starred in an episode of Broad City called "In Heat".[18] Starting on March 22, 2015 he provided his voice for the character of Mshak Moradi in the Hunt the Truth audio drama, part of the marketing campaign for Halo 5: Guardians.[19] On May 5, 2015, he appeared on Inside Amy Schumer in the episode "12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer", a parody of 12 Angry Men, as one of the members of the jury.[20] In July 2015, Nanjiani provided guest voices on Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero.[21] In November 2015, he starred in an Old Navy TV commercial together with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Snoop Dogg.[22] In April 2016, he starred in another Old Navy advertisement with SNL cast members Jay Pharoah, Cecily Strong, and Nasim Pedrad.

2017–present: Breakthrough in film

In 2017, Nanjiani starred in the romantic comedy film The Big Sick, which he wrote with his wife Emily V. Gordon.[23] The film is about their relationship, with Nanjiani playing himself and Zoe Kazan playing Gordon (renamed Emily Gardner). The film was considered to be one of the most acclaimed films of 2017, and was chosen by American Film Institute as one of the top 10 films of the year and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.[24][25] The film was also the third highest grossing independent film released in 2017, grossing over 40 million dollars.[26]

In 2019, Nanjiani will lend his voice to Plimpton, an ostrich, in The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle.[27] The film is set for release on April 12, 2019.[28] Nanjiani will also star in the action-comedy Stuber, which is set for release on May 24, 2019.[29][30] Nanjiani will also costar in the Untitled "Men in Black" Spin-Off film, which will be released on June 14, 2019.[31][32]

Personal life

Nanjiani has been married to Emily V. Gordon, an author, comedy producer, and former couples and family therapist since 2007.[33] Gordon was the booker and producer of The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail (2014–2016).[34]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
2010 Life as We Know It Simon
2012 The Five-Year Engagement Pakistani Chef
2013 The Kings of Summer Gary the Delivery Guy
Hell Baby Cable Guy
Bad Milo Bobbi
2014 The Last of the Great Romantics George the Counter Guy
Sex Tape Punit
2015 Loaded Reza
Hot Tub Time Machine 2 Brad
Addicted to Fresno Damon
Hello, My Name Is Doris Nasir
Hell and Back Dave the Demon (voice)
Goosebumps Foreman
2016 Central Intelligence Jared the Airport Security Guard
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Keanu
Brother Nature Riggleman
Flock of Dudes Ro
The Late Bloomer Rich
2017 The Big Sick Kumail Nanjiani Also writer
Fist Fight Officer Mehar
A Happening of Monumental Proportions
Funny: The Documentary Himself
The Lego Ninjago Movie Jay (voice)
2018 Duck Butter Jake
2019 The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle Plimpton (voice) Filming
Stuber Stu Post-production
MIB Filming

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2008 Saturday Night Live Indian Reporter Uncredited
Episode: "James Franco/Kings of Leon"
2009 The Colbert Report Various characters 2 episodes
2009 Michael & Michael Have Issues Kumail 7 episodes
2010 Ugly Americans Neilando Patel (voice) Episode: "Treegasm"
2011 Traffic Light Paul Episode: "Where the Heart Is"
2011 CollegeHumor Originals Vendor Episode: "Batman Chooses His Voice"
2011 Googy Dwayne 6 episodes
2011–2014 Franklin & Bash Pindar Singh 31 episodes
2011–2018 Portlandia Various characters 13 episodes
2012–2016 Adventure Time Prismo (voice) 7 episodes
2013–2015 Newsreaders Amir Larussa 11 episodes
2013 Burning Love Zakir 17 episodes
2013 Veep Statistician Episode: "Midterms"
2013 Drunk History Lakota Chief Episode: "Nashville"
2013 Ghost Ghirls Mr. Mattoo Episode: "I Believe in Mira-ghouls"
2014–present Silicon Valley Dinesh Chugtai 46 episodes
2014 Math Bites Showoff Guy Episode: "Math Heads: Do Math in Your Head"
2014 The Pete Holmes Show Dhalsim Episode: "Erin Hamlin and Kate Hansen"
2014–2016 The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail Himself (host) 24 episodes
2014 TripTank Dick Genie (voice) 4 episodes
2014 Garfunkel and Oates Jordan Episode: "Hair Swap"
2014 Key and Peele College Kid #1 Episode: "Scariest Movie Ever"
2014–2015 Bob's Burgers Skip (voice) 2 episodes
2014–2015 Community Custodian Lapari 2 episodes
2015 Broad City Benny Calitri Episode: "In Heat"
2015 Archer Farooq Ashkani (voice) Episode: "Sitting"
2015 Inside Amy Schumer Juror #11 Episode: "12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer"
2015 Scheer-RL Mariah Carey Episode: "Mariah Carey"
2015 Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero Cuteling Mayor (voice) Episode: "The Ripple Effect"
2015 Aqua Teen Hunger Force Frylock's bees (voice) Episode: "Sweet C"
2015 The Grinder Prosecutor Leonard 2 episodes
2016 The X-Files Pasha Episode: "Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster"
2016 Animals. Rusty (voice) Episode: "Dogs."
2016 31st Independent Spirit Awards Himself (host) Television special
2016 HarmonQuest Eddie Lizard Episode: "The Dragon's Temple"
2017 Saturday Night Live Himself (host) Episode: "Kumail Nanjiani/Pink"
2018 RuPaul's Drag Race (season 10) Himself (judge) Episode: "Drag Con Panel Extravaganza"

Video games

Year Title Voice role
2013 The Walking Dead: Season Two Reggie
2015 Fight Haver (Fast Drive) Fight Haver
2017 Mass Effect: Andromeda[35] Jarun Tann
2017 Middle-earth: Shadow of War The Agonizer

Web

Year Title Role Notes
2013–2017 Harmontown Himself Recurring guest
2017 Game Grumps Himself 1 episode
Movie Fights Himself 1 episode

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
2017 Academy Awards Best Original Screenplay The Big Sick Nominated
Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Original Screenplay Nominated
Best Actor in a Comedy Nominated
Detroit Film Critics Society Best Screenplay Nominated
Best Ensemble Nominated
Kanbar Award for Storytelling Won
Gotham Awards Best Screenplay Nominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Best Original Screenplay Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards Best First Screenplay Won
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Silicon Valley Nominated

References

  1. ^ a b Konigsberg, Eric (October 30, 2009). "It's Not a Bad Time to Be Funny in the City". The New York Times. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  2. ^ "Twitter / TVsJonDore: Happy Birthday Kumail Nanjiani!!". Twitter.com. February 21, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  3. ^ Marantz, Andrew (May 1, 2017). "Kumail Nanjiani's Culture-Clash Comedy" – via www.newyorker.com.
  4. ^ "Interview: Kumail Nanjiani on The Big Sick's Real-Life Love Story". June 22, 2017.
  5. ^ Nanjiani, Shereen (September 1, 2012). "Extended Interview with Kumail Nanjiani". Shereen. BBC Radio Scotland. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  6. ^ Allison, Kevin (February 11, 2013). "Live From San Francisco!". Risk!. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  7. ^ "Interview: Kumail Nanjiani Explains Pakistani Culture (Full Interview)". Jun 28, 2017.
  8. ^ "Interview with Comedian Kumail Nanjiani '01". Grinnell College. September 22, 2010. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  9. ^ a b Kavner, Lucas (April 4, 2014). "'Silicon Valley,' a Comedy Central project and a killer bidet joke: Kumail Nanjiani has it all". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  10. ^ Baker, Ali; Nanjiani, Kumail (July 15, 2012). "#1 Steve Agee". The Indoor Kids. Nerdist Industries. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  11. ^ "The Kings of Summer Red-Band Trailer". Collider.com. May 20, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  12. ^ Sims, David (July 23, 2013). "Kumail Nanjiani: Beta Male". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  13. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (June 20, 2013). "Comedy Central Greenlights 'The Meltdown With Jonah and Kumail'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  14. ^ "The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail". NerdmeltLA.com. Archived from the original on July 1, 2014. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  15. ^ Casey, Dan (May 13, 2014). "Game Review: The Walking Dead Season 2: In Harm's Way". Nerdist Industries. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  16. ^ Eakin, Marah (June 9, 2014). "Kumail Nanjiani to take on every episode of The X-Files in new podcast". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  17. ^ "The X-Files Files". iTunes. Retrieved July 23, 2014.
  18. ^ Cruz, Lenika (January 14, 2015). "Bed, Bath, and Bong Rips: The Glorious Return of Broad City". The Atlantic. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  19. ^ Xbox Wire Staff (May 17, 2015). "Halo 5: Guardians #HuntTheTruth – Has the Master Chief Gone AWOL?". News.xbox.com.
  20. ^ Holmes, Linda (May 6, 2015). "Amy Schumer Puts Her Own Looks On Trial". NPR.org. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  21. ^ "New Listings for Disney XD – July 2015". The Disney Driven Life. June 30, 2015. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  22. ^ Liviu Marica. "Old Navy: Snoopin' Around featurig Snoop Dogg". Daily Commercials. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  23. ^ Winfrey, Graham (January 22, 2017). "Amazon Wins 'The Big Sick' Bidding War $12 Million Buy Sundance 2017". IndieWire. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
  24. ^ "AFI Awards 2017". AFI. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  25. ^ "Oscars: 'Shape of Water' Leads With 13 Noms". The Hollywood Reporter. January 23, 2018. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  26. ^ Erbland, Kate. "The 20 Highest Grossing Indies of 2017 (A Running List) – IndieWire". IndieWire. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  27. ^ "Robert Downey Jr. Unveils Voice Cast for 'Voyage of Doctor Dolittle'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-03-27.
  28. ^ Kit, Borys (April 28, 2017). "Robert Downey Jr.'s 'Doctor Dolittle' Moves Release to Avoid 'Star Wars'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  29. ^ "Kumail Nanjiani to Star Opposite Dave Bautista in Action Comedy 'Stuber' (Exclusive)".
  30. ^ 20th Century Fox Sets Dates For Untitled James Mangold Ferrari Project, Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Death On The Nile’
  31. ^ 'Men in Black' Movie Spinoff Adds 'Jurassic' Actor to Cast (Exclusive)
  32. ^ Busch, Anita (January 18, 2018). "'Men In Black' Spinoff Gets Summer 2019 Release Date Change". Deadline. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  33. ^ Marie, Jane (May 20, 2014). "The Secret Life of Marrieds: Why We Kept Our Marriage Secret for Years". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  34. ^ Marantz, Andrew (May 8, 2017). "Kumail Nanjiani's Culture-Clash Comedy". The New Yorker. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  35. ^ Kumail Nanjiani as Jarun Tann. BioWare Base. March 1, 2017.

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