Kumail Nanjiani (born February 21, 1978) 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.
Nanjiani speaking at the 2012 WonderCon
February 21, 1978|
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
|Alma mater||Grinnell College, Karachi Grammar School|
|Occupation||Actor, stand-up comedian, podcast host, writer|
|Spouse(s)||Emily V. Gordon (m. 2007)|
|Relatives||Shereen Nanjiani (second cousin)|
Nanjiani was born in Karachi, Pakistan, the son of Shabana and Aijaz Nanjiani. He was raised as a Shia Muslim, but has left the faith. The Scottish radio presenter Shereen Nanjiani is his second cousin.
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.
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. 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. 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. In late June 2013, Comedy Central announced the pickup of a show The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail hosted by Jonah Ray and Nanjiani. The show, featuring Nerd Melt comedy regulars and various comedians, began airing in July 2014. In April 2014, he began playing the character Dinesh in the HBO sitcom Silicon Valley. He voiced Reggie in the video game The Walking Dead: Season Two. 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. 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". 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. 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. In July 2015, Nanjiani provided guest voices on Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero. In November 2015, he starred in an Old Navy TV commercial together with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Snoop Dogg. In April 2016, he starred in another Old Navy advertisement with SNL cast members Jay Pharoah, Cecily Strong, and Nasim Pedrad.
In 2017, Nanjiani starred in the romantic comedy film The Big Sick, which he wrote with his wife Emily V. Gordon. 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. The film was also the third highest grossing independent film released in 2017, grossing over 40 million dollars.
In 2019, Nanjiani will lend his voice to Plimpton, an ostrich, in The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle. The film is set for release on April 12, 2019. Nanjiani will also star in the action-comedy Stuber, which is set for release on May 24, 2019. Nanjiani will also costar in the Untitled "Men in Black" Spin-Off film, which will be released on June 14, 2019.
Nanjiani has been married to Emily V. Gordon, an author, comedy producer, and former couples and family therapist since 2007. Gordon was the booker and producer of The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail (2014–2016).
|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|
|2014||The Last of the Great Romantics||George the Counter Guy|
|Hot Tub Time Machine 2||Brad|
|Addicted to Fresno||Damon|
|Hello, My Name Is Doris||Nasir|
|Hell and Back||Dave the Demon (voice)|
|2016||Central Intelligence||Jared the Airport Security Guard|
|Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates||Keanu|
|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)|
|2019||The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle||Plimpton (voice)||Filming|
|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"|
|2011–2014||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||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"|
|2013||The Walking Dead: Season Two||Reggie|
|2015||Fight Haver (Fast Drive)||Fight Haver|
|2017||Mass Effect: Andromeda||Jarun Tann|
|2017||Middle-earth: Shadow of War||The Agonizer|
|2017||Game Grumps||Himself||1 episode|
|Movie Fights||Himself||1 episode|
|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|
|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|