Kumail Ali Nanjiani (born February 21, 1978) is a Pakistani-American stand-up comedian, actor, podcast host, and writer best known for The Big Sick, and 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 2018, Time named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Nanjiani speaking at the 2012 WonderCon
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Grinnell College|
|Occupation||Stand-up comedian, actor, podcast host, writer|
Emily V. Gordon (m. 2007)
|Relatives||Shereen Nanjiani |
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 was born in Karachi, Pakistan, the son of Shabana and Aijaz Nanjiani. He grew up in a religious Muslim family. The Scottish radio presenter Shereen Nanjiani is his second cousin.
During his childhood, Nanjiani lived in Karachi and attended St. Michael's Convent School for his O Levels, and graduated Karachi Grammar School to complete his A Levels. 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.
2008–2016: Television workEdit
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.
2017–present: Breakthrough in filmEdit
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 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 voiced the alien Pawny in Men in Black International, which was released on June 14. Nanjiani has stated "I play an alien so you won’t see my face but you’ll hear my voice, I’m a little alien frog/lizard... thing".  Nanjiani will also star in the action-comedy Stuber, which is set for release on July 12, 2019. In 2020, Nanjiani will lend his voice to Plimpton, an ostrich, in The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle. Additionally, Nanjiani will costar with Issa Rae in The Lovebirds, to be directed by Michael Showalter, who directed The Big Sick, and released by Paramount Pictures. As of April 2019, he is in talks to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe's The Eternals.
In 2007, Nanjiani married Emily V. Gordon, an author, comedy producer, and former couples and family therapist in Chicago City Hall. Gordon was the booker and producer of The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail (2014–2016). He was raised as a Muslim but later became an atheist.
|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||Cameo|
|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||HR Rep Perry|
|Funny: The Documentary||Himself|
|The Lego Ninjago Movie||Jay (voice)|
|Men in Black: International||Pawny (voice)|
|2020||The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle||Plimpton (voice)||Post-production|
|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|
|2016–2017||HarmonQuest||Eddie Lizard||2 episodes|
|2017||Saturday Night Live||Himself (host)||Episode: "Kumail Nanjiani/Pink"|
|2018||RuPaul's Drag Race||Himself (judge)||Episode: "Drag Con Panel Extravaganza"|
|2019||The Twilight Zone||Samir Wassan||Episode: "The Comedian"|
|2019||Little America||-||Executive producer|
|2013||The Walking Dead: Season Two||Reggie|
|2015||Fight Haver (Fast Drive)||Fight Haver|
|2017||Mass Effect: Andromeda||Jarun Tann|
|Middle-earth: Shadow of War||The Agonizer|
|2009||Jake and Amir||Kumail||4 episodes|
|2015||Hunt the Truth||Mshak Moradi |
|2017||Game Grumps||1 episode|
|2019||Achievement Hunter||Himself||1 episode|
|2019||Hot Ones||Himself||1 episode|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|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|
|San Diego International Film Festival||Auteur Award||Self||Won|
- 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.
- "Twitter / TVsJonDore: Happy Birthday Kumail Nanjiani!!". Twitter. February 21, 2011. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
- "The 100 Most Influential People in the World". Time. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
- Marantz, Andrew (May 1, 2017). "Kumail Nanjiani's Culture-Clash Comedy" – via www.newyorker.com.
- Nanjiani, Shereen (September 1, 2012). "Extended Interview with Kumail Nanjiani". Shereen. BBC Radio Scotland. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
- Allison, Kevin (February 11, 2013). "Live From San Francisco!". Risk!. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
- "Interview: Kumail Nanjiani Explains Pakistani Culture (Full Interview)". June 28, 2017.
- "Interview with Comedian Kumail Nanjiani '01". Grinnell College. September 22, 2010. Archived from the original on March 18, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
- 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.
- Baker, Ali; Nanjiani, Kumail (July 15, 2012). "#1 Steve Agee". The Indoor Kids. Nerdist Industries. Archived from the original on May 4, 2014. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
- "The Kings of Summer Red-Band Trailer". Collider.com. May 20, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
- Sims, David (July 23, 2013). "Kumail Nanjiani: Beta Male". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (June 20, 2013). "Comedy Central Greenlights 'The Meltdown With Jonah and Kumail'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
- "The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail". NerdmeltLA.com. Archived from the original on July 1, 2014. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
- Casey, Dan (May 13, 2014). "Game Review: The Walking Dead Season 2: In Harm's Way". Nerdist Industries. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
- 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.
- "The X-Files Files". iTunes. Retrieved July 23, 2014.
- Cruz, Lenika (January 14, 2015). "Bed, Bath, and Bong Rips: The Glorious Return of Broad City". The Atlantic. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
- Xbox Wire Staff (May 17, 2015). "Halo 5: Guardians #HuntTheTruth – Has the Master Chief Gone AWOL?". News.xbox.com.
- Holmes, Linda (May 6, 2015). "Amy Schumer Puts Her Own Looks On Trial". NPR.org. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
- "New Listings for Disney XD – July 2015". The Disney Driven Life. June 30, 2015. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
- Liviu Marica. "Old Navy: Snoopin' Around featurig Snoop Dogg". Daily Commercials. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
- Winfrey, Graham (January 22, 2017). "Amazon Wins 'The Big Sick' Bidding War $12 Million Buy Sundance 2017". IndieWire. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
- "AFI Awards 2017". AFI. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
- "Oscars: 'Shape of Water' Leads With 13 Noms". The Hollywood Reporter. January 23, 2018. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
- Erbland, Kate. "The 20 Highest Grossing Indies of 2017 (A Running List) – IndieWire". IndieWire. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
- "'Men in Black' Movie Spin-Off Adds 'Jurassic' Actor to Cast (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Busch, Anita (January 18, 2018). "'Men In Black' Spinoff Gets Summer 2019 Release Date Change". Deadline. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
- Chitwood, Adam (December 5, 2018). "The 'Men in Black' Reboot Is Titled 'Men in Black: International'". Collider. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
- "Kumail Nanjiani Goes Undercover on Reddit, YouTube and Twitter (GQ)". Youtube.
- "Kumail Nanjiani to Star Opposite Dave Bautista in Action Comedy 'Stuber' (Exclusive)".
- Haring, Bruce; Haring, Bruce (June 23, 2018). "20th Century Fox Sets Dates For Untitled James Mangold Ferrari Project, Kenneth Branagh's 'Death On The Nile'".
- "Robert Downey Jr. Unveils Voice Cast for 'Voyage of Doctor Dolittle'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
- Galuppo, Gia (January 17, 2019). "Kumail Nanjiani, Issa Rae to Star in Romantic Comedy 'The Lovebirds' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
- Kit, Borys (April 5, 2019). "Kumail Nanjiani in Talks to Join Angelina Jolie in Marvel's 'The Eternals' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
- Marie, Jane (May 20, 2014). "The Secret Life of Marrieds: Why We Kept Our Marriage Secret for Years". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
- Marantz, Andrew (May 8, 2017). "Kumail Nanjiani's Culture-Clash Comedy". The New Yorker. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
- Petski, Denise (November 15, 2018). "'The Twilight Zone': Kumail Nanjiani To Star In Episode Of CBS All Access Reboot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
- Kumail Nanjiani as Jarun Tann. BioWare Base. March 1, 2017.