Kumail Nanjiani

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Kumail Nanjiani
Kumail Nanjiani by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Nanjiani speaking at WonderCon in Anaheim, California on March 17, 2012
Born (1978-02-21) February 21, 1978 (age 38)[1][2]
Karachi, Pakistan
Other names Ninja
Alma mater Grinnell College
Occupation Actor, stand-up comedian, podcast host, writer
Years active 2008–present
Spouse(s) Emily V. Gordon (m. 2007)

Kumail Nanjiani (born February 21, 1978) is a Pakistani-American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and podcast host. Nanjiani is best known for his role as 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. In addition he's starred on the TNT series Franklin & Bash and the Adult Swim series Newsreaders. He also co-hosts the Comedy Central show The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail. In addition to his television and film work, he hosts two podcasts: The Indoor Kids and The X-Files Files.

Early life[edit]

Nanjiani was born in Karachi, Pakistan. He was raised as a Shia Muslim, but became an atheist later in life.[3] He is related to the Pakistani-Scottish radio presenter Shereen Nanjiani.[4][5]

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][6][7]


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.[8] 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.[9]

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. In 2015, Nanjiani guest-starred in an episode of Broad City called "In Heat".[10]

Nanjiani guest-starred on HBO's Veep as a statistician. He currently has the 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.[11]

In late June 2013, Comedy Central announced the pickup of a show The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail hosted by Jonah Ray and Nanjiani.[12] The show, featuring Nerd Melt comedy regulars and various comedians, began airing in July 2014.[13]

In April 2014, he began playing the character Dinesh in the HBO sitcom Silicon Valley.[7] He voiced Reggie in the video game The Walking Dead: Season Two.[14]

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 centered around either one or two episodes of the series.[15][16]

On July 30, 2014, Nanjiani appeared on Ken Reid's TV Guidance Counselor Podcast.[citation needed]

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.[17] He is also reprising his role in Season 2 of the same.

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.[18]

In July 2015, Nanjiani provided guest voices on Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero.[19]

In November 2015 he starred in an Old Navy TV commercial together with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Snoop Dogg.[20] In April 2016, he starred in another Old Navy advertisement with SNL cast members Jay Pharoah, Cecily Strong, and Nasim Pedrad.

Personal life[edit]

Nanjiani is married to Emily V. Gordon, an author, comedy producer, and former couples and family therapist. She is the booker and producer of The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, a comedy show that began airing on Comedy Central in July 2014.[citation needed]



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
2013 Hell Baby Cable Guy
2013 Bad Milo Bobbi
2014 The Last of the Great Romantics George the Counter Guy
2014 Sex Tape Punit
2015 Loaded Reza
2015 Hot Tub Time Machine 2 Brad
2015 Addicted to Fresno Damon
2015 Hello, My Name Is Doris Nasir
2015 Hell and Back Dave the Demon Voice
2015 Goosebumps Foreman
2016 Central Intelligence Airfield Security Guard
2016 Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Keanu
2016 Brother Nature Riggleman
2016 Flock of Dudes Ro
2016 The Late Bloomer Rich
2017 The Big Sick Kumail Also writer
2017 Fist Fight Officer Mehar
2017 The Lego Ninjago Movie Jay (voice) Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2008 Saturday Night Live Indian Reporter Uncredited
Episode: "James Franco/Kings of Leon"
2009 The Colbert Report Omar / Homer / Secret Prisoner 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 Dwane / Dwayne 6 episodes
2011–14 Franklin & Bash Pindar Singh 31 episodes
2011–16 Portlandia Various 11 episodes
2012–16 Adventure Time Prismo (voice) 7 episodes
2013–15 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 28 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"
2014–16 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"
2014–15 Bob's Burgers Skip (voice) Episodes: "Best Burger"; "Glued, Where's My Bob?"
2014–15 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 Episodes: "Pilot"; "Full Circle"
2016 The X-Files Pasha Episode: "Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster"
2016 Animals. Rusty (voice) Episode: "Dogs."
2016 Harmonquest Eddie Lizard Episode: "The Dragons Quest."

Video games[edit]

Year Title Voice role
2013 The Walking Dead: Season Two Reggie
2015 Fight Haver (Fast Drive) Fight Haver
2017 Mass Effect: Andromeda[21]


Year Title Role Notes
2017 Game Grumps Himself 1 episode


  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. ^ Wolinsky, David (August 23, 2007). "Kumail Nanjiani · Interview". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  4. ^ Nanjiani, Shereen (September 1, 2012). "Extended Interview with Kumail Nanjiani". Shereen. BBC Radio Scotland. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  5. ^ Allison, Kevin (February 11, 2013). "Live From San Francisco!". Risk!. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Interview with Comedian Kumail Nanjiani '01". Grinnell College. September 22, 2010. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ Baker, Ali; Nanjiani, Kumail (July 15, 2012). "#1 Steve Agee". The Indoor Kids. Nerdist Industries. Retrieved January 31, 2016. 
  9. ^ "The Kings of Summer Red-Band Trailer". Collider.com. May 20, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2014. 
  10. ^ Cruz, Lenika (January 14, 2015). "Bed, Bath, and Bong Rips: The Glorious Return of Broad City". The Atlantic. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  11. ^ Sims, David (July 23, 2013). "Kumail Nanjiani: Beta Male". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  12. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (June 20, 2013). "Comedy Central Greenlights 'The Meltdown With Jonah and Kumail'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  13. ^ "The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail". NerdmeltLA.com. Retrieved June 29, 2014. 
  14. ^ Casey, Dan (May 13, 2014). "Game Review: The Walking Dead Season 2: In Harm's Way". Nerdist Industries. Retrieved May 27, 2014. 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ "The X-Files Files". iTunes. Retrieved July 23, 2014. 
  17. ^ Xbox Wire Staff (May 17, 2015). "Halo 5: Guardians #HuntTheTruth – Has the Master Chief Gone AWOL?". News.xbox.com. 
  18. ^ Holmes, Linda (May 6, 2015). "Amy Schumer Puts Her Own Looks On Trial". NPR.org. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  19. ^ "New Listings for Disney XD – July 2015". The Disney Driven Life. June 30, 2015. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  20. ^ Liviu Marica. "Old Navy: Snoopin' Around featurig Snoop Dogg". Daily Commercials. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  21. ^ Kumail Nanjiani: Space Frog. BioWare Base. 15 February 2017. 

External links[edit]