Kumail Ali Nanjiani
May 2, 1978
|Education||Grinnell College (BS)|
|Relatives||Shereen Nanjiani (cousin)|
Kumail Ali Nanjiani (/ /; Sindhi: ڪُميل علي ننجياڻي; born May 2, 1978) is a Pakistani-American comedian, actor, and screenwriter. He is primarily known for his role as Dinesh in the HBO comedy series Silicon Valley (2014–2019) and for co-writing and starring in the romantic comedy film The Big Sick (2017). For co-writing the latter with his wife, Emily V. Gordon, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. In 2018, Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Nanjiani has also voiced Prismo on the animated series Adventure Time and starred in the TNT series Franklin & Bash and the Adult Swim series Newsreaders. He also co-hosted the Comedy Central show The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, as well as playing various roles on the comedy series Portlandia. He also starred as the Eternal Kingo in the Marvel Studios superhero film Eternals (2021), which is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Nanjiani grew up in Karachi, the first of two sons of Pakistani Muslim couple Shabana and Aijaz Nanjiani. Nanjiani was raised as a Shia Muslim. The BBC radio presenter Shereen Nanjiani is his second cousin. During his childhood, he lived in Karachi and attended St. Michael's Convent School for his O Levels and graduated from Karachi Grammar School to complete his A Levels, where he was the class-fellow of Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy. At 18, he moved to the U.S. and enrolled at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, where he graduated in 2001 with a double major in computer science and philosophy.
In 2011, Nanjiani 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 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 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 headlined the first episode of the CBS All Access revival of the anthology series The Twilight Zone. For his role on The Twilight Zone, Nanjiani received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. In film, Nanjiani voiced the alien Pawny in Men in Black International, which was released on June 14. Nanjiani 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 also stars in the action-comedy film Stuber, released on July 12. In 2020, Nanjiani lent his voice to Plimpton, an ostrich, in the adventure comedy film Dolittle. He also wrote for and produced the Apple TV+ anthology series Little America, which premiered in January 2020. The series is based on the story collection of the same name from Epic Magazine which focuses on stories from immigrants. To promote the series, Nanjiani appeared at the Apple Event of March 25, 2019. Nanjiani starred with Issa Rae in the comedy-chase film The Lovebirds, directed by Michael Showalter, produced by Paramount Pictures, and released by Netflix in May 2020.
In March 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Nanjiani and his wife Emily Gordon launched a podcast, Staying In with Emily and Kumail. The series chronicles their experiences as a couple forced to live in isolation during the global pandemic. The podcast has been widely acclaimed in the media, as a welcome respite during a period of high anxiety. GQ described it as "consistently endearing, actually useful, and often hilarious." New York magazine relates that "all advice is shared via cute and charming banter."
He starred in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Eternals, as Kingo, which was released on November 5, 2021. Nanjiani received widespread attention and went viral after sharing pictures of his body transformation for the shooting of Eternals in 2019. Speaking with GQ, he noted how he has since become less comfortable to speak about his body due to the intense amount of attention it received online.
In February 2020, Nanjiani signed on to star in The Independent, a political thriller to be directed by Amy Rice. In March 2021, Nanjiani was announced as cast in an upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series for Disney+.
In 2007, Nanjiani married author, producer, and former couples and family therapist Emily V. Gordon at Chicago City Hall. She was the producer of The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail (2014–2016).
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|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 and executive producer|
|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|
|The Lovebirds||Jibran||Also executive producer|
|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"|
|2013||Kumail Nanjiani: Beta Male||Himself||Stand-up special|
|2014–2019||Silicon Valley||Dinesh Chugtai||53 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; also executive producer|
|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"|
|2019–2021||Bless the Harts||Jesus Christ||Voice; Series regular|
|2020||Little America||—||Executive producer and writer|
|2020||Kal Penn Approves This Message||Himself||Episode: "Kal Penn Approves Education"|
|2020||Death to 2020||Bark Multiverse||Television special|
|2021||Big Mouth||Himself||Episode: "No Nut November"|
|2022||Obi-Wan Kenobi||TBA||Post-production; Disney+ limited series|
|2013||The Walking Dead: Season Two||Reggie|
|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; on the same episode as Paul Scheer|
|2019||Achievement Hunter||Himself||1 episode|
|2019||Gay of Thrones||Himself||1 episode; "Gay Of Thrones S8 E4 Recap"|
|2019||Hot Ones||Himself||1 episode|
|2020||Reunited Apart||Himself||1 episode; "Ghostbusters"|
Awards and nominations
- "How to pronounce Kumail Nanjiani?". www.google.com. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
- "Celebrity birthdays for the week of May 2–8". AP NEWS. April 26, 2021. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
- "The 100 Most Influential People in the World". Time. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
- Marie, Jane (May 20, 2014). "The Secret Life of Marrieds: Why We Kept Our Marriage Secret for Years". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
- 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.
- 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.
- "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. Archived from the original on June 24, 2013. 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. Archived from the original on May 17, 2014. 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.
- "TV Guidance Counselor Podcast: TV Guidance Counselor Episode 26: Kumail Nanjiani". TV Guidance Counselor. July 30, 2014. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
- Cruz, Lenika (January 14, 2015). "Bed, Bath, and Bong Rips: The Glorious Return of Broad City". The Atlantic. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
- "Halo 5: Guardians #HuntTheTruth – Has the Master Chief Gone AWOL?". News.xbox.com. May 17, 2015.
- Holmes, Linda (May 6, 2015). "Amy Schumer Puts Her Own Looks On Trial". NPR. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
- "New Listings for Disney XD – July 2015". The Disney Driven Life. June 30, 2015. Retrieved July 1, 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. Archived from the original on December 8, 2017. 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.
- Kilday, Gregg (June 25, 2018). "Academy Invites Record 928 New Members". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
- "'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)" – via YouTube.
- "Kumail Nanjiani to Star Opposite Dave Bautista in Action Comedy 'Stuber' (Exclusive)".
- Haring, Bruce (June 23, 2018). "20th Century Fox Sets Dates For Untitled James Mangold Ferrari Project, Kenneth Branagh's 'Death On The Nile'". Deadline Hollywood.
- "Robert Downey Jr. Unveils Voice Cast for 'Voyage of Doctor Dolittle'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
- Otterson, Joe (June 19, 2018). "Apple Orders 'Little America' Anthology Series From 'Big Sick' Duo, Lee Eisenberg". Variety. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
- Burton, Bonnie. "Kumail Nanjiani's Little America Apple series to look at immigrant life". CNET. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
- Galuppo, Gia (January 17, 2019). "Kumail Nanjiani, Issa Rae to Star in Romantic Comedy 'The Lovebirds' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
- "Podcast: Staying In with Emily and Kumail". Podcast: Staying In with Emily and Kumail. April 18, 2020.
- Spangler, Todd (March 19, 2020). "Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon Debut Podcast About Living Your Best Quarantine Life". Variety. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
- Baron, Zach (March 23, 2020). "Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon Have Some Experience with This". GQ. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
- "This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Emily and Kumail Are Staying In". New York Magazine. March 26, 2020. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
- Kit, Borys (April 5, 2019). "Kumail Nanjiani in Talks to Join Angelina Jolie in Marvel's 'The Eternals' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 5, 2021.
- "Kumail Nanjiani 'very uncomfortable' talking about body since photos went viral". TODAY.com. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
- "Kumail Nanjiani Wrote A Refreshingly Honest Caption About How He Got Jacked". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
- Jung, E. Alex (October 12, 2021). "Kumail Nanjiani's Feelings". Vulture. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
- "How Kumail Nanjiani Got Huge". GQ. October 7, 2021. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
- Kumail Nanjiani to Star in Political Thriller 'The Independent' (Exclusive)
- "Obi-Wan Kenobi Series to Begin Production in April, Cast Revealed". StarWars.com. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
- 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.
- Wolinsky, David (August 23, 2007). "Kumail Nanjiani". The A.V. Club.
- Kumail Nanjiani Comedy, Video Games, and Slaying Dragons Mental Floss.
- "Watch Kumail Nanjiani Take the Ultimate Nerd Test". Interview Magazine. May 1, 2020. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
- 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.
- "Halo 5: Guardians #HuntTheTruth - Has the Master Chief Gone AWOL?". May 17, 2015.
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