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Kumail Nanjiani

On his only day off in what seems like months and on the eve of the shooting of an HBO pilot with one of his idols, Mike Judge, comedian Kumail Nanjiani finally came by after more than two years of trying to schedule a podcast appearance. (We thought it was a year and actually our first correspondence was January 2011, which is nuts.) And while he’s a kind man to acknowledge just how much I myself am out of LA, it’s clear to see why this man is so hard to pin down. Because he lets his cell phone deactivate every month. Ha. No, that’s the old Kumail. He’s doing recurring or regular roles on Veep and Portlandia, co-hosting perhaps the hottest weekly comedy show in LA (Meltdown), recording a podcast w/ his wife (Emily), and writing and performing standup all over the country (The United States of America). We talk about when puns work, why it’d be better to find a snake in your house than a ghost, why Groundhog Day is such a psychologically great movie, the differences and similarities of baseball & cricket, what a real-life gunshot sounds like, how computer science and philosophy are similar both to each other and also to comedy, the moving goalposts of success, whose approval he seeks, who has it figured out, whether comedy is a meritocracy, the evolution of the definitions of nerds-geeks-dorks, the link between bureaucracy and Nazis, and his advice to the kids out there. You can check him out at kumailnanjiani.com. Or can you? That’s a joke you’ll get once you listen to this truly fun podcast with a hilarious man headed to the top, wherever that may be. Enjoy.

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