Kumail Nanjiani’s Early Stand-Up Comedy Inspired by Hugh Grant


Kumail Nanjiani’s early stand-up sets were heavily influenced by Hugh Grant’s comedy style.

The actor and comedian is known for his role as programmer Dinesh Chugtai in HBO TV series Silicon Valley and has also won acclaim for his role in autobiographical romcom The Big Sick.

While Kumail grew up in Pakistan and attended college in the U.S., he has now revealed that it was a certain British actor that truly inspired him to pursue a career in comedy.

“I really love (1994 movie) Four Weddings and a Funeral,” he said during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Thursday night (30Nov17). “I watched this at a very impressionable age and at the beginning of the movie, Hugh Grant is the best man at one of the weddings and he does his best man speech. And it’s basically a monologue, it’s basically a stand-up piece, he’s doing jokes.”

Kumail explained that he “fell in love” with stand-up comedy after watching the classic movie, which also features Andie MacDowell, Kristin Scott Thomas and Rowan Atkinson. However, the film may have affected his life just a little too much.

“When I watch early videos of me doing stand-up, I’m basically doing an impression of Hugh Grant at wedding one of Four Weddings and a Funeral,” the 39-year-old laughed.

Kumail admitted that he once even tried to replicate Hugh’s signature hairstyle, and even followed his advice on what to do when posing for photos.

“He said it makes his face look fat, and I was like, ‘I don’t want my face to look fat. I want to look like Hugh Grant.‘ So, I didn’t smile in pictures for many years,” he added.