When: Thu., July 5, 8 p.m. 2012
So shy as a kid that he “wouldn't even talk to people at the grocery store,” Kumail Nanjiani started telling jokes at open mic nights while he was still in college. But despite spending his first 18 years in Pakistan, Nanjiani rarely delves into stereotype humor — especially after receiving death threats for some of the jokes in his 2006 one-man show, Unpronounceable. For the past several years, he has toured with the likes of Stella, Eugene Mirman, and Zach Galifianakis, and has had several supporting movie roles. “Acting and stand-up are more similar than you would think,” says Nanjiani who has a role on the TNT show Franklin and Bash. “They both require being in the moment and reacting to a situation.” Nanjiani’s new one-hour Comedy Central special will air in September, but he doesn't have a name for it yet. “That's the part I'm worst at. I'll think of a name at the last minute and that's what it will be — and I'll end up hating it.” Nanjiani makes his Cleveland debut tonight at 8 at Hilarities, where he’ll be performing throughout the weekend. But if you keep your eyes peeled, you might spot him at other local hotspots like the casino or the zoo. “I act like such a tourist when I'm in a new place!” Tickets range from $15 to $23. Get them by phone, online, or at the box office.