Kumail Nanjiani looks stylish in green leather jacket and neon shirt as he promotes Welcome to Chippendales – and shares heartwarming story about meeting his idol Robin Williams
The Harold and Kumar star, 44, wore a bright yellow button-up shirt with white circular designs under a green leather jacket with green pants and brown leather shoes.
His new limited series, Welcome to Chippendales, is a wild crime saga, based on the true story behind the man-tastic, sex-god, abs party that grew into a global phenomenon.
The View guest: Kumail Nanjiani, 44, was spotted as he left The View in New York City on Wednesday where he talked up his new film, Welcome to Chippendales, while sharing the heartwarming moment he met his hero Robin Williams
Describing his character, Kumail said, ‘So, the guy who created Chippendales… he was this Indian immigrant, I didn’t know the story, a lot of wild stuff happened behind the scenes.’
He added, ‘People got murdered over Chippendales. He was setting fires to other male strip clubs because he thought they were stealing his ideas, so you know, I had no idea so much wild stuff happens.’
Nanjianai had to stretch outside his comfort zone to play the role of a shady character who gets angry.
Coming from a comedic background, Kumail explained that he drew inspiration from his hero Robin Williams who also began his career as a stand-up comedian but later famously portrayed more serious, darker characters.
Kumail said: ‘H’s sort of a bad guy, you know, he’s a dark character, you know and when I look at the people that sort of inspired me to do comedy in the first place, someone I think of a lot is Robin Williams.
‘He’s great, and when I think of people who started off as stand-up and ended up doing dark, dramatic roles, it’s very hard to beat the level that he achieved in all those different areas.
Dapper: Nanjiani wore a bright yellow button-up shirt with white circular designs under a green leather jacket with green pants and brown leather shoes
‘And I was like, “If my heroes are doing this, I have to at least try to follow in their footsteps.” I have been a fan of his my entire life.
‘Actually, my wife and I used to do a comedy show in LA in the back of this comic book store, just a tiny little show. And one day I was hosting and I came backstage and Robin Williams was standing there.
‘And I was like, “Hi, I’m Kumail.” And he’s like, “Hey I’m Robin.”
‘And I’m like, “Yeah! I know! We all know.”
‘And he was cool, you know, wearing a coat and hat, and I was like, “Do you wanna go up on stage?” and he’s said, “Oh, No, I can’t.”
‘And I was like, “Are you sure?” and before I finished, he’s like “I’ll just do 2 minutes.” He went on stage and did 20 minutes, it was amazing, he did so well!’
Whoopi Goldberg added that she met Robin Williams when he was doing comedy in his early years in San Diego at small clubs.
Coming from a comedic background: Nanjianai had to stretch outside his comfort zone to play the role of a shady character who gets angry
Icon: Discussing a legend: After hearing a heartfelt story about the comedy icon, Whoopi Goldberg added that she met Robin Williams when he was doing comedy in his early years in San Diego at small club (Williams pictured 2011)
Kumail added: ‘He came off stage and he was like, “Thank you, I really needed that.” And that meant so much to me to give one of my heroes.’
After discussing his new series he talked about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
The rising star, who grew up in Pakistan, said Thanksgiving is not ‘a thing’ where he’s from.
‘I never really knew about Thanksgiving, now… you know, my parents are obsessed with it. They really are! They are like, “Thanksgiving is coming up, we have to put so much masala on the turkey because we don’t like how it tastes.”
‘I’m like, “You don’t have to eat turkey!”
An American tradition: The rising star, who grew up in Pakistan, said Thanksgiving is not ‘a thing’ where he’s from
’They’re like, “It’s Thanksgiving,” I’m like, “you just got here, it doesn’t have to be turkey!”’
He added that he comes from a great family, and his mother is the best cook he knows.
He comedically said, ‘I don’t want to be controversial and get canceled but I don’t love turkey.’
After causing everyone to laugh he added, ‘if we liked it, we would eat it more than once a year.’
Welcome to Chippendale is now streaming on Hulu.
Not a fan: Kumail said that he comes from a great family, and his mother is the best cook he knows. He comedically added, ‘I don’t want to be controversial and get canceled but I don’t love turkey’