Comedian Kumail Nanjiani Did 1st Open Mic in Iowa: "Still the Best Set I Ever Had in My Life"

May 19, 2017

Comedian Kumail Nanjiani is a Los Angeles-based writer, actor, and comedian; and he’s conquering Hollywood as the writer and director of the new romantic comedy, The Big Sick, coming out this July.  

Before his film debuts, he's headed back to Iowa to speak at Grinnell College's commencement ceremony on Monday, May 22nd.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, Nanjiani talks with host Charity Nebbe about the transition from his hometown in Pakistan to Grinnell College in the late 1990s, where he says he first fell in love with stand-up comedy. Nanjiani performed his first comedy set his senior year at Bob's Underground, a coffee shop in Grinnell.

"I was like, 'Alright, I'm going to try it just once, just to see what it feels like,'" he says. "It was, probably, to this day, still the best set I've ever had in my life [...] and I think that the confidence I got from that set sort of sustained me over the first few months of actually doing it in the real world."