We're only halfway through 2014, but it's official: Kumail Nanjiani is having a good year. While many may recognize him from shows like Franklin & Bash or Portlandia, Nanjiani gained more fans this spring as one of the stars of arguably the best new comedy on television, HBO's Silicon Valley. Later this year, he'll be co-hosting a new show on Comedy Central, The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail. This week, he'll be showing up at Wits and performing standup at Mill City Nights. As a long-time comedian, actor, and writer, Nanjiani has appeared on countless late-night talk shows and podcasts, giving fans the chance to connect with him on a more personal level. "It's weird, because people hear me on podcasts or see me on TV, and they feel like they know me. They sort of do," he says. "I try keep some of my personal life separate from who I am as a comedian or an actor, but it inevitably bleeds in." Has it been a weird year, Kumail? "Maybe. But it's also been pretty great." Admission to the Mill City Nights (111 N. Fifth St., Minneapolis; 612-333-3422) performance at 9 p.m. Thursday is $20. Wits at the Fitzgerald (10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul; 651-290-1200) features musical guest Valerie June, and tickets are $29 to $45 for the 8 p.m. Friday, June 20 show.
Thu., June 19, 9 p.m., 2014