Comedian Kumail Nanjiani Just Told the Best Story Ever


Well, congratulations to you. Oh, thank you. I mean, that’s amazing. So you wrote this movie,
which is based on your life. If you haven’t seen “The
Big Sick,” I recommend it. It’s your first screenplay. And it’s getting Oscar
buzz, like I said. The movie was sold at
Sundance for $12 million. And it went on to
become a huge hit. You hosted SNL for
the first time. And you are getting all
kinds of nominations. And I mean, this must feel
amazing to do something like this. It is. I want to clarify, those
$12 million didn’t go to us. We didn’t really
see very much of it. No? But everybody thinks
that, you know, they want us to pay for stuff,
and we can’t quite do it. So if you have something from
my room, I would take that. There they are. Wow, that was very
inspiring, guys. Now I’m here just– I shouldn’t have to follow them. They’re amazing. Why am I– Yeah, you’re doing
all right too, though. I mean, that’s amazing
to write a screenplay, and your first
screenplay to do this– It’s been– this year has
been, last year, personally, a personal triumph and a
global disaster, I think. Yeah, it’s been amazing. My wife and I, we wrote
this movie together. We’d never written a movie. We had no idea if anybody would
ever watch it or anything. And then it’s done really well. So it’s been really exciting. We’ve been– Because the story is– well, we’ll get to that
in the second segment because I want to talk
about other things. But it’s an interesting
life that you’ve both had and the way you met. Now, your wife, do you
talk about her in stand-up? I do a little bit. But you know, she helps
me with my stand-up too. So a lot of the stuff
gets sanded down a little bit in the rewrite. But there’s some stuff like– oh, this happened recently. I was sleeping. And at 4:00 in the morning,
she woke me up, and she’s like, do you smell that? And I go, I smell something. So I go, yeah, I
do smell something. And she goes, what
do you think it is? And I go, I don’t know. And she goes, I
think it’s trouble. And before I could say anything,
she’s got her laptop open, and she’s googling
smells because there’s no Shazam for smells. So what she finds is it’s
probably, in a message board, she finds what it probably is. Probably, it’s just probably
just a wire on fire in one of the walls. And tonight, you’re
all going to perish. So I’m like, let’s take
care of it in the morning. She’s already calling 911. And as she talking
them, I say, please don’t say the phrase “wire
on fire” because it rhymes, and it’s going to make
us look really stupid. So she’s like, it’s
probably not a big deal. There’s this smell, and where
it probably is in the walls, it’s probably a wire ablaze. And I’m like, tell them not to
send fire trucks because it’s nothing. And she goes, don’t
send fire trucks. Four fire trucks show
up 30 seconds later. And then she looks at
me and she goes, not it, which is what we do when
we order food to our house. But if you call 911,
you got to get the door. We hadn’t established that. So now I have to put pants on. This whole story, no pants,
but a full tuxedo top, that way, I’m ready
for any kind of dream. Sure. Good idea. Because I’m ready for a
party or just home time. So I go, I open the door, and
there’s three tall firemen. There are men. They’re taller than
me in every way, physically and spiritually. Because I’m never with men. I’m like, I hang out
with stand-up comedians. It’s whatever this
is, it’s more of this. And I kind of want to yell to
Emily, Emily, they’re real men. There’s men outside our home. It’s exciting. And they go, did you
call about the smell? And I’m like, yeah. They said, you mean the skunk? And I was like, oh! That is what that is. And then there’s this awkward
moment where I have to be like, do you guys want to come inside? And they’re like, no, we’re men. We have to go fight fires. Oh my god. So you have never smelled
a skunk before, obviously. Ellen, I had. But 4:00 in the morning,
skunk smell different. I see.

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