Recently named one of Variety’s ‘10 Comics To Watch’ in 2023 and featured in Vulture’s ‘Comedians You Should and Will Know in 2023,’ Nimesh Patel has captured the comedy world by storm and shows no signs of slowing down.
His latest stand up special ‘Lucky Lefty OR: I Lost My Right Nut And All I Got Was This Stupid Special’ about his experience with testicular cancer is approaching 600K views on YouTube, while his first two stand up specials ‘Jokes To Get You Through Quarantine’ and ‘Thank You China’ have amassed millions of views.
In 2017, he made history as the first Indian-American writer on NBC’s iconic ‘Saturday Night Live,’ earning acclaim from Vanity Fair as the show’s “most-intriguing new hire.” His writing prowess was also showcased at high-profile events like The White House Correspondents Dinner and The Academy Awards, contributing to the success of hosts Hasan Minhaj and Chris Rock.
In this exclusive interview with TheGuttural, Patel opens up about his journey, discussing his nationwide ‘Fast & Loose’ standup tour with Live Nation, his upcoming appearance in Netflix’s ‘Verified Stand Up’, and more.
Nimesh Patel Discusses Nationwide ‘Fast & Loose’ Tour
“Early in my career, Maz Jabroni, Michael Che, they brought me to a lot of theaters very early. And back then, I was like, ‘God damn, this is crazy,’” reminisced Patel when asked about what it’s like to headline theaters.
“I was at Warner Theater this past weekend, and that’s probably one of the first theaters I ever did… and I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is huge,’ like 12 years ago… And when I walked in on Friday, not in an arrogant way, I felt like, ‘Oh yeah, this is it,’ and just hung out and had a good time. Maybe the world has gotten smaller, or I’ve gotten bigger—whatever it is. It feels cool to be able to do that. I feel very humbled and honored that I get to do all that.”
Patel continued, explaining why the tour is called ‘Fast & Loose’.
“The reason it’s called ‘Fast & Loose’ is because… when I went into ‘Thank You China’ and ‘Lucky Lefty’, I had approached with the idea that at the end of the tour I’m going to put a special out… This ‘Fast & Loose’ tour is an evolving piece of work where I’m dropping stuff I was doing three or four months ago… it’s an evolving piece in terms of keeping it around an hour of my best stuff, and keeping it air tight, or pertinent to the audience. Right now, I’m talking a lot about therapy and anger issues, and what’s going on around the world in terms of Israel and Palestine, and so obviously that’s going to evolve and change. And the more I dive deeper into my own anger issues and my own therapy and my own views on Indian America, the bits will come together and stuff will be dropping and coming back in again—it’s ‘Fast & Loose’ for a reason.”
Being Named 10 Comics to Watch and Compared to Dave Chappelle
When asked about his reaction to being named among Variety’s ‘10 Comics to Watch’ Patel said he felt honored and that it was dope of them to do that. He’s also earned high praise from Vulture who wrote, “His jokes feature cheeky turns reminiscent of Dave Chappelle.”
“It’s high praise to be mentioned in the same sentence as one of the greats. Obviously, I’m trying to carve out my own voice, but it’s not a bad thing to notice influences. There’s definitely Dave, there’s definitely Patrice [O’Neal]… I just saw Adam Sandler do stand up this past weekend, and now I’m like, ‘I want to be Adam Sandler.’” joked Patel. “I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Sandler do stand up, I loosely know him and hopefully he can verify he knows me, but I had a great time. Just mind blown on what comedy can be and the feeling he can create in an audience. So hopefully I’m going to be chasing that for a while.”
Nimesh Patel to Appear in Netflix’s ‘Verified Stand Up’
What Patel won’t be chasing is his first appearance on Netflix as he’ll catch that when ‘Verified Stand Up’ releases. After accomplishing so much as a writer on SNL, and in self-produced lanes, Patel noted he doesn’t approach preparing for a Netflix taping differently than he would for anything else.
“I try to remain consistent. I am true to the material and I think that’s what shines the most on these platforms, when you can see the person is who they are, regardless of the situation,” he explained.
Fans of Nimesh Patel can purchase tickets to watch him live during his ‘Fast & Loose’ tour on his official website. They can also subscribe to him on YouTube, and see him in Netflix’s ‘Verified Stand Up’ on November 28.