Aasif Mandvi

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Aasif Mandvi
Aasif Mandvi, Clay Theatre, San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival 2010.jpg
Born Aasif Hakim Mandviwala
(1966-03-05) March 5, 1966 (age 50)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Occupation Actor, comedian, writer
Years active 1995–present
Religion Ismaili Shia Islam
Website Official website

Aasif Hakim Mandviwala[1] (born March 5, 1966), known professionally as Aasif Mandvi (/ˈɑːsf ˈmɑːndv/, AH-sif MAHND-vee), is an Indian-American actor and comedian. He began appearing as an occasional contributing correspondent on The Daily Show on August 9, 2006. On March 12, 2007, he was promoted to a regular correspondent.[2] He is the lead actor, co-writer and producer of the web series Halal In The Family which premiered on "Funny or Die" in 2015 and an actor, writer and co-producer of the HBO comedy series The Brink. Mandvi is also the author of the book No Land's Man.[3]

Early life[edit]

Mandvi was born in Bombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra, India,[4] to a Dawoodi Bohra[5] Muslim family.[1] His family moved to England, settling, when he was a year old, in the West Yorkshire city of Bradford, where his father, Hakim, had originally come to work in textiles research at Bradford University,[6] and later ran a corner shop, while his mother, Fatima, was a nurse.[7][8] Although Mandvi identifies himself as a "working-class kid from Bradford", he attended the independent Woodhouse Grove School.[7] His father grew frustrated with Margaret Thatcher's Britain and moved his family to Tampa, Florida when Mandvi was 16.[7]



After graduating from the University of South Florida with a degree in Theatre,[9] Mandvi worked as a performer at Disney-MGM Studios at Walt Disney World Resort.[1] He later moved to New York City where he began appearing in off-Broadway productions. During this time, he was active in the band Cowboys and Indian. He won an Obie Award for his critically acclaimed one-man show Sakina's Restaurant.[10]

On Broadway, Mandvi appeared as Ali Hakim in the 2002 revival of Oklahoma! directed by Trevor Nunn.[11] He also appeared in the play Homebody/Kabul by Tony Kushner. He portrayed Fritz Haber in the off-Broadway play Einstein's Gift.

Mandvi played Melchior in On the Razzle by Tom Stoppard at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and appeared in the docudrama Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom at the Culture Project. In 2012 Mandvi starred in Disgraced at Lincoln Center's Claire Tow Theater. He played the lead role of Amir, a Pakistani American lawyer struggling with his identity and Islam in the drama by Ayad Akhtar. The play went on to win the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.[12]


Mandvi made his television debut as a doorman at the Miami Biltmore Hotel in the episode "Line of Fire" of the series Miami Vice. He has since appeared in numerous television shows including ER, The Sopranos, Sex and the City, CSI, Oz, Ed, The Bedford Diaries, Jericho, Sleeper Cell and various editions of Law & Order, including Criminal Intent, Special Victims Unit and Trial by Jury. He was the book reader for audio editions of Salman Rushdie's Shalimar the Clown (2005) and V. S. Naipaul's Magic Seeds (2004). In 2011 he appeared in Taco Bell commercials.

In 2006, Mandvi auditioned for The Daily Show. He was hired immediately and appeared on the show the same day.[1] Mandvi became a regular correspondent in 2007. He often appears in segments satirizing and commenting on Islamic, Middle-Eastern, and South-Asian-related issues with such titles as "Senior Asian Correspondent," "Senior Middle East Correspondent," "Senior Foreign Looking Correspondent," and "Senior Muslim Correspondent."

In 2013, Mandvi was cast in a recurring role on the FOX romantic comedy, Us & Them.[13]

In October 2013, during a segment on The Daily Show, Mandvi's interview with Don Yelton led to Yelton's resignation from the North Carolina Republican Party office.[14]

In November 2014, he appeared on The Dan Patrick Show. On the show, he revealed the story from his book No Land's Man where his father moved his family to the U.S. because the U.S. has brunch.[15]

Beginning in June 2015, Mandvi portrayed Rafiq Massoud in the HBO comedy series "The Brink". Mandvi also serves as a writer and co-producer on the series.[16] In April 2015, Mandvi appeared on Person of Interest as Sulaiman Khan, the CEO of a software security firm.

In 2016, Mandiv joined the climate change documentary show Years of Living Dangerously as one of its celebrity correspondents. [17]


Mandvi played minor roles in the films The Siege and Die Hard with a Vengeance as well as the title role in Merchant Ivory Productions' film The Mystic Masseur. He had a major supporting role in the independent film American Chai, playing the lead character's roommate, "Engineering Sam." He played the doctor who diagnosed Paul Vitti's (Robert De Niro) panic attacks in Analyze This, and had a role as Mr. Aziz of "Joe's Pizza" in Spider-Man 2. He was also in commercials by Domino's Pizza and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). He played the tone deaf doorman Khan in Music and Lyrics.

Mandvi played a dentist alongside Ricky Gervais in the 2008 romantic comedy Ghost Town, as well as office employee Bob Spaulding in The Proposal, starring Sandra Bullock. Today's Special, which Mandvi co-wrote with Jonathan Bines, premiered at the London Film Festival in October 2009 and New York's Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival on November 11, 2009.[18] He appeared in It's Kind of a Funny Story, a coming-of-age film written and directed by Anna Boden with Ryan Fleck, adapted from the 2006 novel by Ned Vizzini.[19] He also co-starred as a Guantanamo captive in the film The Response, a script based on the transcripts of Combatant Status Review Tribunals convened in Guantanamo in 2004.[20] In M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender (released in 2010) he played a major role as Commander Zhao. Mandvi played the role of Mr. Chetty in the 2013 comedy The Internship, which starred Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson and portrayed Ash Vasudevan in the 2014 film Million Dollar Arm.

Charity work[edit]

Mandvi is involved with disaster-relief organizations such as the charity initiative Relief 4 Pakistan, which assists in flood relief in Pakistan. In 2010, he hosted the "Stand Up for Religious Freedom" comedy event to raise money for the organization.[21] After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, he performed with fellow Daily Show correspondent Wyatt Cenac at Conan O'Brien's "I'm with Coco" Benefit for earthquake victims. He is also a supporter of the Endometriosis Foundation of America.



Year Film Role Notes
1990 No Retreat, No Surrender 3: Blood Brothers Terrorist
1995 Law & Order "Khan" Video Store Employee Season 5 Episode 14: "Performance"
Die Hard with a Vengeance Arab Cabbie
1996 Eddie Mohammed
Nash Bridges Aziz Kadim Television Series
1997 Law & Order Gulab Singh Season 7 Episode 17: "Showtime"
1998 The Siege Khalil Saleh
1999 Hook'd Up Indian Guy
Analyze This Dr. Shulman
Gofer Gorby
Random Hearts Electronics Store Salesman
ABCD Ashok
2001 3 A.M. Singh
2002 American Chai Engineering Sam
The Mystic Masseur Ganesh
Book of Kings Dr. Mitra
Oz Dr. Faraj
2003 Undermind Shark/Roger
2004 Spider-Man 2 Mr. Aziz
Law & Order: Criminal Intent Sateesh Inert Dwarf
2005 Sorry, Haters Hassan
The War Within Abdul
Law & Order: Trial by Jury Judge Samir Patel Bang & Blame, Baby Boom
2006 Freedomland Dr. Anil Chatterjee
The Sopranos Dr. Abu Bilal 1 Episode
Sleeper Cell Khalid Television series
2006–2008 Jericho Dr. Kenchy Dhuwalia Television series
2006–present The Daily Show Himself Television series
2007 Music and Lyrics Khan
2008 Peroxide Passion Beaumond
Eavesdrop Don
The Understudy Sarfras
Ghost Town Dr. Prashar
2009 The Proposal Bob Spaulding
Today's Special Samir Also screenwriter
2010 It's Kind of a Funny Story Dr. Mahmoud
The Last Airbender Commander Zhao
2011 Margin Call Ramesh Shah
Dark Horse Mahmoud
Curb Your Enthusiasm Guy in elevator Television series, Episode 10
2012 Premium Rush Raj
The Dictator Doctor
Ruby Sparks Cyrus Modi
2013 Movie 43 Robert Segment "iBabe"
The Internship Mr. Roger Chetty
2014 Us & Them Dave Coaches Television series
Million Dollar Arm Ash Vasudevan
Lennon or McCartney Himself Short documentary film; interview clip[22]
2015 Madam Secretary Prince Yousif Obaid Series 1, Episode 13: "Chains of Command"
Person of Interest Suleiman Khan Season 4 Episode 19: "Search & Destroy"
The Brink Rafiq Massoud Television series, also producer and writer[23][24]
Halal In The Family Aasif Qu'osby Web series
2016 Blazing Samurai Ichiro Filming
Mother's Day Russell


Year Film Notes
2009 Today's Special



Year Title Role Notes
1993 Suburbia Norman Chaudry
1995 Death Defying Acts Delivery Boy In one-act "Hotline"
1997 Crosscurrents Paul
1998 Sakina's Restaurant One man play
2002 Oklahoma! Ali Hakim Revival
2012 Disgraced Amir Kapoor Lincoln Center/LCT3


Year Title Notes
1998 Sakina's Restaurant
2014 No Land's Man

Published works[edit]

  • Mandvi, Aasif (2014). No Land's Man. Chronicle Books. ISBN 978-1452107912. 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Deggans, Eric (June 1, 2008). "For Aasif Mandvi, cultural irreverence on 'The Daily Show'". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on December 14, 2008. Retrieved November 7, 2008. 
  2. ^ "COMEDY CENTRAL'S "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART" TAPS AASIF MANDVI TO JOIN THE "DAILY SHOW" NEWS TEAM AS A CORRESPONDENT" (Press release). Comedy Central. March 12, 2007. Retrieved November 7, 2008. 
  3. ^ "No Land's Man: Aasif Mandvi". 
  4. ^ Kilachand, Tara (May 31, 2008). "'In the US, they say Indians are always laughing'". Livemint. Retrieved November 7, 2008. 
  5. ^ "'Interview with The Last Airbender's Aasif Mandvi: Part II'". 
  6. ^ "NPR Media Player". npr.org. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c Sarfraz Manzoor (June 7, 2009). "'I get to sit on the fence between cultures': Sarfraz Manzoor talks to Aasif Mandvi, the Daily Show's 'fake news' correspondent". The Guardian. 
  8. ^ Deggans, Eric (31 May 2008). "For Aasif Mandvi, cultural irreverence on 'The Daily Show'". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  9. ^ "'Asif Mandvi – Biography'". IMDB. December 7, 2011. 
  10. ^ "25 NEW FACES OF INDEPENDENT FILM". Filmmaker Magazine. 2008. Retrieved November 7, 2008. 
  11. ^ Horwitz, Simi (March 29, 2002). "Aasif Mandvi: Giving Broadway a Persian Hello". Backstage. Retrieved November 7, 2008. 
  12. ^ Associated Press (April 16, 2013). "Ayad Akhtar's 'Disgraced,' play about a dinner party gone awry, wins Pulitzer Prize for drama". Washington Post. 
  13. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "Aasif Mandvi & Michael Ian Black Join New Fox Series 'Us & Them'". Deadline. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  14. ^ "GOP's Don Yelton Resigns After 'Lazy Blacks' Remark on 'Daily Show'". 
  15. ^ Aasif Mandvi on The Dan Patrick Show (Full Interview) 11/14/2014 on YouTube
  16. ^ "Why Aasif Mandvi never wanted to fill Jon Stewart's shoes - New York Post". New York Post. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Critically Acclaimed Climate Change Series "Years of Living Dangerously" Comes to Nat Geo". Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  18. ^ Priyanka Boghani (November 12, 2009). "New York City's Indian Film Festival: MIAAC". Huffington Post. Retrieved November 10, 2009. 
  19. ^ Sciretta, Peter (November 30, 2009). "Ryan Fleck's It's Kind of a Funny Story Begins Production". Archived from the original on June 12, 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2010. 
  20. ^ "New role for 'Daily Show' reporter". MLive. May 9, 2009. Archived from the original on September 5, 2009. 
  21. ^ Fuerstenberg, Brittany. "Aasif Mandvi: Comic Relief for Pakistan". MSNBC. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  22. ^ Falkner, Scott (22 December 2014). "Lennon or McCartney? New Documentary Asks 550 Celebrities Their Preference — See Their Answers". Inquisitr. Retrieved 11 November 2016. 
  23. ^ "Aasif Mandvi Will Write, Co-Produce and Co-Star in HBO Series "The Brink"". Playbill. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  24. ^ Nellie Andreeva. "Aasif Mandvi Joins HBO Pilot 'The Brink'; Katherine LaNasa In USA's Sean Jablonski - Deadline". Deadline. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 

External links[edit]