Born to an Indian father and a Japanese mother in America, Dan Nainan is everything but an ordinary comedian. He doesn’t watch television, dislikes smoking, and definitely says no to alcohol. This ‘weird’ comedian would rather derive inspiration from reading newspapers, conversing with friends, and yes, thinking about funny things. Dan Nainan has had none lesser than the likes of Barrack Obama, Donald Trump, Jerry Seinfeld, Yoko Ono and Alanis Morisette being audience to his crackles. And he is all set to tickle Hyderabad pink.
Sharing his thoughts with us, Nainan speaks about how travelling builds the comedian in him, “I see a significant advantage when I travel to other countries. That is because my comedy is not centered around American pop culture. I think the average American comedian who watches a lot of television would have a disadvantage in other countries.”
What is it about India that makes it a great comical prospect we ask. Says Nainan, “India is an incredible confluence of various factors that makes it fantastic for comedy. With an educated, English-speaking
population that is intelligent and humorous, and an untapped market, especially when it comes to standup comedy in English, India is definitely where the comic action is.” Nainan’s talents are far from
restricted to comedy. He has had his share of limelight acting in The Hoax, as a cello player, and in M Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender as a fire warrior, apart from appearances in TV commercials. He is also a trained pianist who also plays the bass guitar, drums, the cello and the violin.
Nainan cherishes every complement he has received, but highlights his ‘encounter’ with Obama as one of the best in his career. He tells us, “Performing for President Obama was certainly unforgettable, and that just took place a couple of months ago. The best part is when he talked about me on camera afterwards, which you can see on YouTube. Of course, working with Russell Peters helped my career — I wouldn’t be where I am without him. And Jerry Seinfeld told me very early in my career that I should stick with clean comedy, and that really helped me.
On how much of an Indian is ingrained in him, Dan tells us, “Even though my mother is Japanese, everything we did was centered around my father’s group of friends from Kerala, so essentially, I have had more of an Indian upbringing than any other. We went to a Malayalee church, and we went to all of the Kerala cultural events. Even my mother has gotten addicted to mango pickles!”
He loves intelligent audiences and those who love to laugh at themselves — perhaps the reason why he chose to come to Hyderabad. And yes, not to forget, his quest for the famed Hyderabadi Biryani!
Watch him perform live
On: July 18
Where: Novotel Hyderabad
Time: 9pm onwards
Duration: 90 minutes