Who is Nasim Pedrad? Find out about her career and role on Saturday Night Live

Nasim Pedrad is an actress, writer, and comedian. She was born in Iran to Iranian parents but had to migrate to the United States when she was only three years old. She, however, got her shot at stardom for performing on Saturday Night Live (SNL) for five consecutive seasons from 2009 down to 2014.

They say if you want to change, you are going to have to work for it. Nothing good comes from just laying idly by, and Pedrad is simply another example of a go-getter.

She has since starred in a couple of movies including, the animated comedy “Despicable Me 2” and the musical fantasy “Aladdin” (2019). and a host of others.

She’s now engrossed in the pilot program of her own show, “Chad”, where she hopes to share the reality of a Persian teenager desperately trying to fit in with his peers and be accepted by any means necessary.

10 need to know facts about Nasim Pedrad

  1. Nasim Pedrad is an accomplished actress, comedian, and writer who excelled as a cast on Saturday Night Live.
  2. She is an immigrant from Tehran, Iran, to the United States, where she is now a citizen.
  3. She has only one known sibling, Nina Pedrad, an actress, producer, and writer.
  4. Nasim Pedrad graduated from the University of California and UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television in 2003, becoming a member of the UCLA Spring Sing Company.
  5. She customarily performed her one-woman show “Me, Myself & Iran” at a training centre in central Chicago early on in her career.
  6. She earned recognition in 2007 when her show was selected for the 2007 HBO Comedy Festival in Las Vegas, and it also won Best Comedic Performance of the Year by LA Weekly.
  7. As a writer, Nasim Pedrad looks up to Tina Fey, who encouraged her to audition for Saturday Night Live.
  8. Nasim Pedrad is unmarried and without any children yet.
  9. She can make impressions, and she did make impressions of famous people like Kim Kardashian, Arianna Huffington, and Aziz Ansari, among many others on Saturday Night Live.
  10. Nasim has her own show, “Chad”, currently airing on TBS, where she plays the title character and tries to share the reality of immigrant kids around the world.

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Early life, family, and educational background

 

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Nasim Pedrad was born in Iran on 18 November 1981 to Arasteh Amani and Parviz Pedrad. Her family, however, had to leave Iran for the United States of America when she was two years old.

Things didn’t work out as planned, as only her father was able to successfully get into the US then. Nasim Pedrad and her mum had to go stay over in Germany, but the entire family was reunited in America in 1984 when Pedrad was three.

Nasim’s parents were predominantly Muslims, and the children were raised in the faith. Yeah, she had a younger sister named Nina, but no brother(s) except some cousins.

Nasim and her sister Nina were raised in Irvine, California, and both attended and graduated from University High School.

Nina Pedrad at the 93rd Academy Awards 2021
Nina Pedrad at the 93rd Academy Awards 2021

Nasim has always been passionate about comedy and the show business since a very young age. She graduated from UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television in 2003, becoming a member of the UCLA Spring Sing Company.

Career

Talk about range, and you definitely cannot exclude the talented Nasim Pedrad. She always manages to handle characters that could have fallen flat in lesser hands well. Either she’s acting as the sweet, tough and slightly madcap Aly Nelson on the “New Girl” sitcom, or as the disturbed and complicated Gigi Caldwell on the horror-comedy “Scream Queens”, Pedrad always finds layers in characters she had to play.

Also, take for instance her role as sensible Dalia in the musical fantasy “Aladdin”, as well as a variety of eccentric characters on Saturday Night Live, Pedrad always comes through.

She’s honed her craft as an actress, a producer, a writer, as well as a comedian properly, and it all began several years ago.

She started out as a performer with the Sunday Compan at The Groundlings, a sketch comedy troupe and school based in Los Angeles, California, formed by Gary Austin in 1974.

Nasim Pedrad became famous after performing her one-woman show “Me, Myself & Iran” at a training centre in central Chicago, the Los Angeles divisions of ImprovOlympic and the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, early in her career.

Her efforts didn’t go to waste as the show was selected for the 2007 HBO Comedy Festival in Las Vegas.

Nasim was also awarded an award for Best Comedic Performance of the Year by LA Weekly as the lead character in the comedy show “After School Special”, where she did funny impressions of characters.

She, however, made a transition to movies and got her first appearance on television on an episode of “Gilmore Girls”. She also made a guest appearance on “The Winner” in 2007 while on the “ER” series, she had a recurring role as Nurse Suri.

Additionally, Nasim Pedrad appeared as a guest on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” in 2009.

Saturday Night Live (SNL)

Nasim Pedrad’s fame grew in multiple folds after she joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 2009. This milestone achievement came during the 35th season of the TV show, making her one of the few non-North America-born cast on the show.

Pedrad with Charlize Theron on Saturday Night Live
Pedrad with Charlize Theron on Saturday Night Live.

According to TVGuide, Tina Fey encouraged her to audition for Saturday Night Live after watching Nasim Pedrad’s stage act.

Pedrad, coming from a background where she was awarded an award for Best Comedic Performance of the Year, decided to make impressions of Victoria Beckham, Dora the Explorer, and Superior Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor during her audition.

For the first two years, Nasim was a featured cast on SNL. However, she became a repertory player in the show’s 2011-2012 season.

During her time on the show, Nasim Pedrad showed the world what a talented comedian she was. She would make impressions of famous people like Kim Kardashian, Arianna Huffington, and Aziz Ansari, among many others on the show.

But, Nasim left SNL in the autumn of 2014 because a new work surfaced. She had to work on a new Fox sitcom “Mulaney”, which the studio shut down prematurely by reducing the number of episodes from 16 to 13 on 18 October 2014.

Her time on Saturday Night Live was a moment to enjoy, though. She was on the show long enough, five whole seasons (2009-2014), and in all that time, she had made it the most sought-after comedic actor in Hollywood.

Who is hosting SNL tonight?

The Emmy Award-winning late-night comedy showcase has recently wrapped up its 46th season. The season, however, premiered on 3 October 2020 with host Chris Rock opening the season alongside his musical guest Megan Thee Stallion, while the season ended on 22 May 2021 with Anya Taylor-Joy as host and Lil Nas X as the musical guest.

Other notable works

Nasim Pedrad is known as an actress, writer, and comedian, and although her sister Nina Pedrad is more famous for her work behind the scenes, Nasim is the opposite.

She’s practically featured in every form of acting that there is. Back in 2011, she was a recurring voice on the Fox animated series “Allen Gregory”. Also, in 2011, Nasim appeared in the film “No Strings Attached”, although she was given a small role in it. By 2012, she got another voice role as support in the animated feature film ” The Lorax”, followed by yet another small appearance in “The Dictator”.

It seemed the cycle was beginning to repeat itself as Pedrad got another gig in 2013, a supporting voice role, in “Despicable Me 2”.

Fox offered her a recurring guest role as LAPD officer Aly Nelson on the Fox sitcom “New Girl” from 2015 to 2018, and she also portrayed Gigi Caldwell in Season One of the Fox horror-comedy “Scream Queens”.

Nasim Pedrad has also appeared in several TV commercials. In 2016, she and comedian Kumail Nanjiani were in a commercial for Old Navy. Cecily Strong and Jay Pharoah from SNL were also featured in the commercial.

TBS comedy series “People of Earth”, was Pedrad’s next destination, and she joined the cast in 2017 during its second season. She also made guest appearances on Curb Your Enthusiasm and Brooklyn Nine-Nine much later in 2017. The actress played a role in the Netflix film “Desperados”, starring as Wesley.

Chad television show

Over the years, Nasim Pedrad had played various roles on TV shows and the likes, but in 2021, her own new TBS show, “Chad“, debuted on 6 April.

She decided to create this show because there was none on American TV, while she was growing up as an immigrant kid, that ever portrayed the Iranian people in a positive light, and she needed to demonstrate how much diversity there is even within the Middle Eastern community.

During an interview with VanityFair, she claimed people from the Middle East were either portrayed as villains or terrorists in movies or other stereotypes for a white hero to vanquish.

Instead, she played the title character, Chad, a 14-year-old Persian boy desperately trying to fit in with his peers and be accepted by any means necessary, bring her own experiences as a kid caught between worlds to the character.

Nasim Pedrad (Middle) as the character 'Chad' in her TV show Chad
Nasim Pedrad (Middle) as the character ‘Chad’ in her TV show Chad

Chad is not only focused on the struggles of a Persian immigrant kid. She believes it is universal as almost every immigrant kid goes through the same situation at some point or the other.

“I think when you’re an immigrant kid, the component of being foreign almost just adds one extra obstacle in your effort to be accepted by your peers,” she said.

Personal life

Nasim Pedrad is an immigrant from Tehran, Iran and much of her personal life is relatively unknown. She is not married and therefore, there is no one carrying the title of Nasim Pedrad husband at this time.

What we do know is that her parents migrated to America with Nasim and her sister, Nina Pedrad, in the 80s. She has no brother(s) but has a few cousins who are pictured with her and Nina below.

Nasim Pedrad (left) and her cousins
Nasim Pedrad (left) and her cousins

Just like many immigrant kids, Nasim struggled to fit into the new culture she was being introduced to as a child coming from another world entirely.

She discovered she wanted to do comedy at a young age, and she alleged that it was her way of trying to fit in at school because she had a weird name and her parents had accents.

She keeps a lot of her personal information private, but we know she and her sister, Nina, were raised in Irvine, California, and graduated from University High School. Nasim attended the University of California and later graduated from UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television in 2003.

Nina Pedrad

Talk about keeping a low profile, and Nina would be a pro at that. You can hardly find the bulk of information on her online, however, she’s always loved being behind the scenes.

She’s forged a career for herself as a producer and writer, known for the award-winning movie “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (2020), “30 Rock” (2006), and “New Girl” (2011).

Nina is not active on social media, and as of this publication, we have no verified official social media account that directly points to her. You hardly find her in public, and we cannot confirm whether she is single or married.

Nissan

You might be wondering why we have this title here. Well, let us break it down for you. We discussed earlier how immigrant kids have a tough time in other countries such as the United States.

She once recounted how she would be referred to as ‘Nissan’ Pedrad instead of Nasim Pedrad during her early years in America.

According to the New York Times, Pedrad said, “I was just this awkward creature with jet-black arm hair and a name that people mistakenly called Nissan. I was desperately trying to learn what high-school politics were about.”

Net Worth

Nassim Pedrad has an estimated net worth of over $3 million.

Conclusion

Growing up as an immigrant kid in America might not be the worst thing, but it isn’t one of the best for most either. Nasim Pedrad, however, would note that one of the reasons she is who she is today was because of some of the experiences she had to live with as that immigrant kid many years ago.

Credit should also be given to her for not letting society break her spirit. It’s why she has achieved all the success that comes with being a comedian, actress, and writer. You may also like one of our recent articles on Who is Adam Sandler wife, Jackie Sandler? – See movies, facts and children.

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