thanks for your questions guys. great talking to everyone. cheers- AM

(except don't ask me to tell Jon Stewart that you love him)

Hi guys.

I have a new series coming up on HBO called "The Brink" in June of next year. In the meantime, I'm a correspondent on The Daily Show and my brand-new book, No Land's Man was just released.



Comments: 358 • Responses: 62  • Date: 

BeardedForHerPleasur211 karma

Hey Aasif! In your time on The Daily Show you have played several "Senior ____ Correspondent" roles. Which of these has been your favorite to play, and why?

AasifMandvi772 karma

senior foreign looking correspondent.

BigCrazyIndian142 karma

Thanks for doing this Aasif.

My question: The Last Airbender......why? Were you in a dark place in your life? Did Shamalan hold your family hostage? Was it the money? If you needed money, I would have given you some!

AasifMandvi180 karma

first of all, Airbender was one the most awesome experiences i have ever had making a movie. i'm very glad i got to play that role and got to work with those people. No regrets!

BeardedForHerPleasur106 karma

Second of all?

AasifMandvi159 karma

second of all, i think the film received an unfair level of criticism and that was partly bc of a negative attitude and a thirst for blood towards M.Night. i;m not saying it was the greatest movie in the world but it somehow got singled out more than it deserved.

Slaughterz93111 karma

Hey Aasif big fan of yours! Do you have a particularly fun or memorable piece that you have done as a correspondent on The Daily Show?

AasifMandvi356 karma

asking Gov rick scott to pee in a cup, i wish i could go back and do that again.

c1-10p88 karma

Seriously one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

AasifMandvi98 karma


adhding_nerd79 karma

Aasif, you are definitely my favorite correspondent currently on the show. So what's your favorite bit on the daily show that you were in and what's your favorite bit that you were NOT in?

AasifMandvi174 karma

i loved Oliver's reports from Australia on Gun control.

Metrostars102969 karma

Hey Aasif! Big fan! Throughout your tenure on The Daily Show you have faced a lot of racism and islamophobia, I was wondering if there was any instance of this that particularly stands out to you, maybe something that wasn't even aired on the show? Thank you for doing this AMA and I can't wait to read your book.

AasifMandvi224 karma

thanks. i have not faced anything personally, but I did talk to a woman in tennessee once who when i told her i was muslim, she said not everyone's perfect.

craycraycrayfish59 karma

Hi Aasif! First off, thanks for doing this. I'm a big fan of your work, especially as someone who is a visible minority. There really aren't very many South Asian role models out there, so thank you. My questions for you are:

1) Do you have any advice for visible minorities working in White-dominated fields?

2) How do you balance being South Asian without being typecast as being "The South Asian Guy"? Are you selective about the projects you do and how you portray yourself?

3) Which do you prefer - gulab jamun or jalebi?


AasifMandvi86 karma

1) just use your difference and ethnic specificty as your source of power. 2) i don't really worry about being typecast as the south asian guy, i just try to do great work and stay focused on my work and the things i can control. 3) gulab jamun

craycraycrayfish24 karma

Thanks for the response. Good luck to you in the future, and thanks for not reducing "us" to a stereotype.

AasifMandvi29 karma


robinsky152 karma

What was it like working with Tobey Maguire and Ricky Gervais?

AasifMandvi228 karma

i never worked with them together, but i will say one of them was hilarious, and the other... was ricky gervais.

nkleszcz49 karma

Last year you had a plum role in The Internship, a film which had a lot of potential to be a sly commentary on technology and today's new youth market. Considering the talent that was involved, and the uniqueness of locale, do you have any awesome anecdotes to share in the making of that film?

AasifMandvi122 karma

i heard they wanted to use the google driverless car more in the movie and originally have Vince and Owen crash it, but bc it has not come out yet Google nixed that. also the google campus has some of the best Indian food outside of India.

juddrnaut48 karma

What were your favourite and least favourite interviews to do for the Daily Show? And why do those interviews earn that honour?

AasifMandvi143 karma

my most favourite are when people speak their minds, even if what is in their minds, is nonsense. my worst is with politicians who never speak what is on their minds, but only what is in the talking points.

ReinQZ36 karma

Hi Aasif! Glad to see you back on TDS after not being on the show for a while. Can you talk about The Brink? What's it about?

AasifMandvi83 karma

its a geopolitical comedy, each season we follow in real time a global crisis playing out. we see it through the eyes of the state dept, the military and the foreign service. it's dr strangelove meets mash.

SugarLemonSquares34 karma

Hello dearest Aasif! Thanks so much for taking the time to do this AMA!

I am a white American and my ex is an Indo-Muslim-Kenyan-American. My ex felt that if I didn’t convert, his family in Kenya would shun him and that he would lose so many connections to where he came from. He doesn’t want to let go of who he is, but neither do I. I imagine it’s hard enough to keep your identity living in one country but identifying with multiple others, but in your opinion (or experience), how can you keep from losing yourself in an interfaith/intercultural relationship?

AasifMandvi66 karma

i think it's hard. culture and religion often define us, and we have to find a new definition of who we are in interfaith or intercultural relationships. thats not always easy.

shouldbeworking2334 karma

In one word, what is it like being Muslim in America?

AasifMandvi221 karma


RyanMHolt28 karma

How was working on The Last Airbender compared to The Daily Show?

AasifMandvi157 karma

exactly the same. stand in front of a green screen and pretend to be a bad ass!!!!

wwickeddogg27 karma

If you could change one thing about the American political system, what would you change?

AasifMandvi99 karma

the NRA.

dimplejuice26 karma

I'm looking at your film/tv credits and it looks like you have played a ton of doctors. By now, do you think you are on par with a real doctor? Or perhaps could play one on tv like Dr. Oz or Dr. Phil?

AasifMandvi65 karma

im a real doctor now

mongorian_beeef25 karma

I've never watched the daily show, as we don't have cable or satellite, but I'd like to ask:

What are you wearing?

AasifMandvi58 karma


mongorian_beeef33 karma

My man.


AasifMandvi117 karma

now its getting weird

thepop25 karma

Are you leaving the Daily Show to do The Brink or will you be doing both? I can't take everyone leaving :(

AasifMandvi41 karma

i'm doing both right now, but who knows... :-)(

DisregardMyComment24 karma

What's your favorite role on television outside The Daily Show and why is it playing doctor on Jericho?

AasifMandvi36 karma

playing a drunken doctor on jericho

dimplejuice18 karma

From wikipedia on you: "After graduating from the University of South Florida with a degree in Theatre,[8] Mandvi worked as a performer at Disney-MGM Studios at Walt Disney World Resort.[1]"--- so please tell us some of your crazy USF party stories?

AasifMandvi44 karma

i was such a theatre nerd, i never went to parties. most of my parties were after parties, and if you have ever gone to an after party with a bunch of acting students, they get stoned and talk about the craft! hahaha

Skel3t0R18 karma

Hi Aasif, love your work!

What is the process when you set up an interview? Sometimes I watch the correspondents segments on the show and I can't believe that the people being interviewed could say something so ridiculous.

AasifMandvi26 karma

we just point and shoot, people say craay stuff!!

friskyradio16 karma

Hi Aasif! Huge fan! Saw you in Disgraced when it was playing at the Lincoln Center last year. Curious about how you were picked to star in it (you were fantastic in it BTW!) and why aren't in the Broadway adaptation thats running now? And have you seen the Broadway version yet? If so, what do you think? Thanks!

AasifMandvi15 karma

thank you. i was picked for that role by the playwright ayad akhtar who had me come in over the course of several years and do workshops of the play and help develop the role. i have not seen the bway prd yet but plan to. i was very sad at not doing it on bway but unfortunately i was commited to shooting a new HBO series called The Brink and so the schedules could not work out.

kozmund16 karma

I really enjoyed Today's Special. Do you feel like it has found its audience? Any plans for another screenplay?

AasifMandvi22 karma

its always finding its audience. its the little movie that could!!! i hope to write more movies in the future, yes. thanks

SomewhatEnglish13 karma

Are there any comedians out there that you would like to see become Daily Show Corrspondents?

AasifMandvi29 karma


AasifMandvi17 karma


jubbaonjeans11 karma

Hey Aasif! Do you think The Daily Show has the same o impact on political discourse in the country that it did 3-4 years ago? Will Stephen stepping down make it even lower? Or am I just being stupid :)

AasifMandvi30 karma

i think it is still relevant, until fox creates a daily show that kicks our ass

Swiftzor2 karma

Alright everyone buckle down, Aasif confirmed it, we're in for the long haul.

AasifMandvi12 karma


Dunkh1 karma

HA! You're a funny, funny man!

AasifMandvi2 karma


clevername7111 karma

What are your thoughts on how Muslim-Americans are portrayed in Hollywood?

I was particularly a fan of Today's Special, because while your character's Indian identity was part of his character, it wasn't part of an "otherness" I sense in other portrayals of Muslim-Americans in Hollywood. It just so happened that it was his identity and we were seeing his struggles with that lens (similar to how racial identity in The Cosby Show was portrayed).

Or maybe I just liked it cause it reminded me of my family and that I can barely cook naan, idk.

AasifMandvi25 karma

thanks. i think we have to get a point where it's not the muslim experience but just the american experience.

Titan9569 karma

How do you balance the quirky parts of humor involved in the daily show with your ability to deliver a quality message whilst making us laugh our fucking asses off?

AasifMandvi12 karma

its a team effort.

niraj40007 karma

Hi Aasif! Always been a fan. As a fellow brown person, your success makes us all proud. My question is: We're you in the movie ABCD a few years back?

AasifMandvi64 karma

yes and there is no apostrophe needed there. lol

binashah7 karma

Hello from Pakistan! I read that you are involved with a charity, Relief 4 Pakistan. Have you ever visited here? There is a big Bohra community in Karachi, where I live. And everyone here loves the Daily Show, although I'm not so sure how popular it is amongst the Bohras.

AasifMandvi18 karma

nothing is popular among the Bohra's, except you know....

rachelarbeit7 karma

You grew up in England… are you a soccer fan? If so, which team/club do you support?

AasifMandvi25 karma

i grew up supporting Leeds United.

Frajer6 karma

What was it like working with Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Premium Rush?

AasifMandvi10 karma

nice guy. i'm glad i didn't have to do those stunts.

Ewwiikk5 karma

I just have to say that The Internship was such an amazing movie. Are there any memorable experiences from it that stood out above the rest?

AasifMandvi14 karma

just all the free food we got at Google.

_Wi114 karma

Mr. Mandvi, thanks for doing this.

Were you a fan of the Last Airbender series before joining the cast? Also, are you looking forward to any kind of sequel?

AasifMandvi4 karma

i had not seen the series before being cast, and i have not heard of any sequels.

missaprillynn4 karma

I read your story "The Ledge" about being bullied in a British boarding school. Powerful story. My heart went out to you! Are you doing any upcoming book signings or appearances?

AasifMandvi8 karma

yes, this weekend in DC and NY.

hooshtin4 karma

Hey Aasif, USF alum here. Can you share any fond memories you have while matriculating in Tampa?

Also, big fan of Today's Special. Have you seen Outsourced? Kind of reminds me of that. You should check it out if you haven't seen it yet.

edit: Outsourced the movie, not the tv show.

AasifMandvi6 karma

yes, Outsourced the movie was great. thanks

hockeyrugby3 karma

Hi Aasif! I am a Canadian and wanted to know if you have had a chance to check out Sugar Sami yet?

Also, can you enlighten me on where you think comedy (usually making fun of something or someone) ceases to be hateful or hurtful? And what do you think the line is?

AasifMandvi5 karma

i think you have to draw that line for yourself and see how it lands.

Swiftzor3 karma

How often do you guys do crazy shit on the daily show? Like any jousting for doughnuts or pillaging for coffee?

AasifMandvi12 karma

have you been to our offices, cos thats all we do

corey_m_snow3 karma

Hi Aasif,

First, thanks for your great work. My son and I watch TDS every night and I can tell you that we both very much enjoy when you're doing a segment.

So, my question- what has you most excited about "The Brink"?

AasifMandvi5 karma

its dealing with the same issues as the daily show but in a narrative form

p0rkch0pexpress3 karma

Aasif I was watching Law and Order the other day and noticed a young you as a smut peddler in a video store. Ive heard thats a show that many celebrities would kill to be on. What other show would you really like to play a serious role in ? Also The Anthony Weiner joke you had at Murray Hill was one of the Funniest bits Ive ever seen. Good Luck!!!

AasifMandvi8 karma

its more about the role for me, and not the show. thanks

booktrib3 karma

Tell us more about your book of essays! What are some of the themes that you write on? (And I liked you a lot in ABCD. You were the only character that wasn't a whiny baby)

AasifMandvi6 karma

lol.. thanks, i guess... the book is a series of personal essays, they are humerous for the most part, but they do touch upon themes of the immigrant identity, dislocation, race, trying to find an identity in a western world as a south asian, being muslim in america post 9/11, but don't worry, it also touches on some sereious themes, like my fathers obsession with brunch and why my parents bonded over their love of Urine.... true story!

binashah3 karma

Desis are obsessed with bodily functions. And brunch. I'll definitely look up the book. Thanks!

AasifMandvi4 karma

yes they are!!!! gotta love it! thanks.

Underwater_Grilling3 karma

I haven't watched The Daily Show in a little whilte but I have to ask. What does Craig Kilborn smell like?

AasifMandvi9 karma

sesame oil.

ziyadmerhebi3 karma

Who are some of your favorite comics right now? Who was your inspiration growing up?

AasifMandvi9 karma

i don't really think of myself as a comic, but i love chris rock and louis ck

marileeobrien2 karma

I just read Sakina's Restaurant and I really loved it. Are you working on any other plays?

AasifMandvi6 karma

thanks. not right now

Feuerball2 karma

Do you actually think the current PM of India Narendra Modi should be held accountable and punished for the Gujrat riots? (even though all courts in India have cleared him)

Also, why all "Indian's and Indian police should be ashamed of themselves for this kind of behaviour." Shouldn't we just hold guilty those who were actually responsible for this kind of a thing?

AasifMandvi2 karma

i have not studied it enough but if you think that just because he was cleared that means he was not guilty, then you may not understand how indian politics you should hold people responsible, but not with a mob mentality, also it was mostly because they were black man.. lets not kid ourselves.

Feuerball2 karma

thanks for answering. I think we should understand politics in general, is nasty, independent of what region it might belong to. Also, if we cannot trust the judiciary, who do we trust.

Anyway, big fan of your work on TDS. Always a delight to see your segments. Pre-ordered your book too. Good luck!

AasifMandvi1 karma

thanks. hope you like the book.

homeslicehound2 karma

What was your favorite segment that you did on the Daily Show? Is there any interesting behind the scene incident that you could share about one of your interviews?

AasifMandvi3 karma

well there have been so many, but i also love the don yelton piece that i did.

OhHelloPlease2 karma

Hey Aasif, I loved your character in Oz. What's your favorite memory from working on that show?

AasifMandvi3 karma

beating up my old friend Rick Rodgers.

PandoraBlackBox2 karma

Hello Aasif Thanks for ama session!

What s the best advice u ve ever been given in ur career? By who?

What s ur most incredible experience of life?

What do u do in ur free time if u have any?


AasifMandvi6 karma

i think the advice comes from experience, in just knowing that what is happening to you right now, is not what is happening to you and life can change in an instant, so just keep doing what it is you are doing and don't compare yourself to others. living is an incredible experience. i wish i had more, but mostly i like to hang out with friends, and sleep.

mongorian_beeef2 karma

Any chance Amazon or Netflix will feature your new HBO show?

AasifMandvi3 karma

i don't know, but the world is changing everyday. never say never.

Karlybitme472 karma

How did you go about becoming an actor and getting the gig on the Daley Show, and what advice would you give someone who wants to follow a similar path? Thanks!

AasifMandvi6 karma

my advice is study the craft and be resourceful, there is no path i can tell you to follow, except don't compare your career to others, just keep doing your own thing. i got TDS by auditioning for it.

SRD_Grafter1 karma

Hello, how are you doing today?

I ran across Today's Special on Netflix last weekend and enjoyed it. Did you do any of the cooking during it? If so, did you learn how to cook any particular dishes for it?

Also, what is your favorite Indian meal? What is your overall favorite food?

AasifMandvi2 karma

i did take cooking lessons m wish i had learned more than how to make steak, but i'm glad you enjoyed it. indian food is my comfort food but i do love a great steak!

sacrehbluh1 karma

How was the experience for you, as a South Asian actor, breaking into Hollywood?

From what I've seen South Asians in Hollywood are pretty much nonexistent so that couldn't have been easy.

AasifMandvi2 karma

it was not easy but there are more south asians in hollywood now than ever before.

watrutalkingaboot0 karma

Aasif! Hi I usually ask anyone I look up to this question:

1) what was the most influential/formative event in your life?

2) have you ever considered making a spin off like John Oliver?


AasifMandvi1 karma

hmm... it was probably the moment I got on stage as a young boy and felt the thrill of performing... also the first time i tasted peanut butter! performing and peanut butter have remained the two great loves of my life. i am concentrating on being an actor right now, with the new HBO show called The Brink comoing out next year.