best known for his role as Abed Nadir on the NBC comedy series Community.
Hey everyone. Good to be here. Let's type and share secrets.
Hey everyone. Good to be here. Let's type and share secrets.
Comments: 2926 • Responses: 39 • Date: 2011-04-14 19:17:41 UTCsource
crlove681 karma2011-04-14 19:20:36 UTC
Abed is one of the most unusual characters on TV, and I mean that in the best possible way. Do you worry about future typecasting?
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DannyPudi1130 karma2011-04-14 20:20:39 UTC
Right now I'm just excited to be part of a tremendous cast and consistently smart as hell writing. I played 3 different 'Sanjay's in 2007, so the fact that I get to play a strange, but not one-dimensional character is pure effin' joy!
I_M_Stranger418 karma2011-04-14 20:30:46 UTC
I think Community handles race awesomely, Troy and Shirley both don't ignore the fact that they're black but don't let their blackness define them. It sucks that this is so hard to find on tv still.
DannyPudi505 karma2011-04-14 21:12:52 UTC
Thanks man. I love this aspect of our show. If you look around, I don't think there's a more diverse ensemble on television. But we don't let that define any character.
mrpeabody20894 karma2011-04-14 20:00:03 UTC
To add a similar question, what do you want to do once Community ends?
DannyPudi347 karma2011-04-14 21:22:48 UTC
I'm interested in two types of movies quite a bit lately. Family dramas and apocalyptic stories always interest me. I'd love to act in a film like "Children of Men" or something like "The Squid and the Whale". I'd also love to direct down the road.
sb76117393 karma2011-04-14 19:33:55 UTC
Danny, hit reply under each question to answer them.
DannyPudi413 karma2011-04-14 19:54:19 UTC
Thanks! New to this.
MasterLJ350 karma2011-04-14 19:45:36 UTC
Would you say the butt-dialing commercial launched your career?
DannyPudi438 karma2011-04-14 20:56:05 UTC
I think it helped! When I auditioned for Community, the producers actually recognized me from that commercial. People still call me 'Butt-dialer' randomly on the street!
Cragger300 karma2011-04-14 19:46:29 UTC
Who wrote the spanish rap? It's wonderful.
DannyPudi528 karma2011-04-14 19:51:27 UTC
Dan Harmon, the creator of our show is a genius. He saw Donald and I do an improvised rap in an interview and then wrote us a beautiful, non-sensical rap a few days later. That's how the tags started!
bobbyto277 karma2011-04-14 19:42:51 UTC
no question here. just a HUGE thank you to you, donald, the rest of the cast and all the writers. Community is amazing and a very large source of happiness in my week. Please keep up all the good work.
DannyPudi289 karma2011-04-14 20:31:01 UTC
THANKS SO MUCH BOBBYTO! Really love this job and happy to provide some happiness in this crazy world.
ATerribleUsername249 karma2011-04-14 19:24:31 UTC
Hi Danny! You (and Donald) are my favorite part of Community. Here are a few quick questions:
DannyPudi319 karma2011-04-14 21:29:59 UTC
1) We did. He's one of the smartest, nicest people I've met. As far as improv, he's also the best I've ever worked with. To give you an example of an improv we came up with, I'll use the last episode. In the scripted tag it ended with Donald saying something about "Market Price". We then added the bit about "I'm going to run" and counting down 3, 2, 1 as we exited the table. Love working with him.
2) The cast/writers/directors really make it fun, and it's truly like summer camp as a 10 year old. We get to talk, laugh and avoid Chevy Chase's gas every week, which is a beautiful dream.
3) Knights of Badassdom, an indie film I did, should be out later this summer. And now that I'm on hiatus I'm auditioning for some projects. Hopefully something fun will come out of it!
4) Playing Abed is thoroughly engaging, exhausting and challenging. It can be lonely being a blank canvas who is constantly observing and assessing each situation, but it's also fun to live in a world that is like a video game. I love it so much.
All_Your_Base215 karma2011-04-14 19:24:12 UTC
I love that your character is so different and off center.
DannyPudi487 karma2011-04-14 20:10:35 UTC
Thanks! 1) So many to choose from! Though it's gonna be hard to top the scene at the restaurant with Joel McHale from the last episode. The fact that I got to give a long, strange monologue that ends with "pooped my pants", is a dream come true. Anything with Star-Burns in it makes me laugh. 2) I'm sure Dan Harmon is already working on it.
3) Running, trying to make my wife laugh, reading books and watching way too much sports. Go Bulls!
andrewsmith1986463 karma2011-04-14 19:43:41 UTC
Abed as Don Drapper is by far my favorite.
DannyPudi355 karma2011-04-14 20:54:48 UTC
Thanks man! That scene is one of my faves. Everyone is so funny when they're trying to change Abed. Being able to play Don Draper to Alison who is on Mad Men was a terrifying thing. Also, loved Pierce's line: "There's nothing more terrifying than a half Arab, half Polish virgin in his 30s!
JezusGhoti173 karma2011-04-14 19:26:36 UTC
What is your opinion of the mental challenges that Abed faces? Is it Aspergers (or some form of autism), as most have assumed? Have you done any research into autism and used it to inform your acting?
DannyPudi339 karma2011-04-14 21:10:47 UTC
Hey man. I am not sure. We don't really discuss or diagnose the characters. I have done some research but really I just try to live/think as Abed would when I read the scripts. I just sit with it for a while and have fun imagining how he sees the world, the patterns, the movie quotes, his directness and such. Hope that makes sense. There's really not a formula to it, other than reading and thinking about it.
Unununium272152 karma2011-04-14 22:40:31 UTC
As someone of a similar age now who is also a high functioning aspie, can I just say that both the writing for, and your portrayal of, Abed's character is one of my favorite things in any form of media in the past few years. The complexity, humanity, and humor of that character is astonishing. I've seen plenty of 'nerds' and 'Generic Autistic Kid' characters over the years, and they've always been portrayed as one dimensional caricatures, but Abed is the first time I've ever encountered a character on TV that I genuinely identify with as a person.
One of the most powerful things about Abed in my mind is that the show plays on his strengths as much as--if not more than--his weaknesses, which really is a first. Normally they'll have the aspie kid be somehow generically Smart, but that's the extent of it, whereas Abed is presented as a genuinely insightful outsider and a subtle, complete person. Not to get all melodramatic, but it's incredibly rewarding, validating, and just damn entertaining to finally have a character that one can truly identify with. So thanks for that.
And on a completely unrelated note, all my polish friends got a huge kick out of your impersonations on the Nerdist.
PS: If you ever come by New York you should come out to the Rocky Horror Picture Show in Chelsea. A lot of the cast are huge Community fans, and it's always a good time.
DannyPudi115 karma2011-04-15 03:01:59 UTC
Thank you for this note Unununium. And not to get all melodramatic, but that's what makes playing Abed so fulfilling. I am consistently floored by the writers in many ways, especially the ambition they have at exploring both our strengths and weaknesses. Most 22 minute comedies wouldn't have a 2 person 10 minute scene with a monologue about Cougartown, yet within that still manage to layer it with each character's vulnerabilities. I am forever thankful to Dan Harmon, the Russo Bros, Richard Ayoade and the rest of our incredible writers/directors for not settling on a one-dimensional character and easy punchlines. As someone who looks East Indian but was raised in a Polish speaking household, there were no characters I could relate to on television or film when I was a kid. And that was always frustrating. Life is much more surprising and complicated. Anyways, thank you again for these kind words. Being able to connect to people makes this so special. Btw - I'm glad your Polish friends (in Williamsburg, I presume?) enjoyed Pan Richard. He's a force that will forever remind me that I'm lazy and should always smile. And if I make it to New York sometime and it works out, would love to catch the Rocky Horror Picture show. Embarrassing fact: I've actually never seen it!
dicepants168 karma2011-04-14 19:29:26 UTC
Hi Danny, big fan!
I guess my question is since your character on Community is such a movie buff and likes just about everything, I was curious to know what your favorite movie is
DannyPudi823 karma2011-04-14 20:46:25 UTC
Thanks dicepants! My favorite movie is "Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark". I can watch it any time, any place.
DannyPudi763 karma2011-04-14 20:21:48 UTC
jcules67122 karma2011-04-14 20:48:33 UTC
Do you prefer to watch it with or without your whip?
DannyPudi731 karma2011-04-14 20:59:48 UTC
I prefer everything with a whip.
signed_proposal137 karma2011-04-14 19:37:01 UTC
Were you familiar with the movie My Dinner With Andre before Abed's birthday episode from a few weeks ago, and did you watch it to prepare for that episode?
DannyPudi274 karma2011-04-14 20:48:46 UTC
I wasn't familiar with the movie. Dan Harmon told me about it and then I rented it before the episode. I'm a big fan of it now, but if I had to watch it in high school I'd probably be bored.
redditspice130 karma2011-04-14 19:23:01 UTC
As a Polish Indian from Chicago, what are your favorite foods? #currydog
DannyPudi205 karma2011-04-14 20:12:55 UTC
A Currydog sounds delicious. I love Pizza. In Chicago, Paisano's and Pequod's. I love Indian food. If you're in Chicago, Devon Avenue and Hema's Kitchen is where it's at. My mom's bigos (Polish stew) is friggin delicious. Smacznego!
49GSWGiants119 karma2011-04-14 19:36:52 UTC
If acting wasn't your career, what do you think you'd be doing? Something sports related I imagine.
DannyPudi395 karma2011-04-14 20:30:02 UTC
When I was younger my mom and grandparents wanted me to become a priest, but then I discovered women. So after that I gained interest in becoming a sports broadcaster, like Mark Giangreco in Chicago. I never had the physique for actual sports, but I love to watch and talk about em'!
seattle_lite105 karma2011-04-14 19:25:41 UTC
May I buy you a beer?
DannyPudi418 karma2011-04-14 19:52:44 UTC
Fact: If I see you, yes. Like Homer Simpson, I love beer. I'm reading a book right now all about it. Guinness is probably my favorite.
DannyPudi143 karma2011-04-14 19:54:47 UTC
jpole1102 karma2011-04-14 19:22:22 UTC
How dissimilar is Abed from your normal life? Does having a character so "out there" make it easier to get fully involved in the role?
Thanks for doing this, LOVE the show!
DannyPudi294 karma2011-04-14 19:39:50 UTC
Sometimes I wish I could be as direct, and have the ability to assess situations as quickly as Abed. But that's what makes the role so fun to play. For instance, in reality it would take me 5 minutes to count how many bagels fell on the ground. Abed knows there were 13 almost instantly. This is one of my favorite lines ever written for Abed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmFwD2n7Ojg
locoforcoco102 karma2011-04-14 20:19:41 UTC
Hi, Danny! I lived in McCormick Hall with you at Marquette from 97-98. I remember seeing you in the elevator and you were always really nice to everyone. Do you have any of your own college hijinks that you'd like to share?
DannyPudi189 karma2011-04-14 22:59:58 UTC
What up! McCormick Hall was one of the best years of my life. Tiny rooms, and lots of adventures. As far as hijinks, I got stripped naked once on the corner of 16th and Wisconsin. A woman tried helping me and hit some of my friends with her cane. That was fun. And the worst moment was when I was dared to poop in a box at Marquette One apartments. That didn't work out so well. Good to hear from ya!
joeeeeee_98 karma2011-04-14 19:21:31 UTC
can you and donald make a custom rap for reddit?
Ramenamen64 karma2011-04-14 20:00:00 UTC
Subquestion: Any chance you'll ever guest on a Childish Gambino track?
DannyPudi146 karma2011-04-14 21:02:15 UTC
If Donald asks me, I'd be open to it. I've been thinking of doing something in the Polish language. We'll see if he can make it work. Do Gory Kolega!
cphat80 karma2011-04-14 19:29:23 UTC
How was the sudden work/fame,etc affected your personal life?
DannyPudi251 karma2011-04-14 20:24:11 UTC
The job is a wonderful gift. Challenges include, lack of sleep, forced to shower more often because we get recognized and asked to take pictures, and less time with my wife and family. It's a tough adjustment, but worth it.
Mottebayo80 karma2011-04-14 19:21:43 UTC
Are there any plans for your character Abed to have any long-term love interests on the show?
partofaplan2123 karma2011-04-14 19:39:01 UTC
Seriously. I was disappoint when the secret service lady had to leave.
DannyPudi205 karma2011-04-14 20:17:47 UTC
Eliza Coupe was great and it was fun to explore an Abed love interest. Her directness and factual manner was a nice match. I can see Abed taking direction very well from a woman who knows what she wants. She's on Happy Endings on ABC btw
Professor_Wernstrom159 karma2011-04-14 20:34:49 UTC
Is Abed going to get any happy endings?
DannyPudi821 karma2011-04-14 21:43:00 UTC
completED71169 karma2011-04-14 19:31:10 UTC
What other future projects do you have planned?
DannyPudi225 karma2011-04-14 20:26:27 UTC
I've done a few Funny or Die videos lately and have an unwritten partnership with them that will probably lead to more. And I have a movie called "Knights of Badassdom" that should be out later this year. Great cast, about LARPERS, and some good ol' fashioned horror. I've also been writing a bit more and will see where that leads me.
Chicken6560 karma2011-04-14 20:22:50 UTC
Weren't you in a McDonald's commercial?
DannyPudi104 karma2011-04-14 21:31:51 UTC
Good eye! Yep, it was for Snack wraps. I did about 10-15 commercials prior to Community.
dhaus60 karma2011-04-14 19:36:17 UTC
Hey again, Danny! You may not remember, but we met briefly at SxSW after the Jones Street Station show. My friends and I were beyond thrilled, so thanks for taking the time to chat. How was the rest of your South by experience? Any crazy stories?
DannyPudi245 karma2011-04-14 20:15:05 UTC
Wassup! SXSW was incredible. I'm a big fan of music so seeing TV on the Radio, Kanye West/John Legend/Jay-Z and others was a treat. Weirdest moment was meeting Wu-Tang Clan, specifically GZA. Donald and I were introduced as "These guys are funny man, they do bits and shit". Nice to meet you GZA was my response.
rivalius1356 karma2011-04-14 19:32:13 UTC
I asked Donald, so I figure I better ask you to make sure it's not unrequited:
Does the bromance extend off screen? I hope it works both ways....
Also, I caused a disturbance in a small Spanish town doing the Spanish rap at 7.30am while drunk off my ass. Thanks for that, best thing I forgot the whole weekend.
DannyPudi86 karma2011-04-14 22:51:19 UTC
Donald and I hang out. Just went to SXSW to see him perform and hang out and that's where we celebrated our pickup for Season 3.
Also, happy that you are alive after causing a biblioteca disturbance. It's 2011.
artisteddevelopment46 karma2011-04-14 19:52:00 UTC
Is there any chance for a Childish Gambino/ Eight-Legged DJ collaboration in the future?
edit: well since this seems to have been a popular question I wanted to tack on something new.
Thanks for making such an awesome show and for giving up some of your time to answer all of these questions!
DannyPudi35 karma2011-04-14 22:52:47 UTC
Maybe. If he allows it...
Danny Pudi aka Misunderstood Bastard
yeahwellokay44 karma2011-04-14 19:59:32 UTC
Do you prefer cake or pie?
DannyPudi143 karma2011-04-14 22:18:32 UTC
Good, important question. Pie. Apple and Pecan all day, every day.
performedbeef37 karma2011-04-14 19:57:54 UTC
Have you come up with an obscene portmanteau of your first and last names to beat donglover?
DannyPudi96 karma2011-04-14 22:14:49 UTC
Apparently "Pudi" is already obscene and complements donglover well. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pudi
agriffin150436 karma2011-04-14 19:35:46 UTC
Love Community and I really enjoyed you on The Nerdist.
What are your plans for the summer, any projects or are you just going to relax and enjoy your time off?
Favorite memory from Second City?
Any crazy stories you can share with us from your time at Second City?
GO EAGLES! :)
Forgot to ask this the first time... what kind of cereal were you eating in the T-Mobile commercial?
DannyPudi61 karma2011-04-14 22:11:45 UTC
Thanks man! Crazy, I actually just ran into the director of that T-mobile commercial (Matt Aselton). He and I worked on another commercial for Cars.com that never aired. In it, I made a diorama where I decapitated the salesmen's head. Apparently, it was too gruesome to air! Anyway, I was actually eating a cantaloupe, which we decided would be funny to eat while arguing with your wife.
As far as summer, I hope to travel and hang out with my wife and friends. I just visited Denver/Boulder for a comedy show and got to stay with my college buds.
Favorite memory from Second City...so many. I went to the 50th anniversary last year and seeing Steve Carrell and Stephen Colbert perform a scene together live for the first time in years was a treat. I once did a scene with my friend Carissa where we played "Tree elves" and our teacher Tim O'Malley yelled at me to play the scene and just be funnier. All the while I was worried that nothing made sense, and he just said do it. I'll always remember that being a moment that clicked for me.
ericsun4235 karma2011-04-14 19:43:19 UTC
Thank you for doing this Mr. Pudi. I love Community in general and your portrayal of Abed in particular. Just a few random question, feel free to ignore what you like. Thanks for participating! Good luck with Community.
DannyPudi67 karma2011-04-14 21:39:01 UTC
You got it Eric!
*Childish Gambino rules and I told people if Donald asked me to guest on a track, a Polish-themed cameo would probably be my contribution. My mom and grandparents are from Poland and their folk music is underrated.
*As far as Abed, that's an interesting question. I think I find the earnestness of that statement sad but also true. I know many people in my life who pretty much are the same as they've always been, except for different titles and more clothing options. There's a sense that characters must change in film/television, but it's interesting and refreshing when a character doesn't change that much and just is that person. I can't really predict where Abed will go (especially because I'm not the writer), but it's fun to be open to whatever adventures are next, just like in real life. I have no idea what I'm doing tomorrow!
*Wikipedia note taken! A cloud palace sounds comfy yo...
spauca33 karma2011-04-14 19:59:59 UTC
Desert Island: Top 5 Movies? TV Shows? Albums? Books?
DannyPudi133 karma2011-04-14 22:32:36 UTC
This will be incomplete/insufficient but I'll give it a whirl...
Shaun of the Dead
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Jesus Christ Superstar the Movie
Blue/White/Red (Polish Film trilogy) - sorry but I'm taking all of em.
Tom and Jerry cartoons (I'll need something to keep me from facing reality)
Lost (of course)
The Roots: Things Fall Apart
New Order: Power corruption and lies
Notorious BIG: Ready to Die
TV on the Radio: Desperate youth, blood thirsty babes
The last one would probably be something polish to remind me of family and childhood...Jacek Karczmarski maybe, or something with piano/instrumental jazz music without lyrics
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
To Kill a Mockingbird
Guns, Germs and Steel
Pillars of the Earth
Essential Rumi (under the category of since I'm on an island might as well try to be smarter and more spiritual)
DannyPudi64 karma2011-04-14 22:39:27 UTC
Just thought of another album I love:
Fugees, The Score
valerie_m28 karma2011-04-14 19:24:32 UTC
What are your favorite TV shows currently on the air?
DannyPudi91 karma2011-04-14 22:53:43 UTC
I'm into Treme, 30 Rock and Parks and Rec right now. Looking forward to Game of Thrones and I heard Archer is good
kneedeepatatp24 karma2011-04-14 19:54:36 UTC
Having gone to Marquette, where is your favorite place in Milwaukee? Follow up question, Pizza Shuttle or Toppers?
DannyPudi32 karma2011-04-14 22:41:05 UTC
Hmm...I loved, and will continue to hold Real Chili close to my heart. Saz's bbq is good. We used to hang out at Up and Under and Harpo's quite a bit. I miss that town. Toppers.
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