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Aasif Mandvi

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Aasif Mandvi is an Indian-born actor and comedian. He began appearing as an occasional contributing correspondent on The Daily Show on August 9, 2006, and was later promoted to be a regular correspondent on March 12, 2007. He played Zhao in The Last Airbender.

Selected other credits

Television work


Biographical information

Mandvi was born in Mumbai, India, to a Muslim family. He grew up in Bradford, England, until his family moved to Tampa, Florida, when he was 16. After studying theater at the University of South Florida, Mandvi worked as a performer at Disney-MGM Studios at Walt Disney World. He later moved to New York City where he began appearing in Off-Broadway productions, winning an Obie Award for his critically acclaimed one-man show Sakina's Restaurant.

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

Mandvi played the title role in Merchant Ivory Productions' film The Mystic Masseur. He also had a major supporting role in the independent film American Chai, playing the lead character's roommate, "Engineering Sam". At the time, Mandvi was also involved with a New York-based band, Cowboys and Indian. He portrayed the doctor who diagnosed Paul Vitti's panic attacks in Analyze This and had a memorable role as Mr. Aziz of Joe's Pizza in Spider-Man 2. He played the doorman Khan in Music and Lyrics.

He has been 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, SVU, and Trial by Jury. Mandvi has appeared on television in commercials as well, playing a large-nosed customer in a Domino's Pizza slot. Mandvi was the reader for the audiobook editions of Salman Rushdie's 2005 production Shalimar the Clown and V. S. Naipaul's 2004 film, Magic Seeds.

In 2008, Mandvi began production on the film 7 to the Palace, which he co wrote with ex-Daily Show writer Jonathan Bines.

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