Neel Nanda, a stand-up comedian who appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and Comedy Central’s “Adam Devine’s House Party,” has died. He was 32.
His longtime manager Greg Weiss confirmed the news to Variety, saying that he was a “great comic” and “great human being” whom he had known since Nanda was 19 years old. No cause of death was cited.
Nanda was known for his 5-minute set on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in 2017. Along with Comedy Central’s “Adam Devine’s House Party,” he appeared on Viceland’s “Flophouse” and Hulu’s “Coming to the Stage.”
“I would say my proudest accomplishment thus far in comedy is performing on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live,’” Nanda told VC Reporter in a 2018 interview. “I’ve always wanted to do a set on late night, and ‘Jimmy Kimmel’ was my first choice. So the fact that it came together kind of blew my mind. I’ve performed on other networks like Comedy Central, Hulu, Viceland, etc., but ‘Jimmy Kimmel’ was the first place I performed where my parents were a fan of the host.”
Nanda hosted the weekly show “Unnecessary Evil” at the Westside Comedy Theater in Los Angeles.
Born in Atlanta, Ga., to Indian immigrant parents, Nanda’s interest in comedy began as a child, when he would watch Comedy Central and retell his favorite jokes at his middle school.
“I didn’t realize I was stealing jokes until I was in high school,” Nanda told VC Reporter. “When I was in high school I started writing my own jokes using the structure of some of the jokes I had previously stolen. I filled up a notebook of jokes and didn’t realize until college that I could go to an open mic and tell them. I actually had a friend read the notebook and tell me, ‘You know you can just go perform these, right?’ I didn’t know, but after a quick Google search I was off to the Laughing Skull open mic.”
Several comedy clubs and fellow comedians took to social media on Saturday to pay tribute to Nanda.
“It is with a very heavy heart we say goodbye to comedy great, Neel Nanda,” reps for the Port Comedy Club wrote on Instagram. “Absolutely shocked by the news. Such a positive force for comedy and a huge loss to our community.”
“Thank you for gracing our stage and piano, a great headliner, gone too soon,” the venue added.
“You were one of the nicest, hardest working comedians I’ve ever called a friend and I hope you can be at peace brother,” comedian Matt Rife wrote on X/Twitter.
Dane Cook shared a message on X, writing, “I didn’t know Neel Nanda personally, but reading several tributes is both heart breaking and eye opening. I echo so many in expressing there is help out there. Please remember you are never alone. People want to help you. There is a path through your pain.”