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Nasim Pedrad

Nasim Pedrad
Nasim Pedrad

Before Nasim Pedrad impersonated Kim Kardashian and Ariana Huffington on Saturday Night Live, she impersonated Dora the Explorer at children's birthday parties. This was a low-budget operation, definitely not sanctioned by Nickelodeon. Pedrad had to assemble her own costume, complete with a backpack from Target. "Needless to say, parents were very disappointed when they opened the door and saw that they could've, like, asked a local cousin to do this same thing for free."

In her latest project, the live-action TBS comedy Chad, Pedrad plays a kid again — but this time, it's a character of her own creation. Pedrad created the series and plays the titular 14-year-old boy, Chad.

The rest of the show's teenage cast is played by actual teenagers. Pedrad explained the concept to NPR's Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg: "What if we told a coming-of-age story where the teenager at the center of it was played by an adult who has the perspective that an adult has as to why teenagers are so funny?"

Pedrad pulls from her own experiences as an Iranian-American growing up in the United States. She said playing the lead gives the audience permission to appreciate the absurdity of Chad's experiences. "Funny moments get to be funnier and less sad if you're not sitting there laughing at an actual Iranian child," she said

Pedrad is also a lifetime fan of I Love Lucy. For her Ask Me Another challenge, she was tasked with remembering how the sitcom's most famous episodes ended.

Interview Highlights

On being in Guy Ritchie's 2019 'Aladdin'

It was definitely the biggest thing I've done in terms of scale. I mean, I showed up on set and was like, 'Wow. The money was SPENT, guys...' No corner of the set was spared.

On navigating the comedy world with her sister, Nina

We had immigrant parents so we didn't understand what Hollywood or having a career in comedy even meant. I thought it would be cool to be a comedian in the way that it's like, cool as a child to think of being an astronaut or Rihanna. Like, yeah that sounds awesome, is there a sign up sheet? How do you do that?

Heard on Spring TV: 'Chad' & 'Home Economics!' Also, Reggie Watts

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.