The rise of Patel’s standup comedy fame is a new-age phenomenon. He began his career as a writer for comedians such as Chris Rock, who hired him after watching his standup show. However, through platforms like Tik-Tok and YouTube shorts, where clips of his introspective and sometimes improvisational comedy have gained viral fame, Patel has gained traction as a stand-up comedian.
Patel, born and raised in New Jersey in 1986, said his pursuit of comedy came in August 2009 after graduating from New York University with a degree in finance.
“I was underemployed, unemployed, really listless, looking for some kind of creative outlet,” Patel said. “I went on stage, not thinking anything, just trying to make the people in the room laugh. Luckily enough, the first show went well.”
Since beginning his career, Patel released four specials via YouTube: “Thank You China,” “Jokes for Quarantine,” “It’s Dark and Patel is Hot,” and “Testicular Cancer Comedy Special: Lucky Lefty OR: I Lost My Right Nut And All I Got Was This Stupid Special.”
However, for his upcoming performance in Ann Arbor for “The Fast & Loose Tour,” Patel called his new set a summary of themes and situations that have helped define his career over the past year.
“This tour is an amalgamation of different experiences that I found funny,” Patel said. “It’s me being escapist, silly, and talking about myself and the world in a way that hopefully gives people a break from the outside.”
Patel, who began his career as a writer, is Emmy-nominated, having written for Saturday Night Live, A Little Late with Lilly Singh and The White House Correspondents Dinner. For his upcoming show in Ann Arbor, Patel says this tour has helped him sharpen his skills as a comic and writer.
“The actual joke writing is an iterative process,” Patel said. “you’re constantly learning about what worked, did not work, and how to say something differently. It’s making sure your point of view is always looking for what is funny in the situation, as opposed to seeing the anger in the situation. If something makes me annoyed, there is a strong chance there’s something funny in it.”
Along with his tour, scheduled to finish on February 10 in San Antonio, TX, Nimesh is also set to premiere his new Netflix set on November 28 as part of their new standup series “Verified Stand Up,” a two-episode series which showcases five comics per episode performing at Webster Hall in New York City.
“I’ve had these jokes in my pocket for a long time. These jokes helped propel my touring standup career on Tik-Tok and all social media platforms,” Patel said. “For Netflix, I figured if people liked them, and they found these jokes organically, then hopefully, other people like them. These are my greatest hits.”
For his upcoming show on November 16, Patel says he is looking forward to verbally jousting with the Ann Arbor residents.
“Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a hotbed of intellectual conversation. I’m looking forward to seeing how you guys react to my thoughts on the world,” Patel said. “Come on out. You may or may not have seen me on social media. But I implore you all to come out, have a good time, laugh at yourself, and laugh at the world for an hour and a half. It’s going to be great.”
For more information on Patel’s upcoming Ann Arbor performance, visit michtheater.org or call 734-668-8397.
Antonio Cooper is a freelance journalist from Detroit, Michigan. His coverage of music festivals and interviews with local celebrities appeared in The E-Current Magazine, The Detroit Metro Times, XXL Magazine, RichMagDigital, The Ann Arbor Observer, and Pop Magazine.