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Comedian Neel Nanda Dead at 32: Dane Cook, Matt Rife Pay Tribute



Stand-up comedian Neel Nanda has died. He was 32.

“I [am] deeply shocked and saddened by this. He was a wonderful comic, but a better person,” Nanda’s manager, Greg Weiss, told Deadline in a Sunday, December 24, statement. “He had the world in front of him.”

Nanda was best known for his comedy appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party. According to Weiss, Nanda had a packed schedule of appearances lined up through January and February 2024.

Nanda’s cause of death has not been publicly shared. Us Weekly has reached out for comment.

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Following Nanda’s passing, several of his comedy peers have paid tribute to his memory.

“RIP Neel Nanda. You were one of the nicest, hardest working comedians I’ve ever called a friend,” Matt Rife wrote viaX (formerly Twitter) on Saturday, December 23. “And I hope you can be at peace, brother.”

Dane Cook, for his part, also shared a poignant tribute along with the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. “I didn’t know Neel Nanda personally but reading several tributes is both heartbreaking and eye-opening. I echo so many in expressing there is help out there,” he wrote on Saturday. “Please remember you are never alone. People want to help you. There is a path through your pain. Prayers to Neel’s family, friends and fans. Dial 988 for help and love.”

Nanda had been a longtime comedy fan before pursuing gigs himself. He told VCReporter in September 2018 that he used to copy down his favorite jokes from Comedy Central into a notebook to retell his middle school friends.

“I didn’t realize I was stealing jokes until I was in high school,” he joked to the outlet. “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.”

Nanda made his debut appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s eponymous late-night show in 2017, where he performed a five-minute version of his comedy routine.

“I would say my proudest accomplishment thus far in comedy is performing on Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” Nanda told VCReporter. “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 later hosted the weekly show “Unnecessary Evil” at Los Angeles’ Westside Comedy Theater.

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