You might expect that the actor who's brought Community's most idiosyncratic character, Abed, to life, with such skill and empathy must relate to him in some way. Danny Pudi admits that while he's not so similar to his encyclopedically-inclined alter ego (save one incident of lighting himself on fire as a teenager), there is one area in which the actor and the character overlap: their love of film.
When Pudi joined Ask Me Another in San Francisco at SF Sketchfest, we put that love of celluloid to the test by pitting him against Mythbusters' Adam Savage in a fiercely-competitive round of identifying action movie one-liners. With Ahhnold impressions performed with aplomb by Ophira Eisenberg and Jonathan Coulton, Pudi and Savage participate in perhaps the most giggle-filled V.I.P. round ever.
In the funny rotunda of life imitating art and art imitating life, Pudi recently completed his directorial debut with the documentary short Untucked, about the trendsetting basketball jerseys worn at his alma mater, Marquette University. It recently aired as part of ESPN's 30 For 30 series, and Pudi speaks more about it in the web extra on this page.
The actor, who is of Indian and Polish descent, grew up speaking Polish in the house, took Polish dancing lessons and sings beautifully in the language (which he demonstrated by flirting with our audience and later serenading the show's grand winner). On the other hand, he's played five different Indian characters named "Sanjay."
"As an actor, trying to find nuance, and differentiate between five different Sanjays...it's a gift," Pudi joked.
This segment originally ran on March 13, 2014.