One visit to “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on Thursday night was enough to convince Kumail Nanjiani to break his year-long ban on carbs and refined sugars.
The “Big Sick” star nearly broke the internet in December when he posted a photo of his extremely-ripped body to Instagram, shocking fans who were used to him looking like, well, a normal human being.
Nanjiani’s new body came courtesy of an extremely rigorous training regimen and strict diet to prepare for his upcoming role in Marvel Studio’s “The Eternals,” with the goal of adding 20 pounds of lean muscle to transform the 41-year-old comedian’s skinny physique into superhero mode.
All that discipline had to break at some point, right? Jimmy Kimmel and sidekick Guillermo Rodriguez were just the people to tempt Nanjiani away from protein shakes and “fun snacks” of sugar snap peas.
The late-night host literally had slices of cake descend from the rafters and hover around Nanjiani’s head, while Guillermo brought out a box of pizza.
“This is for me … I can have this?” Nanjiani asked wide-eyed before taking a bite of the pizza. “I’m literally gonna cry right now. I’m not joking. I’m shaking.”
The “Little America” executive producer went on to explain the origins of his now-famous six-pack pic.
“It was the week before Christmas, and I thought ‘I don’t know if I’m ever gonna look like this again,'” Nanjiani said.
“‘So I’m gonna take a picture just so I have it.’ And then, as soon as I took the picture, I was like, the world must see this. And so I was on set shooting, and I just put it on my Instagram,” he said. “I checked an hour later and it was fine, some likes, OK, cool. And then I check again, and it had exploded. On my Twitter, I was scrolling and it was just like, my torso, torso, torso, torso, over and over. It really got out of control.”
Reactions to Nanjiani’s newly-buff body spread like wildfire, and much of it was positive — “I had all my aunts texting me pictures of myself like, ‘So proud of you, son,'” he said — but there was one type of headline he didn’t appreciate.
“The story that I didn’t like, a lot of people would do two side-by-side photos. ‘Can you believe THIS turned into THIS?'” he said. “And it was just a photo of myself from a year and a half ago, looking how I’ve always looked. ‘Can you believe this garbage pooping sea-monster turned into this?’ Like, was I leaving a trail of slime behind me? I was normal looking!”
Thankfully praise from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was enough to keep him feeling good about himself.
“He said, ‘Dense muscle is hard to achieve, my brother.’ He thinks my muscle is dense!”
Check out Nanjiani’s infamous shirtless Instagram photo below and watch the Kimmel video above.
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I never thought I’d be one of those people who would post a thirsty shirtless, but I’ve worked way too hard for way too long so here we are. You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain. I found out a year ago I was going to be in Marvel’s Eternals and decided I wanted to transform how I looked. I would not have been able to do this if I didn’t have a full year with the best trainers and nutritionists paid for by the biggest studio in the world. I’m glad I look like this, but I also understand why I never did before. It would have been impossible without these resources and time. So big thanks to @grantrobertsfit who started working with me at the beginning of the year and made me understand true physical pain for months and months. Then, once we started shooting, a massive thanks to @davidhigginslondon and his team (@ellispartridge, @thebeardypt, @tomcheesemanfitness) for training me almost every day and making me strong, limber and injury free. I can almost touch my toes now. (And thank you for forcing me to do cheat meals David.) Matthews Street Catering for their delicious and healthy meals. And finally, the biggest thanks goes to @emilyvgordon for putting up with me complaining and talking about only working out and dieting for the last year. I promise I’ll be interesting again some day. #thirstyshirtless (Photo by @markupson.) (edit: I left off one very important person: @lancecallahan who trained me for 6 years and helped me build the foundation I could use to do this. Thank you!)