Nik Dodani is an actor on the rise: The out 24-year-old plays social media expert Pat Patel on CBS’ Murphy Brown reboot and just returned for a second season as Zahid on Netflix’s Atypical.
Dodani, who hails from Dallas, even got to do stand up comedy last night on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he joked about how similar the Indian and gay communities are: “You have bright colors and rainbows, everywhere. People worshipping goddesses everywhere. Condom use, nowhere.”
Bollywood released nearly 1,100 movies last year, he said, “And almost every single one of them was a musical.”
Dodani also delved into his experience coming out to his traditional Indian parents. After telling them he was a gay man, he said his father replied, “That’s fantastic, Nik. But isn’t it pronounced ‘lawyer?'”
LGBT rights in India has been a hot topic of late, as the country recently overturned Section 377 of the penal code, which criminalized “carnal intercourse against the order of nature.”
As Pat Patel on Murphy Brown, Dodani’s job is to “the voice of younger folk and talk about Twitter and social media and how it impacts the news world and media landscape today,” he told NewNowNext. “We definitely talk about how Trump has impacted the news media and what that means for the truth and journalism. I personally love to shit on social media and Twitter, especially. Delete Twitter is my message to America. It’s toxic and scary and pointless.”
In addition to his two current shows, Dodani also appeared in Netflix’s Alex Strangelove as a straight friend to the closeted protagonist. Next year, he’ll star in the Sony thriller Escape Room.
He’s also dabbled in social activism, volunteering for both Elizabeth Warren’s reelection campaign and Alicia Key’s HIV/AIDS initiative.