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Kumail Nanjiani's parents prefer a masala-covered Thanksgiving turkey, he says

“Turkey tastes like chicken having a bad day,” the actor and comedian said.
Kumail Nanjiani on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" Feb. 2022.
Kumail Nanjiani on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" in February 2022.Weiss Eubanks / NBCUniversal

Kumail Nanjiani doesn't understand why Americans eat turkey. His parents, recent immigrants and Thanksgiving enthusiasts, secretly feel the same way, he said. But in a quest to participate in the American tradition, they’ve come to a quintessentially South Asian solution.

“They’re like, ‘We have to put a lot of masala on the turkey because we don’t like how it tastes,’” Nanjiani said to late night host Seth Meyers Tuesday night. “I’m like, ‘You don’t have to eat turkey!’ and they’re like, ‘It’s Thanksgiving!’”

"Late Night with Seth Meyers" and NBC News both fall under the parent company NBC Universal.

Making the talk show rounds for his new Hulu show "Welcome to Chippendales," the Pakistani American actor and comedian ranted about the averageness of the holiday bird.

"Turkey tastes like chicken having a bad day," he said.

The last time he waded into turkey territory he remembers being lambasted on the internet.

"I tweeted years ago, 'Let's face it, turkey's not that good,' and people were like, 'Go back to your country,'" he said.

Nanjiani's recent series premiered Tuesday on Hulu. He plays late Indian American businessman Somen "Steve" Banerjee, a shy immigrant from Mumbai who leaves his job at a gas station to open "Chippendales," the first male strip club in Los Angeles.

"It's a wild story," he said on comedian Conan O'Brien's podcast earlier this week. "I was very intimidated to play a character like this ... I was like this is just too cool to not do."