See Kumail Nanjiani Found A Legendary Strip Club

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Kumail Nanjiani stars as the founder of the infamous male dance troupe Chippendales.

By Nathan Kamal
| Published

Kumail Nanjiani will soon headline a streaming miniseries about the life and career of Somen Banerjee, the infamous founder of the long-running male striptease troupe Chippendales. Welcome to Chippendales is being produced by Hulu, which just released the teaser above featuring Kumail Najiani as the famous club owner and a hint of the dark events that would come to consume his life. It is a stylish, quick-cutting glimpse at the sordid tale of Chippendales, complete with a song by cheese rock band Journey and some very 1980s hairstyles and sunglasses, from the team that recently also produced Pam & Tommy for Hulu

Chippendales is still in operation as of 2022, performing in dozens of cities worldwide for millions of people, but it had its moment of cultural fame in the 1980s, when the idea of an all-male dance troupe appealing (ostensibly) to women was unheard of. It seems Kumail Nanjiani will play Somen Banerjee from his start as an Indian-born entrepreneur who purchased a failing Los Angeles club, his rise as a purveyor of female mud-wrestling and nude dancing, and his eventual breakthrough as the de facto king of male strippers. In addition to Kumail Nanjiani, Welcome to Chippendales will star Yellowjackets’ Juliette Lewis, The White Lotus’ Murray Bartlett, and Dan Stevens, best known for the X-Men adjacent FX series Legion

As the teaser briefly indicates, the tale of Chippendales goes to some pretty dark places. At one point, Kumail Nanjiani’s character partnered with a club promoter and pimp named Paul Snider (Dan Stevens), who would go on to horrifically murder his wife, Playboy model Dorothy Stratten (who will be played by Nicola Peltz) and Banerjee himself was later involved in a murder conspiracy. It will be a change of pace for Kumail Nanjiani, who first made his mark in Los Angeles standup comedy and then on the HBO comedy series Silicon Valley

Kumail Nanjiani is best known to wide audiences for portraying Kingo in the Marvel movie Eternals; Kingo is an immortal extraterrestrial who hides in plain sight by passing himself off as a family of Bollywood stars through the years and was most recently referenced in the Disney+ series Ms. Marvel. He also appeared in the Amazon Prime Video series The Boys (and its spinoff The Boys: Diabolical) and the Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi alongside Ewan McGregor.

In addition to all those credits, Kumail Nanjiani also co-wrote and starred in the Academy Award-winning film The Big Sick, which was inspired by his relationship with wife and co-writer Emily V. Gordon. Welcome to Chippendales was created by writer Robert Siegel, who is best known for writing the Darren Aronofsky film The Wrestler, which starred Mickey Rourke as a wash-up professional wrestler, and for The Founder, which starred Michael Keaton as McDonald’s CEO Ray Kroc. The first episode of Welcome to Chippendales will be directed by Matt Shakman, who recently made the leap from television directing to helming feature projects. He was recently announced to be directing the upcoming Marvel movie Fantastic Four, stepping away from the latest Star Trek movie to do so.