Chad creator-star Nasim Pedrad tells EW's The Awardist podcast about one episode in particular that made her a little nervous: "Are we taking this too far?"

By Gerrad Hall and Kristen Baldwin
May 24, 2021 at 03:31 PM EDT
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Though TBS' coming-of-age comedy Chad — starring SNL alum Nasim Pedrad as a deeply self-involved 14-year-old boy — is absolutely hilarious, it can also be very hard to watch. As the popularity-obsessed Ferydoon "Chad" Amani, Pedrad pushes every situation to its cringe-comedy limit — which is one of the reasons she wanted to play the teenage boy in the first place.

"I thought it would be really cool to tell a coming-of-age story where the teenager at the center of it was played by an adult who's in on the joke, and has some distance from that terrifying time," says Pedrad, who created the show, on this week's episode of EW's The Awardist podcast. "You could maybe push the comedy a lot further... Funny moments get to be funnier and less sad because you're not sitting there watching an Iranian child."

Still, Pedrad admits that one episode — in which Chad crashes a movie night hosted by his mom's ex-boyfriend, Ikrimah (Phillip Mullings Jr.) — definitely made her nervous. "There's an episode that touches on race, and there were definitely a couple moments where we're like, 'Are we taking this too far?'" says Pedrad.

The episode is extremely uncomfortable. Quick summary: Chad is distraught when his mother (Saba Homayoon) and Ikrimah break up, so naturally he shows up unannounced at Ikrimah's house. And he stays, even though his mom's ex is hanging out with several of his adult friends, all of whom are Black. To say things get awkward is an understatement. (Chad, to Ikrimah's friend LaTrent, who's a police officer: "Wow, Black and a cop... Pick a lane, LaTrent!")

"Luckily for us we had incredible Black actors in the episode. And I had many discussions with those particular actors, like, 'Is this too far?'" says Pedrad of Mullins Jr., and David Gborie, Kris D. Lofton, La'Tevin Alexander, and Jordan Devon Anderson, who played Ikrimah's friends. "In that episode, Chad is fetishizing Black culture, and he gets called out for it, as he should."

To hear more from Pedrad, including how TBS came to Chad's rescue after the series deal with Fox fell through in 2016, listen to the full interview below.

Check out more from EW's The Awardist, featuring Emmys analysis, exclusive interviews, and our podcast diving into all the highlights from the year's TV shows and performances.

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Chad (TV Series)

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  • Nasim Pedrad

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