Nickelodeon ‘Cousin For Life’ Q&A (Part 3) with Cast Member Ishmel Sahid

Do you have a favorite cousin? You will now with Nickelodeon’s new show ‘Cousin For Life.’

Ishmel Sahid has appeared on The Mindy Project (Hulu), Maron (IFC), Drunk History (Comedy Central), and has recurred on Kingdom (Audience). Along with acting, Sahid has participated as a writer in the 2015 CBS Diversity Showcase, and is in the process of developing a half hour sketch pilot for FX, with his sketch group White Women.

On January 5th at 8:30 PM ET/PT you can watch him play Clark, a fun-loving dad who decides to do what is best, and move his family to Portland after his wife is deployed overseas. While getting used to living with three children, Clark has to re-learn what it is like to live in the same house as his tense brother, Lewis.

What will grown-ups love about a show mainly geared towards kids?

I think grown-ups will love the family dynamic between the characters on the show. Although geared towards kids, there’s an underlying theme of “family first” which I think most adults can relate to when watching with their children. Not to mention the show is hilarious, so they’ll appreciate that as well.

Do you get to keep anything from the clothes from the show?

Don’t say anything, but I kept a few of my characters colorful shirts. But that’s between us… don’t tell the wardrobe department!

Did you get to help write or give ideas with any of the episodes?

I didn’t get to write any episodes but it would definitely be an honor to in the future. Our show has a group of amazing, funny and diverse writers who know our voices, individual talents, and quirks as actors and tailor our specific attributes to our characters on the show when writing each episode. The writers are very supportive on taking pitches we might have on jokes, and they give us plenty of room to improv on set. But in terms of full episodes, our show creators Kevin Kopelow and Heath Seifert have the majority of episode ideas lined up well in advance.

What is your acting resume background?

I’ve been on many TV shows such as The Mindy Project, New Girl, and various Comedy Central specials to name a few, but my background is in improv. I studied comedy writing and improv at The Upright Citizens Brigade, also known as UCB for five years. I also perform a monthly show in Los Angeles called ‘Your Token Friend’ with my all black male group called ‘White Women’. You can see us on the second Friday of every month at UCB (University of California Berkeley).

Before this show, what was your favorite show on Nickelodeon?

I had a lot of favorite shows on Nickelodeon before this one. But my top five, in no particular order, would be The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Doug, Invader Zim, Legends of the Hidden Temple and Cousin Skeeter, mainly because I had a big crush on Meagan Good as a kid!

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