Pudi, who is of Indian and Polish descent, was born and raised in Chicago and grew up speaking Polish. He studied dance in Chicago and attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, graduating with a degree in Communications and Theatre in 2001.
CareerEditAt Marquette Pudi won the Chris Farley Scholarship. Beyond paying for a year of school, the scholarship led to his performing at an improv comedy event featuring Jim Breuer and Dave Chappelle, increasing his interest in studying improv. Pudi performed in summer stock theatre in Wisconsin after Marquette, then studied at The Second City in Chicago. He became a recruiter for an executive search firm before moving to Los Angeles in 2005 to seek television and film roles. Pudi's home-based job permitted him to attend auditions, helping him to avoid "the struggling actor thing in terms of waiting tables, temping and so on." He performed in several television pilots before joining the cast of Community.
Pudi has appeared in multiple television advertisements including Snickers, Verizon, McDonald's, and Pokemon.
Pudi portrayed Arash in the comedy film Road Trip: Beer Pong and starred in the thriller film Knights of Badassdom.
Pudi is married to Bridget Showalter, whom he met in their freshman year at Marquette. He is a runner, and has completed several marathons.