Mahershala Ali Joins Hulu's 'Ramy' for Season 2

The two-time Oscar winner counts himself among the show's fans.
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Mahershala Ali

Mahershala Ali is taking a detour to New Jersey for his next TV role.

The two-time Oscar winner and recent Emmy nominee is joining Hulu's comedy Ramy for its second season, the streamer announced Friday at the Television Critics Association press tour. 

The casting is a huge get for the series, which won critical acclaim for its first season and for co-creator and star Ramy Youssef's performance, but did not result in any Emmy nominations in a crowded comedy field. Ali counts himself a "huge fan" of the show, and will be billed as a special guest star in season two, set to premiere in 2020.

Details of Ali's role, his first in a comedy series, are being kept quiet.

Ali won his second best supporting actor Oscar in February for Green Book; he also took home the award in 2017 for his performance in Moonlight. He earned an Emmy nomination for his lead role in season three of HBO's True Detective and at Comic-Con was introduced as the title character in Marvel Studios' reboot of Blade.

Ramy stars Youssef as a first-generation Egyptian-American living in New Jersey, where he has a foot both in the religious community that believes life is a moral test and a millennial generation that doesn't really believe in the afterlife at all. Season two will find Ramy taking his spiritual journey further as he finds a new Muslim community and embraces a deeper commitment to his faith.

Youssef created the series with Ari Katcher and Ryan Welch. The three executive produce with Jarrod Carmichael and Ravi Nandan of A24, which produces the show.

Ramy is part of a comedy lineup at Hulu that includes Pen15, Shrill, Letterkenny and the upcoming Dollface and Solar Opposites. The streamer also has a deal with Marvel (both of which are Disney properties) to develop four comedic animated series based on Marvel titles, including Howard the Duck and Hit-Monkey.