Pudi became a recruiter for an executive search firm before moving to Los Angeles in 2005 to seek television and film roles. His home-based job permitted him to attend auditions, helping him 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 for such products as Snickers, Verizon, McDonald's, T-Mobile, and Pokémon. In 2012, he appeared as a celebrity contestant on GSN's version of The Pyramid with fellow Community cast member Yvette Nicole Brown.
He portrayed Arash in the comedy film Road Trip: Beer Pong, which received mainly negative reviews, and starred in the comedy horror film Knights of Badassdom, which was one of the highlights of Comic Con 2011, according to HitFix.com. He starred in the Jones Street Station music video for "The Understanding".
He has made cameo appearances in many internet videos, including BriTANicK's "A Monologue for Three". Pudi had a cameo appearance in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and the live episode of Hot in Cleveland.
In the fall of 2014, Pudi appeared in the Off-Broadway musical FOUND. In February 2017, Pudi began his role as Teddy on the NBC sitcom Powerless. In 2017, Pudi is currently voicing Huey in the DuckTales reboot.
Pudi was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Teresa (née Komendant), a programmer and analyst, and Abraham Pudi. His father is American of Indian origin, and his mother is Polish (born in Pokośno, Poland, to Marianna (Organek) and Boleslaw Komendant). Pudi grew up speaking Polish with his mother and grandmother. He grew up on Chicago's south side, but he attended Notre Dame College Prep in Niles, Illinois, a northern Chicago suburb. In 2013, he gave the commencement address at Notre Dame College Prep.
He studied dance in Chicago and attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, graduating with a degree in Communication and Theatre in 2001.
At Marquette University, Pudi was the first winner of the Chris Farley Scholarship. Beyond paying for a year of school, the scholarship led to him 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. Pudi is married to Bridget Showalter. They met while attending Marquette University their freshman year. Their twins were born in January 2012. Pudi is also a runner, and has completed several marathons.