Actor/comedian Aziz Ansari hits the zenith of comedic delirium with his full-bodied impression of raunchy R&B star R. Kelly at the climax of his first stand-up special, Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening. Ansari best reveals his place in contemporary comedy, however, when he describes his arrival at the sold-out R. Kelly show. His friend Jason says, "Hey, Aziz! Me and you are the only white people at this concert!" Ansari replies, "First of all, Jason, I'm not white. Second of all, you're the only white guy at this concert! We might kill you, Jason!" The comedian suggests that Jason's color-blindness toward Ansari might be nearly as absurd as his oversensitivity toward the rest of the crowd.
At 29 years old, Ansari may embody the millennial zeitgeist better than any other comedian today. Born in South Carolina to Tamil Muslim immigrants from southern India, Ansari serves as a one-man bridge between cultures without being self-conscious about his exoticism. He delivers hilarious commentary about racial issues, but you get the impression he'd rather chat about Internet annoyances or run-ins with hip-hop superstars.
At his most dynamic, Ansari seems interchangeable with his alter ego Randy (or "RAAAANDY"), a hyperbolic sex machine who does stand-up with a DJ. On Ansari's newest live special and CD, Dangerously Delicious, Ansari shows a more vulnerable, low-key side as a shy guy stung by rejection when he tries to meet women. "I think it's more interesting to talk about failure than success," Ansari says in a brief phone interview on the eve of a trip to Bonnaroo. "It's not as funny for me to say, 'I met this great woman, and we started going out and everything's awesome!' It's more fun talking about our shared frustrations."
With Dangerously Delicious, Aziz followed Louis C.K.'s model of self-distributing his special for $5 a download. "It was really fun to be in total control of the process. I felt more invested in it. I might do one again that way in a few years." His Buried Alive Tour features entirely new jokes. "Whenever I record, I put all of that material to bed. I started writing Buried Alive last year — it takes about seven months to a year to develop an hour of material."
In August he begins shooting the fifth season of "Parks and Recreation," where he plays wheeler-dealer club rat Tom Haverford. The character, like Ansari, was born in South Carolina, but the actor points out, "Tom Haverford and I both like hip-hop and suits, but other than that we have no common interests. The writers are really good at writing to all of our comedic voices. They handle all of the plotting, but sometimes they come to us and say, 'Here's what we're talking about doing with the characters,' and we can have a little input."
Between shooting sitcom episodes Ansari works on his stand-up comedy, and he brings his latest stand-up tour, Buried Alive, to the Tabernacle on June 20, where he'll continue to talk about personal matters. "I like my shows to have things people can relate to, and this one has a lot about babies and marriage. I'm turning 29, I have a fear of adulthood, a fear of settling down — it all seems like a terrible idea for me."
Most comedians talk about relationship issues, so Ansari tends to stand out more as a child of the Internet age. Through his Twitter account and his Tumblr, Aziz is Bored, Ansari maintains an online presence without being shackled to a Wi-Fi connection. "I don't feel any obligation to do that stuff. I'm not going to read every single Twitter message I get — there's too many! I never wanted to be a professional Twitterer. I want to do stand-up and acting."
Ansari seems particularly inspired when he describes teasing his teenage cousin on Facebook or getting into online feuds against his better judgment. But then, Ansari seems energized by anything and everything.
I wonder if Ariel and Maya's "game hosted by friends" was the Georgia Tech Band's…
Su ch a blessing!!!
Captured every detail, you'll have to come back on a clear night.
does he need the Z and the S?
love this story !!!
Evan is a very funny fella