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Shout-Outs to Aziz Ansari

January 5, 2011

I couldn’t go another week without shining the Shout-Out spotlight on a hilarious comic named

Aziz Ansari

In most cases, I discover comics through word of mouth.  A funny friend, or a peer in the stand-up community will insist that I check out a clip and it goes from there.  However, in the case of Aziz Ansari, he just sort of snuck onto my radar.  I was watching an episode of “Flight of the Conchords,” where he had a cameo as a fruit vendor who was prejudiced against Australians.  Flash forward to about a year ago when I was watching the movie Funny People, and Ansari played a character called Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaandy.  I thought, “Hey, I know that guy.”

Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaandy!

Raaaaaaaandy is genius.  It is an altar-ego that Ansari cooked up, and tickled Judd Apatow so much that he decided to include it as a character in the film “Funny People.”  Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaandy is a character, who despite his lowbrow material, is a brilliant satire of contemporary stand-up comedy.  I get that Ansari plays this character with a twinkle in his eye and tongue firmly planted in cheek.  But, I found to my surprise that I don’t love Raaaaaaaaaandy ironically.  I just love him period.  What is it called when a satire has that effect? 

You can find a lot more of Ansari’s parody here.

Since then I`ve searched out a lot of his stuff, and I enjoy everything about this comic.  His humour is sharp and witty, he has a great energy that just bursts out of him, and I just find him pretty likeable.  Right now he’s making waves with the very funny show Human Giant:

He also plays the role of Tom Haverford on the show Parks and Recreation.

5 Fun Facts:

1) Hosted the 2010 MTV Movie Awards

2) Began his stand-up career while attending New York University in the summer of 2001

3) Won the Jury award for best stand-up at HBO’s 2006 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival

4) Pops up in a slew of comedy films including  “I Love You, Man,” “Observe and Report,” “Get Him to the Greek,” and “Funny People.”

5) Ansari shies away from comedy material about his ethnicity because ““I like talking about things that are going on in my life, because that’s always going to be different and original,” he says. “No one else is gonna be talking about my personal experiences.”

Further Material:

In early 2009, Ansari released a CD/DVD special for Comedy Central based on his “Glow in the Dark” Tour. 

Here’s a final clip of Ansari talking about his deep and abiding love of R. Kelly on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

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