Let me be honest with you. I am a huge Scrubs fan. And when I first saw Aziz Ansari in Season 8 of Scrubs, I hated him. He was loud, annoying and what did he know? He was just a stupid, fake intern.
It felt like a theft of precious sitcom seconds were being wasted on him when I just wanted J.D. and Turk to sing about their “Guy Love.” Needless to say, I didn’t like Aziz on my first impression. Then I hear he’s releasing an online special a la Louis C.K. and once again I had my bitter biases creeping up.
But lo and behold, Aziz isn’t just an actor moonlighting as a stand-up comedian.
He’s not one of these guys that relies on his own ethnic and racial background for material. You aren’t going to hear self-deprecating Pakistani jokes from Aziz, mostly because he’s Indian which quite frankly is racist of you to assume they’re the same thing.
Shot at the Warner Theater in Washington D.C., Aziz is a hip hop aficionado, his set replete with stories of R. Kelly, Jay-Z and 50 Cent. One of his great strengths are his stories that bond the audience through experience. Example: “One night I’m texting a girl, she texts me back I text her back” and after about five back and forths, “I say ‘Alright cool, so you wanna get pizza on Tuesday?’ And then I don’t hear anything!”
This may seem lacking in clever wordplay, shock value or biting sarcasm. But it’s something that has happened to every guy and drove him crazy. When you hear Aziz tell stories like this you’re right there empathizing with every petty frustration that it seems laughable how close the two of you are.
My favorite is a comedy moment that absolutely has to be unwritten. There is honestly no way Aziz could tell this without it being true. Things start merrily along with a lunch date with a friend until suddenly 50 Cent appears in his eyesight. The scene is simply this rapper and former Vitamin Water shareholder believes that his grapefruit soda should be purple. As Aziz puts it, “There are parents who aren’t there when their kids learn what a grapefruit is. I am there in rapper 50 Cent’s life.”
Other hits on this hour long special include a Canadian customs lady whose English is “barely better than Animal from the Muppets Babies,” a dramatic interpretation of R. Kelly’s newest song, and the latest updates on Aziz’s chubby cousin Harris.
Just like Louis C.K. and Jim Gaffigan, Aziz is selling his special Dangerously Delicious for $5 on his website azizansari.com. A shortened and censored version will air on Comedy Central May 20 10:00 PM ET. It’s likely a quarter of the show will be slashed for commercials.
This is what I think of Aziz’s comedy. The words, on paper are neither highly cerebral nor playactingly stupid. The stories often involve banal realities rather than outrageous adventures. It’s Aziz’s personality, the same personality I initially despised on Scrubs, that drives his stand-up. Time will tell that Aziz is not a TV actor moonlighting as a comedian. It might be the other way around.
Check out a preview of Dangerously Delicious here:
About the Author: Nate Rankin writes Comedy Reviews and Fiction because no one taught him any better. His fiction has been featured by Workers Writes, theNewerYork! and Used Gravitrons and is forthcoming in The Green Blotter. His work can be seen here: http://iamseamus.tumblr.com/writing You can find him on the Tweety Box @CommanderSeamus If you'd like to submit a review inquiry please send to nrankin22[at]gmail[dot]com