Aziz Ansari

November 1, 2013

Hi reddit. It's Aziz Ansari, comedian. AMA.

Hello, it's me Aziz. I just released my third standup special Buried Alive today. You can watch it here on Netflix. Ask me some questions!

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What's Harris been up to? We've been waiting for his AMAATSSOUSA (Ask Me Anything About The Show Suits on USA) for ages.

He's been been prepping answers for AMAATSWCOUSA (Ask Me Anything About the Show White Collar on USA).

What was voicing DRL on Bob's Burger's like?

Getting to do Bob's Burger's is so fun. The next DRL episode is NUTS. I can't give away what they did, but its a great idea and anyone that is a fan of Terminator 2 is going to be VERY pleased.

Just watching Buried Alive now. Was Philadelphia the only night of the tour you filmed, or did you do multiple recordings?

The crowd work you did re: marriage proposals is really excellent. As their story unfolded, it seemed incredible that they ended up being the couple you chose, so I was just wondering if you had filmed other sets, but this one ended up being the best? It was neat watching you react, like you knew you had struck gold.

That proposal interview is maybe my favorite moment from the special. I did that bit every night of the tour and they were always interesting, but some were definitely more memorable than others. I was definitely worried about getting a good one for the special. I had planned on coming out after the encore and maybe doing more proposal interviews, but wow, that couple was so amazing, I knew we had it. That was the first show I believe, and we filmed two shows that night. Maybe when I do the $5 release in 6 months, I'll add the other proposal story as an extra. I also have all of them recorded from the tour on audio and could release that as a free thing if I ever get some time.

One favorite proposal story from was this guy said he got a bunch of puppies to wear shirts that had different letters on it to spell "Will you marry me Katie?" on it and I said "Wow, how did you get them to line up?" and he said, "Oh I didn't, it went horribly."

Damn I wrote a lot for this question.

What were you for Halloween?

I was Idris Elba dressed as Thomas the Tank Engine. I dropped in as Thomas at the Comedy Cellar and did standup too. It was super fun.

If you hadn't become the comedian/actor you are today, what job do you think you would have pursued? Or did you always see yourself as a comedian?

People always ask whether I dreamed of being a comedian, but I grew up in a really small town in South Carolina and you just don't dream that big there. When you're growing up in Bennettsville, your dream is to just get out of Bennettsville.

Aziz you're hilarious. But your standup is associated with bad memories. This story is sad and true. When you came to red bank NJ last March my girlfriend bought tickets for our anniversary,she broke up with me before he show but insisted we go together( this was my first chance to see you so i went for it) it was awful. We fought before the show and between acts...and it totally wasn't worth the aggravation I went through. Can I get some love here to make up for that awful night or can you diss her on twitter for me. She left me for a mutual friend. Her name is sonrisa.

Classic "let me break up with you on our anniversary, but still take you to see Aziz do standup live the same night" situation.

I'm really sorry to hear that though. Keep your head up, we're all in the struggle together. You'll meet someone great soon.*

*No clue if that will actually happen, but honestly in my heart, I hope it does for you and all of us.

Aziz, If you can guest star in any TV show, which would it be and what kind of character would you want to play?

I'm gonna start lobbying to play a corrupt Indian senator on House of Cards. Really want to film a scene at Freddy's Ribs.

Which city that you've toured in has the best food?

Specifically: best BBQ.

I love Franklin BBQ in Austin.

What is one of the most memorably hilarious (to shoot) scenes of Parks and Rec you can think of?

Very easy. Ben and Tom are having lunch with a drunk Joan Calamezzo who is creepily hitting on Tom and we have this exchange:

Joan: I'm going to go to the bathroom and powder my nose... amongst other things.

Ben: Dude, is she gonna go powder her vagina?

Probably the hardest scene I've ever had to get through without breaking. Adam and I just had to skip doing it for the first few takes. It's on the blooper real I believe. Also, props to Mo Collins, who always brings it as Joan.

Fellow small man here. Just wanted to say thanks for making it less weird to shop in the boys section for myself. Now the women working in the boys' department don't ask me if I'm shopping for my son.

Yo bro, that was a joke on a TV show, have some respect for yourself.

Hi Aziz! Big fan of your standup, your sketch comedy work and especially your role on Parks and Rec. This is the first time I've asked anything on a celebrity AMA, and I'm really hoping you have the time to read it.

Most of the Indian characters I've seen on American television shows are very stereotypical, either doctors/engineers (or at least very nerdy), socially awkward, and the majority of jokes involving them are about their ethnicity, sometimes going as far as simply being thinly-veiled racist comments played up for cheap laughs. It’s incredibly refreshing to see a character on a mainstream TV show who isn’t an Indian stereotype, but is just a character who happens to be Indian (and, in fact, goes against many of the stereotypes, whether it’s purposely or not). So as an Indian actor in America, have you had to make a conscious effort to stay away from such stereotypical roles? Also, do you see the future of Asian and South Asian actors trending away from such stereotypical roles? As an Indian man in the US myself this is something I would definitely like to see happen, but you’re obviously more in-touch with that world than I am.

I made the decision early on not to take roles who's sole source of humor is ethnic stereotype humor. And I think over the years, that trend of staying away from that is obviously taken off between myself, Mindy Kaling, Danny Pudi, and many others. As an Indian American, I'm proud because I don't ever remember seeing Indians represented on television or film growing up and now we are. Just think 25 years ago, Fischer Stevens PLAYED an Indian guy in Short Circuit 2!

Aziz - what is the best way that you used humor to *diffuse a potentially dangerous situation?

Edit: defuse. Thanks, obvnotlupus

Haha, not sure what you mean here bud? Do you imagine a scenario where I'm in a dangerous situation with friends getting mugged and I'm like "Guys, I got this" and start doing bits and the robbers start laughing and let us go? That would be kinda cool, but hasn't happened so far.

First off, I saw you do stand up in nashville over a year ago and it was hilarious, Chelsea peretti opened for you. My question is when do you plan on doing another nationwide tour? Thanks!

Yes, for sure. I'm 90% done writing my 4th hour which is about modern romance. I don't have a title yet, but I'll tour it in early 2014.

Hey Aziz. Who's the funniest non-comedian person you know?

My brother Aniz makes me laugh harder than almost anyone.

I'm an Indonesian guy and I'm interested in acting, how did you overcome the race barrier since they usually cast white people ? Also have you ever met Danny Pudi or Kunnal Nayyar?

Just only go after white dude roles. I have met those guys and some people have met me and thought they met them!

Aziz, who is your least favorite President and why?

Charles Logan. Betrayed his country.

I saw you walking down the street one time while I had my headphones on, you were walking with someone else and looked busy so I didn't want to disturb you so I just held out my fist as I walked past offering a fist bump, not even removing my headphones.

You just casually gave me that fist bump as we passed and I kept going on my way, and everyone around on the street looked really confused and looking at me thinking I was friends with you. And even had someone ask me if I knew you personally at the next crosswalk. It was hilarious and awesome.

Thanks for that moment Aziz.

Also you're funny as fuck.

Haha, I love weird interactions like that. Another cool one in NYC - dude in a UPS truck: "HEY!" quick double honk thumbs up peels off

I work in Bennettsville, didn't know he was from here, that's awesome!

Fellas, head to Dairy Dream and grab some food. I miss that place!

Aziz, I am standing in the frozen food section. Should I get the Hungry Man Backyard BBQ or the Mexican Style Fiesta?

Those are gross flavors of Toaster Strudels, go with strawberry.

Go back on Opie & Anthony. You were an awesome guest.

Those guys are great and I love Norton. He's a great, hardworking comic that writes a ton and I don't see him shouted out enough. I love doing radio where you have a long, fun conversation.

Why is Jerry universally hated?

Get off of reddit Larry

My name is Randy.

Why have you done this to me.

Haha, sorry buddy!

If there is one tip that you could give a young commedian, about how to be successful in the business and life in general, what would you say?

Just keep doing standup and try to get better at it. Be nice to people.

Who are some up-and-coming stand-ups that you like? (Most hyphens I've used in one sentence.)

Chelsea Peretti, Hannibal Buress, Michael Che, Moshe Kasher, John Mulaney.

What's it like being one of the most recognizable Indians in America?

Good. You occasionally get confused for other recognizable Indians though.

Sgt. Brody's twitter has been silent so far this season, when can we expect to start hearing some tweets/updates on his dumb–ass son Chris?

Lost the password for that account!

Hi Aziz, we went to your show in Vancouver, Canada in June 2012.. you were awesome, do you have any good memories or stories from your time in VanCity??

I ate fish and chips at Go Fish that were AMAZING.

Aziz, when are you gonna do your next feature stand up? I paid like 5 bucks to watch on your website. BTW happy diwali

I just released one today, you already need the NEXT one? Damn bro!

What's you're favorite video game?

I don't play video games these days but used to love Goldeneye on N64.

Who's your favorite character on Game of Thrones?

Tywin Lannister is pretty amazing. Also Hodor.

Hey dude! Your flies down!

It legit is. Thanks.

Hi Aziz! What's your favorite thing about Jean Ralphio's character?

I love when we get to come up with our dumb handshakes.

Saw a picture of you and Eminem in the studio, are you guys having something in the making together? Thanks for the AMA!

Not me, must have been a different Indian dude.

What's your favorite experience with Nick Offerman on set of Parks and Rec?

When that little puppy licked his mustache.

This will probably get buried... but I have to tell a story.

My brother, til this day refuses to watch anything with you in it because he thinks you are a total dick. He claims to have tried to say hi to you outside a club once, but you blew him off. I tried defending you, saying you were probably busy or something. Or maybe it was even one of your look-alikes that you hired, I don't know.

Is there anything I can do to make him not hate you?

Seems a bit intense. I'm guessing it wasn't me or I didn't hear him. I'm not against saying hello to people. People I have said hi to, back me up on this.

Hi Aziz. I saw you twice this year at JFL42 in Toronto and met you briefly at The Comedy Bar (where you met the most annoying man in Toronto!). You were cool. No questions. Keep being awesome.

Thanks, please share this with the other dude who said I didn't say hi to his brother.

You are my favorite comedian of the last ten years easily, thx for the laughs. Would you ever do white face? I think it would be hilarious depending on the situation.

I'm gonna play a white guy in the reboot of Short Circuit. Bring things full circle.

[No question]

Thanks for all the questions everyone. I have to go now. Bye bye!

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Aziz Ansari conducted on Reddit on 2013-11-01. The Reddit AMA can be found here.