Actor-comedian Aziz Ansari: the guy's on fire

San Antonio Express-NewsMarch 6, 2014 

NY Premiere "Aziz Ansari: Buried Alive"

Aziz Ansari attended the New York premiere of his special Aziz Ansari: Buried Alive in October.

DONALD TRAILL — Invision/AP

  • IF YOU GO

    Aziz Ansari

    What: The comedian and Parks and Recreation co-star brings his "Modern Romance" comedy tour to Lexington.

    When: 8 p.m. March 8

    Where: UK Singletary Center for the Arts, 405 Rose St.

    Tickets: Sold out

    Learn more: Uksab.org

When it comes to matters of the heart, celebrity-obsessed, rap-loving comedic actor Aziz Ansari is admittedly hapless — but hilariously observant about being single in the age of social media.

The co-star of NBC's sitcom Parks and Recreation is all about modern romance these days. And it has nothing to do with his unrequited man-crush on Kanye West.

His "Modern Romance" comedy tour started in late January and arrives at the University of Kentucky's Singletary Center for the Arts for a sold-out gig on Saturday. The show is organized by the UK Student Activities Board. (Ansari will be at the Horseshoe Casino in Cincinnati for two shows April 25; few tickets remain.)

Ansari, 31, has been doing stand-up for about a decade and became a cult favorite on Human Giant, a short-lived sketch comedy show he created for MTV.

But most know him from films such as Funny People and Knocked Up, and as the character Tom Haverford on Parks and Recreation.

"I just love doing Parks and Rec. I'm fortunate to be on a show like that," Ansari told the Wichita Eagle.

"There are few comedies on TV, especially network TV, that I really enjoy and match my sensibility," he said. "So to be on one of those shows is something that I try not to take for granted. It's a lot of fun to work on. It would be so weird to work on a show I don't care about, like The Mentalist."

For a different side of Ansari, comedy fans should check out the very blue, outrageous The Comedy Central Roast of James Franco, which aired last year. On his website, Ansari is promoting his last download special, Dangerously Delicious.

He's not afraid to shock.

"There's two types of laughs. One type where you tell a joke and people just laugh. The other is they laugh and think, 'Holy (expletive), I can't believe you said that,'" Ansari told the Arizona Daily Star.

Here's how he described his new act.

"It's a lot about being single, all the trauma everyone goes through, all the frustrations," Ansari said. "When I make jokes about certain things that seem personal, everyone ends up laughing, and you realize this a very shared experience. You realize everyone goes through the same garbage."

At this juncture, onstage at least, Ansari is a lovable comedic artist in transition — from hyper club rat persona to a slightly more grown up, sensitive dude talking about the singles scene in the past tense. (He says he has a steady girlfriend.) The act is intelligent, if only mildly amusing

But Ansari is undeniably hot right now. He recently inked a $3.5 million deal to write a book about the pitfalls of being single in the age of gadgets, and he plunked down $2.7 million on a home in Los Angeles, according to news reports.

He's ubiquitous, too. Ansari helped announce the nominees for the Golden Globe Awards.

Don't read too much into all that. "I still have the same friends I've always had," he told the Arizona Daily Star. "I don't think I've changed as a person. Your lifestyle changes. There are things around you that change, but your personality doesn't change."

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service