Aziz Ansari is a fucking badass. Well, not really, but in one of his stand-up routines he says he wants anyone who writes about him to start with that line, so that when you Google his name, it automatically asks if you meant to search for "Aziz Ansari is a fucking badass." It sums up Ansari's humor: self-deprecating, falsely macho, and sweetly crude.
Aziz Ansari: Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening is Ansari's first stand-up DVD, coming out on the heels of a fantastic year. He had a role in Judd Apatow's Funny People, and he consistently steals his scenes as the obnoxious Tom Haverford on the NBC show Parks and Recs. Tom Haverford is a more over-the-top, clueless version of Ansari's stage persona — a suit who thinks he's cool, and whose use of hip hop slang clashes with his business background.
In many ways, the 26-year-old Ansari is the epitome of his generation — raised on the Internet, indie rock, and hip hop, and versed in social networking. Some of his funniest material is when he acts out messages posted by his younger cousin Harris on Internet forums, imitating emoticons and what a "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!" might sound like. He reads jokes from his Blackberry, and confesses that he's probably going to die in a car crash looking at IMDb on his phone to see if Val Kilmer was in Willow.
Some of the funnier routines are about him meeting Kanye West or going to an R. Kelly concert, buying 600 thread count sheets, and crazy Craigslist ads. He's an energetic performer, leaping around the stage to make a point and yelling out punchlines.
He can also be incredibly gross. There are multiple rape and pedophile jokes, and Ansari knows the value of a well-timed f-bomb. He gets even raunchier as his alter ego Raaaaaaaandy, an obnoxious shock comic who comes complete with his own DJ to punctuate his punchlines. He does his entire encore as Raaaaaaaandy, and his next project is a Judd Apatow-produced film based on the character. Ansari can be annoying and kind of a jerk, but he's also self-deprecating and seems like a genuinely nice guy. Raaaaaaaandy has none of that self-awareness, and instead believes that drowning while going down on a girl in a hot tub would be the ultimate way to meet one's maker. Raaaaaaaandy is funny, but he also has the potential to become what he is making fun of. Let's hope Ansari doesn't let Raaaaaaandy become the next Andrew Dice Clay.
The DVD comes with a 30-minute set recorded at a university. It's low-key and low-energy, offering a more, well, intimate look at Ansari. He seems hung over, and blows several of the punchlines, but he's still funny. The DVD is also being released as a CD, but part of the fun of Ansari's set is seeing his expressions and body language. Aziz Ansari: Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening is friggin' hilarious, and is no doubt just the beginning of a huge year for this comic.