In an ingenious marketing strategy, comedian and TV actor Aziz Ansari released a new standup special Tuesday and posted it exclusively to his website for his fans to purchase for a modest $5. Which is quite is fitting, when you consider that most of his jokes cater to the Internet-savvy, techno-prone generation.
The special, entitled “Dangerously Delicious,” not only lives up to the hype of his first special “Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening,” but also serves as a great example of how far Ansari has come in the comedy scene, as well as how much his fanbase has grown. The Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., where “Dangerously Delicious” was filmed, has every seat in the house filled.
Fans of Ansari’s previous special—or his work on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation”—certainly won’t be disappointed by his “Dangerously Delicious” performance. His new material, while perhaps more crude than in his previous special, is just as hilarious. For instance, most of Ansari’s jokes had a way of coming back to his love of food— I’m going to go out on a limb and say that perhaps it was named “Dangerously Delicious” for a reason.
One thing that’s great about Ansari’s comedic style is that he dissects so many little daily events, and when the audience sees it through his eyes, everything is hilarious. He has a way of skillfully examining what seem like menial topics and making people genuinely interested in every little experience he has to share. His engaging delivery and mocking voices during hypothetical conversations probably have something to do with that. But everything from complimenting a woman’s bag to discussing how rude people are while traveling (beware, that story did not end well for the puppies) are simply funnier when told from his perspective.
I found myself learning many new things about Ansari while watching this special. (We both have the same opinion on the health value of late-night quesadillas.) For instance, he seems to spend more nights in bars with friends working up the courage to talk to women than at crazy Hollywood blowouts. And, apparently all women are mean to him. Clearly, he has none of his over-the-top confidence or pseudo-swagger of his TV persona, Tom Haverford. Here’s a tip, ladies: If Aziz compliments your jacket, all you have to say is “Thank you.” Really. Also, his friend Brian really cares about him. (What happened to Jason, the only other white guy at the R. Kelly concert?)
Ansari’s jokes and stories range from everything about racism (a topic that people apparently love to bring up whenever he mentions that he is both Indian and from South Carolina), the combination of “Star Wars” and racism, guys he meets at parties, people who annoy him, women, celebrities and, of course, food. And he certainly doesn’t shy away from racier subject matter—something that would be exponentially less funny if handled by a more boisterous, annoying comedian. As it is, Ansari’s special brand of nerdy suavity seems to suit him and his jokes just fine
Also, Ansari doesn’t mind sharing more self-deprecating jokes with his audiences. One story finds him recounting an experience with Jay-Z at a New Year’s Party where he is just too sleepy and/or wasted to be funny. He also draws comparisons between comedy tours and rock concerts through a discussion about Mötley Crüe (based off of their biography that he read). Long story short, comedians are apparently lonelier than rock stars. Exhibit A:
“Some Indian dude that recognizes me from the TV will invite me back to his dorm to play video games.”
Ansari also joked at his own expense that if he ever tried to do as much heroin as rock legends, that he would die. Not from the drug, but from passing out because of the needle and then falling off a building.
Fans of “Intimate Moments” will be pleased to hear that Ansari’s Internet jokes are in no short supply—Is fighting on the Internet really more gratifying?—as well as the return of Ansari’s little cousin Harris. Suffice it to say that Harris’s college essay, for all of its quality writing, should include “#FirstWorldPains” written at the end, á la Twitter.
Also, much like “Intimate Moments,” Ansari wastes no time in recapping some of his favorite celebrity encounters, including one with 50 Cent, who apparently has yet to learn some of his fruits, a story that Ansari himself couldn’t get through without cracking up.
“There are parents that aren’t there when their children learn what a grapefruit is. I am there for that moment in rapper 50 Cent’s life—this guy leaves the restaurant, he’s going to know about a new fruit!” Ansari joked.
The familiar stomping-ground that is jokes at R. Kelly’s expense was also revisited because, according to Ansari, “R. Kelly just keeps doing amazing things!” Those “amazing things” include making a video explaining what an echo is. Yes, that video is real.
You can purchase “Dangerously Delicious” from Ansari’s website here. Once purchased, you will be given a password that gives you access to five downloads, as well as three streams of the special.
Note: This comedy special contains graphic language and references. View at your discretion.
By Rachel Garcia
Image Credit: Art taken from Ansari’s website- http://azizansari.com