GQ (Australia) - - THE SOURCE -

orn into a Tamil Mus­lim fam­ily and grow­ing up in South Carolina – with an early pas­sion for Me­tal­lica guitar so­los – Aziz An­sari has long­been unique. And so it is with his com­edy. Where the genre’s reign­ing roy­als – Louis CK and Amy Schumer – rule over the brash, the sur­real and the cyn­i­cal, An­sari’s ap­peal is built on the laser fo­cus he shines on mod­ern life and pop cul­ture; side in­ter­ests be­ing hip-hop, food and cool suits. Right now – white hot is what he is, An­sari’s ar­tic­u­late brand of com­edy giv­ing him global recog­ni­tion; one of only a hand­ful of comics to have sold out New York’s Madi­son Square Gar­den. At just 32, the sud­den­lyev­ery­where comic has penned a The New York Times best­selling book, notched Judd Apa­tow cred­its ( Get Him to the Greek and Funny Peo­ple) and, of course, en­joyed a ca­reer-mak­ing run on the bril­liant sin­gle cam­era com­edy, Parks and Recre­ation, which wrapped ear­lier this year. As the scene-steal­ing Tom Haver­ford, he spliced parts of his own per­son­al­ity to the char­ac­ter: a glee­ful comedic energy laced with a slew of acute cul­tural ref­er­ences. On stage, he dances be­tween the sublime and ridicu­lous. He’ll leap from riffs on hot wings and 50 Cent, to analysing cu­ri­ously in­ven­tive racial slurs. He’ll get au­di­ence mem­bers to share creepy texts from dudes at clubs, then do a play-by­play of pornog­ra­phy set in a dough­nut store. It’s a brand of com­edy that’s as in­sight­ful as it is breezy, with lift-the-cur­tain ob­ser­va­tions on con­tem­po­rary life his truest punch­lines – his la­belling of this gen­er­a­tion as “the rud­est, faki­est peo­ple ever”; the re­al­i­ties of ev­ery­day sex­ism; the belief that mo­bile phones are the most in­ti­mate part­ner we have. Talk to An­sari and he doesn’t fall into the clichéd Sad Clown trope. While his hu­mour fows at a less fre­netic pace, it packs no less punch – piv­ot­ing from lu­cid in­sights into life and work, to the pitch-per­fect kick­ers that have won him hearts and laughs. That com­bi­na­tion of wit and won­der led An­sari to write the book Mod­ern Ro­mance: An In­ves­ti­ga­tion (his pub­lisher pro­vid­ing ad­di­tional en­cour­age­ment with a ru­moured seven-fgure ad­vance). A broad look at dat­ing in the dig­i­tal world, An­sari col­lab­o­rated with so­ci­ol­o­gist Eric Kli­nen­berg and ex­plores, say, Tin­der mee­tups en­twined with em­pir­i­cal data and graphs. It is quite the po­tent literary cock­tail. “Think about it in terms of pop mu­sic,” the pair com­mented in June. “When a new song fea­tur­ing Drake comes on the ra­dio, you’re like, ‘What is this song? Oh another Drake song. Big deal.’ [But] In a way, we are all like that Drake song: ‘The more time you spend with us, the more likely we are to get stuck in your head.’” Like his con­tem­po­raries, An­sari is prov­ing him­self to be a mul­ti­plat­form en­ter­tain­ment prospect – re­turn­ing to Net­fix next month with orig­i­nal se­ries Master of None. The show fol­lows 30-year-old ac­tor Dev and his daily strug­gles in New York – from fgur­ing out food op­tions, to de­cid­ing what to do with his life. The usual, then.

GQ: Most comics have unique ways of cre­at­ing new ma­te­rial – what’s your ap­proach? Aziz An­sari:

Some­times you have nights where you’re like, ‘I hate ev­ery joke I have. I hate all of it.’ You go through weird

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