Aziz Ansari Works Semi-Nude
Comic Aziz Ansari, of Raaaaaaandy! and “Parks and Recreation” fame, is originally from South Carolina and his parents emigrated to the U.S. from southern India. The way Ansari accesses his ethnic background in his work was recently explored in a New Yorker profile, wherein he receives the star treatment by staff writer Kelefa Sanneh:
Ansari has become one of this country’s most popular young comedians while generally declining to highlight his Indian-American identity. It can’t be a coincidence, though, that many of Ansari’s favorite subjects–his heroes, and therefore, his targets–are African American. His jokes and stories about Black celebrities allow him to acknowledge his own status as an anomaly in the mainy white world of alt comedy.
One of his most reliable new routines is a great story about overhearing the rapper 50 Cent ordering a grapefruit soda in a restaurant. When it arrives, 50 Cent says, “Why isn’t this purple?” And from this Ansari draws a conclusion –”50 Cent has no idea what a grapefruit is!”
While not directly working with his ethnic identity, he’s in tune with this part of himself and incorporates it into his stand-up routine. To give credit where it’s due, we can say he works semi-nude.
To what extent do you incorporate your ethnicity into your work?
Date: November 9, 2010