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DVD Review: Aziz Ansari's Intimate Moments...

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Aziz Ansari (LAist interview here and here) is the sort of comedian you want to be like, if wanting to be like a comedian is your thing. He’s written for and starred in his own successful cable television show (Human Giant, review here), he currently shines on a major network sitcom (NBC’s Parks & Rec), and he’s got a new Comedy Central special out on DVD called Intimate Moments For A Sensual Evening. Oh, and he hangs with Kanye West, makes fun of his nephew Darwish and loves taco trucks. You don’t even HAVE a cousin named Darwish, do you? DO YOU?!

That’s what I thought.

As it stands now, no one is capable of being Aziz Ansari except the man himself, which is why Comedy Central decided to give him a full-hour special and DVD release, and not you. While you would have just mucked things up, Aziz is able to channel the irreverence of his Human Giant days with sharp setups and crisp deliveries honed over months of work on any stage that would have him. Indeed, if you’ve had the opportunity to see Aziz at any point recently, you’ll undoubtedly recognize some of the material, which for casual fans might come across as slightly unfulfilling, but in reality it represents a dedication to his stand up (and the special itself) that is absolutely admirable.

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While you would have just rolled on stage in any old sweatsuit (you schlub), Aziz takes the stage in Intimate Moments For A Sensual Evening in a well-tailored brown suit ready to keep the laughter classy. And he does, for the most part. Of course, there are occasional forays into things like shooting a linens company in the face like a bad drug deal for misrepresenting their thread counts, or how R. Kelly acts in a nightclub, but none of it is ever very blue - just very funny. There are slower moments, as is the case with any hourlong special, but overall Aziz really shines. He manages to channel the excitement he must have at pulling in his own special into loud, boisterous moments of silliness and pure fun.

The most interesting parts of Intimate Moments are, unsurprisingly, the closest to Aziz himself. Stories involving family members Darwish and Harris, or what it’s like to tell jokes in Kanye’s living room, seem to reverberate with a touch more enthusiasm because they most closely mirror the reality that Aziz lives in every day. This, if anything, is the comic we want to see the most, perhaps because the delivery and the honesty most closely mirrors our own. This is how you would tell stories, if you didn’t suck at telling stories.

Perhaps I’ve been a bit too harsh on you, gentle reader. For that, I apologize. It’s just that Aziz is so funny, most everything else seems a little worse by comparison. It’s not your fault, it really isn’t.

Intimate Moments For A Sensual Evening is now available on DVD wherever people have made the bigger decision to support laughter.