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Interview: 'Giant' Comedian Aziz Ansari
It sure seems like Aziz Ansari is doing all of the right things at the right times these days, and he’s definitely getting noticed for it. For a few years now, he’s been steadily climbing the comedy ladder, doing stand up and stage work both here in Los Angeles and New York City. After Aziz paired with Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer to form the wildly popular Human Giant on MTV, he really began to take off and can now be seen in a few episodes of Scrubs, an Office-like show coming this spring, and touring with his Glow In The Dark stand up tour, coming tomorrow night to the Largo.
Aziz was kind enough to give LAist a few minutes of his time, and he even brought some of his buddies from hit TV show The Wire.
Aziz: I'll answer all these questions as myself, and to keep it interesting, a second answer will be given by members from Marlo Stanfield's crew in "The Wire." If you've never seen "The Wire," and this just seems stupid, I apologize and highly recommend checking out the show, as I'm sure you've heard by now, its excellent.
LAist: Where did you get your start?
Aziz: I started doing standup in New York while I was in college.
Marlo:I started coming up on the corners down on Eastern Avenue in the WestSide of Baltimore.
You've spent a lot of your time doing comedy in both Los Angeles and New York. What do you think separates the two for a comedian?
Aziz: Audiences in both cities are fantastic. Obviously being in LA there's many more opportunities for acting, which is why I ended up moving here.
Marlo:I run a drug crew in Baltimore, I ain't got shit to do with comedians, NY, or LA.
As a pretty successful member of the new wave of young comedians, where do you see comedy headed in the next decade?
Aziz: I have no clue. I hope the people that are talented keep getting successful and things stay how they are and don't get shitty.
Snoop: You best shut the fuck up bout' all this comedy shit. Marlo ain't got nothing to do with none of it. You bring it up again we gonna take yo' ass to the vacants,
Partlow: (silent, but looks mean)
What are you working on and where can we see you next?
Aziz: I'm going to be in a new show from producers of "The Office" which will be on in April. I also am doing a few small parts in some movies. Right now, I'm filming something in Judd Apatow's new film, Funny People, which has been very fun.
Partlow: Motherfucker, you think I'm a snitch?
With your tour going full force and upcoming TV gigs, it must be hard to balance it all. What's an average day for Aziz Ansari?
Aziz: I'm usually working on different projects and trying to cram in delicious meals in between. I'm also getting ready for the new season of "Lost"!
Marlo: Who the fuck is that? He run with the Greek?
You've been successful in both sketch and stand up, do you have a preference?
Aziz: No, I'm pretty happy to be able to do both. Right now I'm pretty focused on standup because I'm working on recording a CD/special.
Snoop: You know, I fuck with some shit down at UCB with the sketch/improv, but I ain't never done no standup.
With your success in the past few years, when will you consider yourself as having 'made it'?
Aziz: Not really. Now Zach Effron, that guys made it!
Marlo: I'll be honest. After Avon passed me the crown a few years ago, yeah, I felt like I made it.
Who are some of the other comedians you're looking at these days?
Aziz: My favorites to watch in LA are Louis CK and Patton Oswalt. As far as younger comics, I really like this guy Hannibal Burress out of NY and Nick Kroll, who is opening several of my tour shows, is also great.
Marlo: I like those guys. John Mulaney is another really hilarious comic from NY. Also, Brent Weinbach from San Francisco. His shit's dope.