Ansari at the 2012 Time 100 gala
February 23, 1983|
Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.
|Medium||Stand-up, television, film|
|Alma mater||New York University|
|Subject(s)||Everyday life, American culture, popular culture|
|Notable works and roles||
Randy Springs in Funny People|
Tom Haverford in Parks and Recreation
Chet in 30 Minutes or Less
Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening
Master of None
Aziz Ansari (Tamil: அசீஸ் அன்சாரி; born February 23, 1983) is an American actor and comedian. He is known for his roles as Tom Haverford on the NBC series Parks and Recreation (2009–2015) and as Dev Shah on the Netflix series Master of None, which debuted in 2015 and Ansari created, writes, and stars in. The New York Times called the latter show "the year's best comedy straight out of the gate".
Ansari began his career performing stand-up comedy in New York City during mid-2000 while attending New York University. In 2007, he created and starred in the MTV sketch comedy show Human Giant, which ran for two seasons. This led to acting roles in feature films, including Funny People; I Love You, Man; Observe and Report; and 30 Minutes or Less.
In addition to his acting work, Ansari has continued to work as a stand-up comedian. He released his debut CD/DVD, entitled Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening, in January 2010 on Comedy Central Records, and still tours nationally between acting commitments. In 2010 and 2011, he performed his Dangerously Delicious tour. This tour was self-released for download on his website in March 2012 and debuted on Comedy Central in May 2012. He completed his third major tour of new material, Buried Alive, in the summer of 2013. His fourth major comedy special, Live at Madison Square Garden, was released on Netflix in 2015.
His first book, Modern Romance: An Investigation, was released in June 2015.
Aziz Ansari was born in Columbia, South Carolina, to a Tamil Muslim family from Tamil Nadu, India. His mother, Fatima, works in a medical office, and his father, Shoukath, is a gastroenterologist. Ansari grew up in Bennettsville, South Carolina, where he attended Marlboro Academy as well as the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics. He graduated from the New York University Stern School of Business with a major in marketing.
Ansari frequently performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, as well as weekly shows such as Invite Them Up. In 2005, Rolling Stone included him in their annual "Hot List" as their choice for the "Hot Standup", and he won the Jury Award for "Best Standup" at HBO's 2006 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado.
Around the summer of 2005, Ansari began collaborating with fellow comedians Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer (both from the improv troupe Respecto Montalban), as well as director Jason Woliner to make short films. The first series created by the group was Shutterbugs, which followed Huebel and Ansari as cutthroat child talent agents. This was followed up by the Illusionators, which starred Ansari and Scheer as Criss Angel–style goth magicians. In mid-2006, MTV greenlit a sketch series from the group, which debuted April 5, 2007. The show completed two seasons and the group was offered a third season, but it opted to pursue other opportunities.
Parks and Recreation
In June 2008, Ansari was announced as the first cast hire for NBC's new comedy from producers of The Office. The show, Parks and Recreation, debuted in April 2009 with Ansari portraying government employee Tom Haverford. His character was an underachieving government official with extreme self-confidence and dreams of being mainstream. He was a main character of the show for its entirety of seven seasons. Ansari's performance has received notable praise from critics, including Entertainment Weekly naming him one of 2009's "Breakout TV Stars", TV Guide naming him a "Scene Stealer" and Yahoo! TV placing him in the No. 1 spot on its list of "TV MVPS".
Master of None
Ansari stars in the new Netflix original series Master of None, created and written by himself and Parks and Recreation writer Alan Yang. Aziz also directed several episodes of the series. The series premiered on November 6, 2015, to very positive reviews. Ansari's performance in the show earned him a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy.
MTV Movie Awards
On June 6, 2010, Ansari hosted the 2010 MTV Movie Awards. The show opened with a spoof of the film Precious with Ansari appearing as Aziz "Precious" Ansari. Ansari also created the short film Stunt Kidz, which reunited him with his Human Giant castmates. A second short film was also made with actor Zach Galifianakis in which Ansari portrayed Taavon, Galifianakis' "swagger coach". He accepted Galifianakis' award for Best Comedic Performance in character as Taavon. Ansari also performed a musical tribute to the film Avatar in the style of singer R. Kelly.
Other notable television work
In addition to his work on Parks and Recreation, Ansari appeared on the HBO series Flight of the Conchords as a xenophobic fruit vendor who had difficulty telling the difference between Australians and New Zealanders. He had a recurring role in season eight of the ABC sitcom Scrubs as Ed, a new intern at the hospital. Ansari's character was written off the show so he could work on Parks and Recreation. Ansari also has a recurring role on the animated comedy Bob's Burgers as Darryl.
Ansari has made appearances in several films, including Get Him to the Greek, I Love You, Man, 30 Minutes or Less, and Observe and Report. In the summer of 2009, Ansari appeared in the Judd Apatow film Funny People with Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen. Apatow liked Ansari's character, "Randy", and commissioned him and Human Giant collaborator Jason Woliner to create online shorts centered around his character, to promote the film. These shorts proved successful and the character became the subject of one of the film ideas Ansari and Woliner are currently developing for Apatow Productions. Two other ideas in development are Let's Do This, a road movie about two motivational speakers, and an untitled film about two disgraced astronauts who must return to space to clear their names. Ansari is also attached to star in another film with Danny McBride based on an idea from Ansari and 30 Rock writer Matt Hubbard. In April 2010, it was announced that Ansari would star in the film 30 Minutes or Less. The film was directed by Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer and co-starred Jesse Eisenberg and McBride. The film was released on August 12, 2011.
Even amongst various acting commitments, Ansari has continued performing and touring as a stand-up comedian. In 2006 and 2007, he toured with the Comedians of Comedy and Flight of the Conchords. In the fall of 2008 and early 2009, Ansari headlined his own comedy tour, the Glow in the Dark Tour. The material on this tour became the basis for a DVD/CD special for Comedy Central. The set, titled Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening, aired January 17, 2010, with a CD/LP/DVD release on January 19.
Ansari's comedy style tends to focus on aspects of his personal life. "I like talking about things that are going on in my life, because that's always going to be different and original", he says. "No one else is gonna be talking about my personal experiences".
In July 2010, Ansari began a new tour, Dangerously Delicious, which was in theaters across the United States; stops included the Bonnaroo Music Festival and Carnegie Hall in New York City. The tour wrapped with a filming for a special, Dangerously Delicious at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., in June 2011. This special was released on his website in March 2012 for download or stream.
In March 2012, Ansari announced a new tour entitled "Buried Alive," with dates scheduled for spring and summer 2012. A third stand-up special, Aziz Ansari: Buried Alive, was filmed during the tour at the Merriam Theater in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and premiered on Netflix on November 1, 2013.
Ansari's first book, Modern Romance: An Investigation, was released on June 16, 2015. The book is about the comedic pitfalls of dating in the modern world and was written with sociologist Eric Klinenberg.
In 2012, Ansari played a talking goat in an animated video for Oxfam America to encourage donations.
Following the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, Ansari performed a benefit for the victims at the Wilbur Theater in Boston, Massachusetts. All ticket proceeds benefited The One Fund & The Officer Richard Donohue Fund.
He has described himself as an atheist.
In 2014, it was reported that Ansari was in a relationship with professional chef Courtney McBroom. He has self-identified as a feminist, saying his girlfriend has helped influence him. In January 2016, it was reported Ansari and McBroom ended their relationship after two years of dating.
Ansari is a "foodie"; he and his friends Eric Wareheim and Jason Woliner have formed what they called "The Food Club," which involves them dressing up in suits and captain hats and rewarding restaurants with "Food Club" plaques. The plaques have their faces engraved along with the words: “The Food Club has dined here and deemed it plaque-worthy.” He explained to Vanity Fair, "It’s a really serious-looking plaque and all of the restaurants we've given it to have put it front and center. It’s funny because people will walk into a restaurant and be like, 'What the fuck is the Food Club? Who are these guys etched in gold?'" They also produced a tongue-in-cheek video about the club for Jash, filming them debating whether or not restaurants were plaque-worthy.
Ansari was a close friend of comedian Harris Wittels, working with him frequently.
|2006||School for Scoundrels||Classmate|
|2009||Funny People||Randy Springs|
|Observe and Report||Saddamn|
|I Love You, Man||Eugene|
|2010||Get Him to the Greek||Matty Briggs|
|2011||30 Minutes or Less||Chet|
|What's Your Number?||Jay|
|2012||Ice Age: Continental Drift||Squint||Voice|
|This Is the End||Aziz Ansari|
|2014||Date and Switch||Marcus|
|Food Club||Captain Ansari||Short|
|2004||Uncle Morty's Dub Shack||MC Bricklayer||Episode: "Didja Listen to My Demo?"|
|2007||Flight of the Conchords||Sinjay||Episode "Drive By"|
|2007–08||Human Giant||Various roles||14 episodes; also co-creator, writer, executive producer|
|2008||Worst Week||Morgue employee||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2009||Reno 911!||Insurance representative||3 episodes|
|Scrubs||Ed Dhandapani||4 episodes|
|2009–15||Parks and Recreation||Tom Haverford||Main cast|
|2010||Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening||Himself||Comedy Central special|
|The Life & Times of Tim||Gabe||Episode: "Nagging Blonde/Tim & the Elephant"|
|2012||Dangerously Delicious||Himself||Comedy Central special|
|NTSF:SD:SUV::||The Toucher||Episode: "Prairie Dog Companion"|
|2012–2015||Bob's Burgers||Darryl|| Voice|
|2013||The Venture Bros.||Martin|| Voice|
Episode: "What Color Is Your Cleansuit?"
|Comedy Bang! Bang!||Himself||Episode: "Aziz Ansari Wears A Charcoal Blazer"|
|The Comedy Central Roast of James Franco||Roaster (himself)||TV special|
|The Getaway||Host||Episode: "Aziz Ansari in Hong Kong"|
|Buried Alive||Himself||Netflix special|
|Wander Over Yonder||Westley|| Voice|
Episode: "The Little Guy"
|Arcade Fire in Here Comes The Night Time||Li'l Bud||NBC special|
|2013–14||Ben 10: Omniverse||Billy Billions|| Voice|
|2013–15||The League||Dr. Hector Rocha||2 episodes|
|Adventure Time||DMO|| Voice|
|2015||Kroll Show||Sly Dufrense||Episode: "Body Bouncers"|
|Major Lazer||Goosh|| Voice|
Episode: "I'm Gonna Git You Suckoid"
|Live at Madison Square Garden||Himself||Netflix special|
|2015–present||Master of None||Dev Shah||Lead role; also: co-creator/executive producer/writer/director|
|2011||Jay-Z and Kanye West||"Otis"||Himself|
Awards and nominations
|2009||Denver Film Critics Society Award||Best Acting Ensemble||I Love You, Man||Nominated|
|2010||Teen Choice Award||Choice Comedian||Nominated|
|2013||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||Parks and Recreation||Nominated|
|2014||American Comedy Award||Best Comedy Supporting Actor – TV||Nominated|
|Comedy Special of the Year||Aziz Ansari: Buried Alive||Nominated|
|Young Hollywood Award||Cuz You're Funny||Nominated|
|Variety Power of Comedy Award||Won|
|2016||Golden Globe Award||Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy||Master of None||Nominated|
|Critics' Choice Television Award||Best Actor in a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Best Comedy Series||Won|
|Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series||Won|
- Poniewozik, James (November 5, 2015). "Review: Aziz Ansari, in 'Master of None,' Negotiates Technology and Social Mores". The New York Times. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
- Itzkoff, Dave. "Feeding the Comedy Beast Without Serving Leftovers", New York Times, June 3, 2010.
- "Aziz Ansari Biography". AskMen.com. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
- "I could do a Tamil film: Aziz Ansari". The Times Of India. September 18, 2011.
- Gamerman, Ellen (March 27, 2009). "The Rise of the Likable Jerk". Wall Street Journal.
- Czajkowski, Elise. "The Evolution of Aziz Ansari". Vulture. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
- S.C. DUO MAY BECOME MTV GIANTS (April 1, 2007), The State: "Ansari says his parents, Shoukath and Fatima Ansari of Bennettsville, are 'freaked out that I'm on TV,'..."
- Turnage, Jeremy. "NBC's Parks and Recreation star has SC ties". WISTV.com.
- "Hot Standup" Archived February 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., Rolling Stone
- "HBO's Comedy Fest announces winners", HBO press release, festivalfocus.org, March 12, 2006.
- B, Pat. "Biography for Aziz Ansari". Biography. IMDB. Retrieved 2011-03-19.
- Schneider, Michael. "Aziz Ansari hired for 'Office' spinoff", Variety, June 12, 2008.
- "Aziz Ansari: Artist Bio" Archived October 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., Artist Bio from Bonnaroo
- Driscoll, Molly (November 6, 2015). "Aziz Ansari's Netflix show 'Master of None' scores rave reviews". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
- "Golden Globe Nominations: The Complete List". The Hollywood Reporter. December 10, 2015. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
- Upadhyaya, Kayla Kumari (November 7, 2015). "Master Of None is both personal and sweeping in its portrayal of immigrant stories". The A.V. Club. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
- Lesley Goldberg (July 28, 2015). "Aziz Ansari's Netflix Show 'Master of None' Will Build on His Stand-Up". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Siegel, Tatiana (November 23, 2009). "Apatow, Universal pick up pitches. Ansari, Woliner score with trio of comedy concepts". Variety. Archived from the original on March 18, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
- Fleming, Mike. (May 10, 2010) "Mandate Pictures Mounts Laugher Starring Aziz Ansari And Danny McBride". Deadline.com. Retrieved on 2010-11-05.
- Breihan, Tom (November 12, 2009). "Aziz Ansari Preps Stand-Up Album". Pitchfork Media.
- Drea, Amber (June 1, 2006). "Aziz Ansari". Venus Zine (28i). Archived from the original on 2012-03-31.
- Breihan, Tom (March 21, 2012). "The GQ&A: Aziz Ansari on His New, Web-Only Comedy Special, Hearing From R. Kelly, and the Future of Parks and Recreation". The Stream – GQ on Culture. GQ.
- Respers France, Lisa (October 31, 2013). "Aziz Ansari gets 'Buried Alive'". CNN. Cable News Network, Inc. Retrieved 2013-11-04.
- "Aziz (Modern Romance) Ansari". AzizAnsari.com. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
- Oxfam America Unwrapped: "Be a goat with Aziz Ansari" Archived December 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Aziz Ansari performing at The Wilbur in Boston on Sunday to benefit The One Fund and The Officer Richard Donohue Fund". lenalamoray.com.
- Mcrady, Rachel (August 17, 2014). "Aziz Ansari Dating Courtney McBroom: Exclusive Details". Us Weekly. Retrieved 2014-09-25.
- Shepherd, Julianne Escobedo (October 14, 2014). "Aziz Ansari's New Girlfriend Turned Him Into a Feminist". Jezebel. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
- "Aziz Ansari embraces feminism on the Late Show with David Letterman.". Slate Magazine.
- "Aziz Ansari and girlfriend break up after two years". Retrieved 2016-07-09.
- Miller, Julie (November 11, 2013). "Aziz Ansari on His Comedy Special Buried Alive, Romantic Relationships, and Getting Intimate with an Audience". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
- Evans, Bradford (April 15, 2014). "Aziz Ansari, Jason Woliner, and Eric Wareheim Present 'Food Club'". Splitsider.com. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
- Ansari, Aziz. "RIP Harris Wittels. 1984-2015.". Azizisbored.tumblr.com. Tumblr. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
- Khatchatourian, Maane. "Aziz Ansari Writes Tribute to 'Hero' Harris Wittels". Variety. Variety Media, LLC. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
- Paul Chi. "Aziz Ansari on Shattering the Glass Ceiling in 'Master of None' - Variety". Variety. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
- "The Other Man". Master of None. Episode 5.
- Aziz Ansari [azizansari] (November 6, 2015). "My brother Aniz is also a writer on the show and got on some of my favorite jokes!" (Tweet). Retrieved December 10, 2015 – via Twitter.
- "Aziz Ansari Talks 'Otis' Vid Cameo". Rapfix.mtv.com. August 16, 2011. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
- "Amy Poehler, Seth Rogen win American Comedy Awards". Entertainment Weekly. May 9, 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-26.
- Reiher, Andrea (May 8, 2014). "2014 American Comedy Awards full winners list". Zap2it.com. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
- Douglas Cobb. "2014 Young Hollywood Awards Show Nominees". Guardian Liberty Voice. Retrieved 2014-07-28.
- "Aziz Ansari to Receive Variety's Power of Comedy Award". Variety. November 25, 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-26.
- Lee, Traci G. (2016-01-18). "'Master of None' Named Best Comedy at Critics' Choice Awards". NBC News. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
- Dixon, Marcus James (July 14, 2016). "2016 Emmy Awards: Complete list of nominations". goldderby.com. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
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