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A Lindsay Campbell Pop-Ed: Grab a Beer and Settle Down for a Date with 'Aziz Ansari: Buried Alive'


Let's talk about Aziz Ansari. Why? Because this is my column, and I love him. Also, because he has a new comedy special, Aziz Ansari: Buried Alive, on Netflix that's been getting a lot of buzz. 

Admittedly, I was too hung up on wondering if he'd return as Tom Haverford after the nonsense NBC has been pulling with their delay of Parks and Recreation to think about Ansari's latest standup routine. That all changed one fateful Friday, when Ansari and I had the chance to hang out. OK, we didn't hang out. I saw him speak at a local New York City venue and basically fell in love.

It was a low key event where Ansari sat down for a fireside chat moderated by The New York TimesBrian Stelter to talk about his career and his new special on Netflix. Aside from Stelter being such an uncomfortable and awkward interviewer interrupting every chance he got, it was a fascinating conversation about Ansari's rise to fame, what goes into writing and filming a standup routine and what it's like to work with the one-and-only Ron Swanson.

While Stelter shied away from getting right into NBC/Parks gossip, he let Ansari dive into details about his first love: standup comedy. Ansari unfolded as he walked the audience through how he first got into comedy while at New York University and started doing eight- to ten-minute standup spots in small venues around NYC. From there, things just kind of fell into place for him and doors of opportunity opened. Doors that led him to producing MTV's Human Giant and Judd Apatow that let him create Funny People's Randy, a character that has since gained a cult following. From there he had a few more gigs until he eventually landed a little show called Parks and Recreation.

While Ansari didn't go into too much detail about Parks, he assured us all that the cast and crew were safe and very happy with NBC. The cast is alive and well and even have a few back-to-back episodes coming up soon. While they're on hiatus, Nick Offerman, aka Ron Swanson, is busy keeping his woodshop alive by building canoes that are featured in the show.

After hearing more about his background in standup and sitcoms, Stelter led him to talk about Buried Alive. To sum it up quickly, I'll say it's an hour-long set that covers dating in a digital world. Word to the wise for anyone looking to go out with Ansari: You won't find him on OKCupid or Match. He's not "trying to get murdered!" Stelter went too far and let Ansari in on the secret that he actually met his fiancé on Twitter. Cue the awkward silence. Anyway, I'm getting off topic ...

Ansari had me totally sold on his routine so much that I went home and watched it that night. You guys, it's hilarious. I'm a true believer that standup comedy like that is always funnier in person (kind of like how baseball games are always better to watch at the stadium – it's the atmosphere and people that really makes it fun), but Ansari really knows how to tell a story, point out the obvious and be hilarious. He's an observant old soul living in a digital age which makes for some pretty good material.

So my advice is to, beloved Popculturology readers, make some popcorn, grab a beer and sit back and relax this weekend with a little Ansari action. You'll likely find yourself agreeing with what he says and laughing along with the audience.

Also, if you're planning on proposing this weekend, don't do it over lunch at a five star restaurant. (Inside joke between me and anyone else in the world that has watched Buried Alive.)

Contact Lindsay Campbell on Twitter at @Lindsay0021.
A Lindsay Campbell Pop-Ed: Grab a Beer and Settle Down for a Date with 'Aziz Ansari: Buried Alive' Reviewed by Lindsay Campbell on 11/08/2013 Rating: 5

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