“Aziz Ansari: Right Now” premiered on Tuesday, July 9 on Netflix.
Indian American comedian Aziz Ansari had an eventful last year. From winning the Golden Globe to getting accused of sexual misconduct, 2018 can really be called a year of firsts for Ansari. And now, for the first time ever, Ansari has chosen to address the elephant in the room, in his trademark sharp wit.
In the new Netflix stand-up special that began streaming Tuesday, titled, Aziz Ansari: Right Now, he chose to take the matter headlong. While Ansari undertook an international tour, “Road to Nowhere,” earlier in summer, when he also visited India, here in the US, it is his first major act ever since the accusation that came last year.
As soon as he opened his act, Ansari remarked: “It is a comedy special, about a man who mistakes him for Hasan Minhaj (host of Patriot Act, also on Netflix). The man almost conscious of his silly identity error, now tries to make up by pretending to know Ansari well enough, and says, “Aziz, right, Master of None, Parks and Recreation? Aziz said, he answered, “Yes, Yea that’s me.” The man now gains his attention by saying, ‘treat yo self,’ a popular line from the show. “Yeah, yeah that’s me,’’ answers Aziz.
Now, for the clincher, the man says, “And the whole thing, last year, sexual misconduct?” “No, no, no, that was Hasan,” remarks Ansari, and it is enough for the crowd to break into a hearty laughter.
But then it was time for the comedian to take the issue headlong, in all maturity and seriousness. In the winter of 2018, an unidentified woman had alleged that Ansari, during a sexual encounter with her, forced her to do certain things, which she did not feel comfortable about. The allegation snowballed into a public debate on whether the conduct comes under the category of harassment, misogyny or not.
On the show, Ansari said: “There’s times I felt scared, there’s times I felt humiliated, there’s times I felt embarrassed, and ultimately, I just felt terrible that this person felt this way. After a year or so, I just hope it was a step forward. It moved things forward for me, made me think about a lot. I hope I’ve become a better person.”
Understanding the awkwardness of the situation, he remarked, “This isn’t the most hilarious way to begin a comedy show, but it’s important to me that you know how I feel.”
Ansari also offered an outsider’s perspective on the situation and said, “I always think about a conversation I had with one of my friends where he was like, ‘You know what man? That whole thing made me think about every date I’ve ever been on.’ And I thought, wow, that’s pretty incredible. If this made not just me but other people be more thoughtful, then that’s a good thing, and that’s how I feel about it.”
Ansari then took the show further by talking about many things including his Danish girlfriend and how interracial relationships are perceived in America today. Ansari closed the show on a high note and left a certain fondness for himself with the viewer, as he emerged as a man who did not shy away from talking about his “misconduct.” Through wit and humor, Ansari showed everything is possible, even an apology!
- The sexual activity was ‘completely consensual,’ says Aziz Ansari (January 15, 2018)
- Aziz Ansari accused of sexual misconduct (January 14, 2018)
- Indian American Aziz Ansari wins Golden Globe for Best Actor in TV series (January 8, 2018)
- Aziz Ansari quits the Internet, says he’s reading books instead (August 4, 2017)
- Netflix back with Aziz Ansari’s ‘Master of None’, season two begins on May 12 (April 10, 2017)
- Watch: Aziz Ansari monologue on Saturday Night Live (January 22, 2017)
- Indian American Aziz Ansari to host NBC show ‘Saturday Night Live’ (January 11, 2017)
- Aziz Ansari becomes 5th South Asian-origin actor to be nominated for an Emmy (July 15, 2016)
- Aziz Ansari vies with Constance Wu for comedy honors at Television Critics Association Awards (July 7, 2016)
- Aziz Ansari says he’s afraid for his family under a Donald Trump presidency (June 27, 2016)
- Aziz Ansari discusses race in Hollywood: an Indian actor was an anomaly (November 11, 2015)
- Indian American comedians Russell Peters, Aziz Ansari in Forbes’ list of richest comedians (October 22, 2015)
- Watch ‘swinging’ Aziz Ansari in short film ‘hi guys’ (October 5, 2015)
- Aziz Ansari casts his parents to play his parents in Netflix comedy series ‘Master of None’ (July 29, 2015)
- Aziz Ansari to star in new comedy series on Netflix based loosely on his life (April 23, 2015)
- Savoring food, learning to be a gourmand the Aziz Ansari way April 18, 2014)
- Aziz Ansari hits a new high, with a lavish house in California (December 9, 2013)
- Ansari inks nearly $3.5 million deal for book on dating (August 26, 2013)
- Indian American comedians strike it big (January 3, 2013)