Aziz Ismail Ansari (born February 23, 1983) is an American actor, comedian, and filmmaker. He is known for his role as Tom Haverford on the NBC series Parks and Recreation (2009–2015), and as creator and star of the Netflix series Master of None (2015–) for which he won several acting and writing awards, including two Emmys and a Golden Globe for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy. With his Golden Globe win, Ansari became the first Indian-American actor ever to win a Golden Globe for acting in television.
Ansari at the 2012 Time 100 gala
|Birth name||Aziz Ismail Ansari|
February 23, 1983 |
Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.
|Medium||Stand-up, television, film, books|
|Alma mater||New York University|
|Genres||Observational comedy, blue comedy, surreal humor, satire|
|Subject(s)||Everyday life, American culture, popular culture, human interaction, human behavior, self-deprecation|
|Notable works and roles||Tom Haverford in Parks and Recreation
Chet in 30 Minutes or Less
Dev in Master of None
Ansari began his career performing stand-up comedy in New York City in 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.
As a stand-up comedian, Ansari released his debut comedy special, Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening, in January 2010 on Comedy Central Records, and tours nationally between acting commitments. In 2010 and 2011, he performed his Dangerously Delicious tour, which 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, Buried Alive, in the summer of 2013. His fourth 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. He was included in the Time 100 list of most influential people in 2016.
Aziz Ansari was born in Columbia, South Carolina, to a Tamil Muslim family from Tamil Nadu, India. 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. His mother, Fatima, works in a medical office, and his father, Shoukath, is a gastroenterologist. Both Fatima and Shoukath have appeared in seasons 1 and 2 of Master of None.
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 RecreationEdit
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 successful. He was a main character of the show for its seven seasons. Ansari's performance has received 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 NoneEdit
Ansari stars as Dev Shah in the Netflix original series Master of None, created and written with Parks and Recreation writer Alan Yang. Ansari directed several episodes of the series. The 10-episode series premiered on November 6, 2015, to very positive reviews. James Poniewozik of The New York Times called the show "the year's best comedy straight out of the gate" and praised its genre-crossing appeal.
Ansari's performance in the show earned him a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy. The series earned four Emmy nominations in 2016: Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for Ansari and Yang, and Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for Ansari; Yang and Ansari won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for the episode "Parents." Yang and Ansari were also honored with a Peabody Award in May 2016 for the series.
The show was renewed for a second season, which was released on May 12, 2017. The second season has also received strong reviews and has a 100% "Certified Fresh" ranking on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
MTV Movie AwardsEdit
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 television workEdit
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. His 2015 special, Aziz Ansari: Live at Madison Square Garden, also premiered on Netflix.
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.
Following the Boston Marathon bombing 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 self-identified as a feminist, saying his girlfriend has helped influence him. Ansari also incorporated an episode about feminism titled "Ladies and Gentlemen" in Master of None. In an interview in 2015, he spoke about the episode's meaningfulness to him saying "I thought it was interesting that this is happening, yet so many people are unaware of it. And the problem is people aren't talking about it. What I've learned, as a guy, is to just ask women questions and listen to what they have to say. Go to your group of female friends and ask them about times they've experienced sexism at their job, and you'll get blown away by the things they tell you."
Ansari is a "foodie" (although he dislikes the term); 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.
In January 2018, a woman using the pseudonym 'Grace' accused Ansari of sexual misconduct in an article on Babe.net. The article was met with a polarized and mixed response among commentators and the public with disagreement as to whether the incident described in the Babe article constitutes sexual misconduct. Ansari stated that the encounter "by all indications was completely consensual", but critics have stated that his actions were misogynist, lacked affirmative consent, and spoke to a larger culture of harmful male expectations. Others say that Ansari's actions did not constitute sexual misconduct and that his accuser's narrative trivializes the larger movement against forms of sexual abuse. In an article for The Atlantic, Caitlin Flanagan wrote that the narrative in Babe was revenge porn.
|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||Voice|
|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||Also co-creator, writer, executive producer. 2 seasons|
|2008||Worst Week||Morgue employee||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2009||Reno 911!||Insurance representative||3 episodes|
|2009||Scrubs||Ed Dhandapani||4 episodes|
|2009–15||Parks and Recreation||Tom Haverford||Main cast, 7 seasons|
|2010||Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening||Himself||TV special|
|2010||The Life & Times of Tim||Gabe||Episode: "Nagging Blonde/Tim & the Elephant"|
|2012||Dangerously Delicious||Himself||TV special|
|2012||NTSF:SD:SUV::||The Toucher||Episode: "Prairie Dog Companion"|
|2013||The Venture Bros.||Martin||Voice
Episode: "What Color Is Your Cleansuit?"
|2013||Comedy Bang! Bang!||Himself||Episode: "Aziz Ansari Wears A Charcoal Blazer"|
|2013||The Comedy Central Roast of James Franco||Roaster (himself)||TV special|
|2013||The Getaway||Host||Episode: "Aziz Ansari in Hong Kong"|
|2013||Buried Alive||Himself||TV special|
|2013||Wander Over Yonder||Westley||Voice
Episode: "The Little Guy"
|2013||Arcade Fire in Here Comes The Night Time||Li'l Bud||TV special|
|2013–14||Ben 10: Omniverse||Billy Billions||Voice
|2013–15||The League||Dr. Hector Rocha||2 episodes|
|2015||Kroll Show||Sly Dufrense||Episode: "Body Bouncers"|
Episode: "I'm Gonna Git You Suckoid"
|2015||Live at Madison Square Garden||Himself||TV special|
|2015–present||Master of None||Dev Shah||Also co-creator, executive producer, writer, director. 2 seasons|
|2017||Saturday Night Live||Himself/Host||Episode: "Aziz Ansari/Big Sean"|
|2018||Ugly Delicious||Himself||Episode: "Pizza."|
|2011||Jay-Z and Kanye West||"Otis"||Himself|
Awards and nominationsEdit
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- IANS. "Indian American Actor-Comedian Aziz Ansari Wins His First Golden Globe Award".
- "Why Aziz Ansari's Golden Globe win is so important". January 8, 2018.
- "Aziz Ansari". Time 100. Time. 2016. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
- Itzkoff, Dave. "Feeding the Comedy Beast Without Serving Leftovers", New York Times, June 3, 2010.
- "Aziz Ansari Biography". AskMen.com. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
- "I could do a Tamil film: Aziz Ansari". The Times Of India. September 18, 2011.
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- Turnage, Jeremy. "NBC's Parks and Recreation star has SC ties". WISTV.com.
- Czajkowski, Elise. "The Evolution of Aziz Ansari". Vulture. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
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- Gamerman, Ellen (March 27, 2009). "The Rise of the Likable Jerk". Wall Street Journal.
- "Hot Standup" Archived February 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., Rolling Stone
- "HBO's Comedy Fest announces winners". festivalfocus.org (Press release). HBO Comedy Festival. April 5, 2006. Archived from the original on May 4, 2006.
- 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.
- 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.
- "Golden Globe Nominations: The Complete List". The Hollywood Reporter. December 10, 2015. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
- Ryan, Maureen (July 14, 2016). "'Master of None' Exec Producer Alan Yang on Emmy Nominations: 'We're Ecstatic'". Variety. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
- "'Master of None' Wins at Emmys, Celebrates Story of Immigrant Parents". nbcnews.com. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
- Birnbaum, Debra (April 22, 2016). "'Black-ish,' 'Master of None,' 'Mr. Robot' Among 2015 Peabody Awards Winners". Variety. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
- "Peabody Conversations: Master of None". Peabody Awards. May 31, 2016. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
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- "Master of None: Season 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
- Man, Angry Asian. "Aziz Ansari is the first Asian American actor to win a Golden Globe for television #GoldenGlobes. Haing S. Ngor won Best Supporting Actor for The Killing Fields in 1985".
- Yam, Kimberly (January 8, 2018). "Aziz Ansari Becomes First Asian-American To Win Golden Globe For Best Actor In TV Show" – via Huff Post.
- "Aziz Ansari Explains His Role In The "Otis" Video". Complex. Retrieved 2018-04-14.
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- Breihan, Tom (November 12, 2009). "Aziz Ansari Preps Stand-Up Album". Pitchfork Media.
- Drea, Amber (June 1, 2006). "Aziz Ansari". Venus Zine. No. 28i. Archived from the original on March 31, 2012.
- 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 November 4, 2013.
- "Aziz (Modern Romance) Ansari". AzizAnsari.com. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
- 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.
- Ansari, Aziz (January 11, 2015). "To be clear, I am not religious and have nothing against Christians or Muslims, just ignorance like what @rupertmurdoch is spreading".
- "'Master of None': Aziz Ansari opens up about his Muslim upbringing".
- Mcrady, Rachel (August 17, 2014). "Aziz Ansari Dating Courtney McBroom: Exclusive Details". Us Weekly. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
- Shepherd, Julianne Escobedo (October 14, 2014). "Aziz Ansari's New Girlfriend Turned Him Into a Feminist". Jezebel. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
- "Aziz Ansari and girlfriend break up after two years". Retrieved July 9, 2016.
- "Louis C.K.'s Powerful Army of Celebrity Enablers". The Daily Beast.
- "Aziz Ansari embraces feminism on the Late Show with David Letterman". Slate Magazine.
- Vogue (2017-04-30), 73 Questions With Aziz Ansari | Vogue, retrieved 2017-11-26
- Miller, Julie (November 11, 2013). "Aziz Ansari on His Comedy Special Buried Alive, Romantic Relationships, and Getting Intimate with an Audience". Vanity Fair. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
- Evans, Bradford (April 15, 2014). "Aziz Ansari, Jason Woliner, and Eric Wareheim Present 'Food Club'". Splitsider.com. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
- Ansari, Aziz. "RIP Harris Wittels. 1984-2015". Azizisbored.tumblr.com. Tumblr. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
- Khatchatourian, Maane. "Aziz Ansari Writes Tribute to 'Hero' Harris Wittels". Variety. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
- Paul Chi. "Aziz Ansari on Shattering the Glass Ceiling in 'Master of None'". Variety. Retrieved December 11, 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.
- Stefansky, Emma (January 14, 2018). "Aziz Ansari Accused of Sexual Misconduct". HWD. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
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- Moran, Rob (January 15, 2018). "Master of None star Aziz Ansari accused of sexual misconduct". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
- "The Aziz Ansari Allegation Has People Talking About 'Affirmative Consent.' What's That?". Time. 17 January 2018.
- Wilstein, Matt (16 January 2018). "Whoopi Goldberg Scolds Aziz Ansari Accuser: 'Non-Verbal Cues' Are Not Enough". The Daily Beast.
- Brawley, Lucia (17 January 2018). "Let's be honest about Aziz Ansari". CNN.
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- West, Lindy (2018). "Opinion | Aziz, We Tried to Warn You". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
- Hamblin, James. "This Is Not a Sex Panic". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
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- Flanagan, Caitlin (January 14, 2018). "The Humiliation of Aziz Ansari". The Atlantic. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
- Flanagan, Caitlin (January 19, 2018). "'Babe' Turns a Movement Into a Racket". The Atlantic.
- Bunch, Sonny (January 15, 2018). "Babe's Aziz Ansari piece was a gift to anyone who wants to derail #MeToo". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
- "Aziz Ansari Talks 'Otis' Vid Cameo". Rapfix.mtv.com. August 16, 2011. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
- "Amy Poehler, Seth Rogen win American Comedy Awards". Entertainment Weekly. May 9, 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
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- "People's Choice Awards 2017: Full List Of Winners". People's Choice. January 19, 2017. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
- Reuters (January 8, 2018). "Best Actor in a Television Series Musical or Comedy". CBS News. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
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