The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Comedy Bad Boy Aziz Ansari

Patrick McManus | Monday, March 26, 2012

Comedian Aziz Ansari released his latest comedy special, “Dangerously Delicious,” directly on his website for $5 on March 20.

This model of comedians releasing their stand up specials directly to the public through their websites – and bypassing middlemen like Comedy Central or HBO – is still in its infancy. Louis C.K. set what seems to be a burgeoning trend by releasing his special, “Live at the Beacon Theatre”, on his website last December. That special was very successful, as it grossed over $1 million.

Jim Gaffigan announced he would release his next special the same way on April 11.

Comedians like this method of distribution because it allows them complete creative control and gives them a larger share of the profits. The success of Louis C.K. also supports the arguments of many people who download media illegally when they say they would pay for content if it were available in a convenient format at a reasonable price.

Time will tell whether this distribution model will become the new standard or if only the biggest name comedians can find success without the marketing arm of a major corporation.

Ansari is perhaps best known for his role as Tom Haverford on “Parks and Recreation,” but he has also appeared in a number of films like “30 Minutes or Less” and “Funny People.”

“Dangerously Delicious” is an exciting effort that revisits many of the same themes from Ansari’s first special, “Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening.” There are stories about his cousin Harris, R. Kelly and food. Though he doesn’t break new ground as far as material is concerned, this special is a solid comedic performance that will be enjoyed by fans of Ansari’s comedy.


Though he jokes that comedy tours are nothing like tours of rock stars like Mötley Crüe, he still has stories of hanging out with Jay-Z, so comedy tours are apparently still a lot crazier than regular people’s lives. In one hilarious bit, Ansari discusses overhearing 50 Cent at a restaurant, and apparently the rapper did not know what a grapefruit is. Ansari receives a lot of laughs from such a simple premise.

His delivery is marked by both a sort of sophisticated cool and a manic excitement. The interplay of these drives makes Ansari’s analysis of situations, both mundane and extraordinary, way funnier than they probably should be.

Also included for those who buy the special is a digital bonus pack including photos from the tour and a list of restaurants he ate at on the tour. If you want to give the special as a gift or just have it look cool on your shelf, it also includes materials for fans to make their own DVD covers.

If you are undecided about whether Mr. Ansari’s stand up fits your comedic sensibilities, a preview of the special is available on his website.

This is an exciting time for stand up comedy, with a lot of auteurs putting out quality material in innovative ways.

Contact Patrick McManus at pmcmanu1@nd.edu