-

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

-

archive

Aziz Ansari’s new special on Netflix adds depth to laughs

Juan Cancio | Monday, November 4, 2013

On Nov. 1, Netflix released a brand new Aziz Ansari comedy special. Our favorite man-child is at it again in his new special entitled “Aziz Ansari: Buried Alive,” but this time he added some not-so-hidden messages in his standup routine. Aziz makes some of his possibly controversial opinions perfectly clear in jokes about adult relationships, bullying and even gay marriage. Although Aziz is no doubt a hysterical comedian, there are times in his new special where he dwells on issues that he obviously finds important. As many of the most talented comedians, Aziz is able to sneak in little nuggets of serious sincerity between his funniest jokes thereby guaranteeing you do more than just laugh.

Aziz opens his comedy show by talking about how ridiculous all his friends are now that they have children; much like anything else in our lives, Aziz points out that his friends have felt the need to record every second of their baby’s new life. Of course, Aziz, being the man he is, laughs at the mere thought of having children and all the sacrifice it entails. He reveals to us the audience that he cannot even understand how couples get married, let alone choose to have children. 

He swiftly changes the focus of his jokes from the difficulties of choosing to bring life into the world to the difficulties that come with being responsible for another human being. While on the subject of children and taking care of them, there is a lighthearted detour through how his mom would always let him go alone anywhere he wanted and how by extension he explains, while staying true to his sardonic style, that he “should have been molested, like…all the time.” Then he digresses once again to the difficulties of raising children, particularly in a world where bullies have somehow grown to be demented little demons that say insanely hurtful things.

After harping on childhood, he moves on to the “insane proposition” of marriage. Now here there is a bit of beauty to the way he chose to organize his act; if you have paid attention, you will realize that Aziz has moved through the progression of his show much the way we move through life. This is not to say however that you should expect an overly mature outlook on life. If anything, Aziz is poking fun at life and its many gradations with his artfully witty immature sarcasm. 

Some of the punch lines of his routine attest to his belief that anyone against gay marriage is seriously antiquated and he even asks “how do [they] not know [they are] on the losing team right now?” He draws parallels between those who are opposed to this new controversial subject and those before our time who opposed things like women’s suffrage and basic human rights for African Americans. 

Undoubtedly, the problem with trying to explain how funny a comedy show can be is that the magic that makes jokes so funny is immediately lost when the jokes are pulled out of context. Instead, it would probably be wiser to leave some of the show as a mystery and bait you into watching and judging for yourself. There is definitely some comedic brilliance in his characteristic style that is difficult to duplicate but all too easy to admire. Even if you don’t watch for the interesting opinions expressed in his show, you might find yourself attracted by the five-minute bit on the finer points of taking the right picture of male genitalia. Either way, go see the show on your friend’s Netflix account. 

Contact Juan Cancio at jcancio@nd.edu