Aziz Ismail Ansari (born February 23, 1983 in Columbia, South Carolina) is an Indian-American actor, comedian, writer, director and producer most known for his role as Tom Haverford on Parks and Recreation and as the creator and star of the Netflix original series Master of None.
Ansari began performing stand-up comedy in the early 2000s after moving to New York City to study marketing at NYU. His act focuses a lot on mundane everyday activities, pop culture, technology, and his experiences around celebrities.
Apart from Parks, his TV work also consisted of co-creating and starring in Human Giant, which ran for two seasons on MTV, and appearing in several episodes of Scrubs. In 2009, he played a small role as an obnoxious stand-up comedian named Randy in Judd Apatow's Funny People, and subsequently signed a deal with Apatow to write and star in three new movies. In 2011, Ansari starred in the comedy film 30 Minutes or Less.
For his work on Master of None, Ansari received seven Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series — making him the first person of South Asian descent to be nominated in any Lead Actor category. He won two Emmys for writing each of the series' two seasons.
On the night of January 13, 2018, the website Babe.net published an article in which a photographer accused Ansari of sexually assaulting her after a date, putting his career as a comedian in jeopardy. The description of the alleged incident, however, subsequently led to discussions on what is really considered sexual assault. While he did briefly retreat from the public eye, Ansari resumed performing stand-up comedy in May of that year.
- Actor Allusion: A short clip from the MTV Movie Awards has Aziz playing "swagga coach" to Zach Galifianakis. As mentioned in this trope page, he has a major in marketing.
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: "Most shows on MTV aren't really my cup of tea. Mostly because I don't like giant pieces of shit in my tea." (Coming from a guy who had a show on MTV for two years and subsequently hosted the network's Movie Awards.)
- Black Comedy: More prevalent on Human Giant than in his own stand-up, particularly in the "Shutterbugz" sketches, which featured himself and Rob Huebel as nasty child-actor agents.
- Brick Joke: Aziz has a habit of making elements from previous jokes pop up hilariously in the context of another one:"We get outside of the airport, I take out the gun I had from the previous joke, [and then] I aim it at the puppies, bang bang! [...] I know some of you are thinking, 'Oh no the puppies, why the poor puppies?' I didn't really shoot any puppies, you're being stupid."
- Casanova Wannabe: Not so much in Real Life, but most of his film and television characters are variations of this trope. Parks and Recreation's Tom Haverford is a prime example.
- Hidden Depths: He graduated from New York University, majoring in marketing.
- Large Ham: His usual mode of operation. Turned up to eleven with his Funny People character RAAAAAAAANDY.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Anyone familiar with Ansari's style of stand-up knows that he does this a lot near or during punchlines.
- Running Gag: In both of his Comedy Central specials, he's imitated R. Kelly.
- Self-Deprecation: Does this once in a while.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Often wears fine suits and makes fashion a large part of his various characters.
- Star-Making Role: His role as Tom on Parks and Recreation.
- Stylistic Suck: All of his jokes as RAAAAAAAANDY are shock value and chauvinist bravado over any real substance, with the addition of lighting effects, smoke machines and occasional comments by a DJ/hype man. Should be seen to be appreciated.
- They Just Dont Get It: He says he overheard a waitress repeatedly trying to explain to 50 Cent the difference between grape juice and grapefruit juice, after he asked for the latter and got the former.Yeah, I get it, grapefruit, applefruit, orangefruit…
- What Could Have Been: He was up for a role in the first Transformers movie, but passed because he found the stipulation that he had to use a fake Indian accent degrading.
- Wiki Walk: Discusses how he was doing something important on the computer, and ended up wondering whether or not Home Alone 2 made more money than Home Alone. This led to him finding out that Joe Pesci recorded an album as a little kid.