Modern Romance (Ansari)

Author Bio
Birth—February 23, 1983
Where—Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Education—B.A., New York University
Currently—lives in New York City, New York


Aziz Ishmael Ansari is an American actor and comedian. He starred as Tom Haverford on the NBC show Parks and Recreation.

Ansari began his career performing standup comedy in New York City during the summer of 2000 while attending New York University. In 2007, he created and starred in the critically acclaimed 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.

In addition to his acting work, Ansari has continued to work as a standup comedian. He released his debut CD/DVD, entitled "Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening," in January 2010 on Comedy Central Records, and still tours nationally between acting commitments.

In 2010 and 2011, he performed his Dangerously Delicious tour. This tour 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 of new material, Buried Alive, in the summer of 2013. His fourth major 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

Early life and career
Aziz Ansari was born in Columbia, South Carolina, to a Tamil Muslim family from Tamil Nadu, India. His mother, Fatima, works in a medical office, and his father, Shoukath, is a gastroenterologist. 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 New York University with a major in marketing.

He 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.

Human Giant
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 in 2007. The critically acclaimed show completed two seasons and the group was offered a third season, but it opted to pursue other opportunities.

Parks and Recreation
The show, Parks and Recreation, debuted in 2009 with Ansari portraying government employee Tom Haverford. Ansari's performance has received notable 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."

MTV Movie Awards
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 notable television work
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.

In 2011, Ansari made a cameo appearance in the music video for "Otis" by Jay-Z and Kanye West from their collaborative album, Watch the Throne.

Stand-up comedy
Even among various acting commitments, Ansari has continued performing and touring as a standup 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 2012, Ansari announced a new tour entitled "Buried Alive," and 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.

Writing
Ansari's first book, Modern Romance: An Investigation, was released in 2015. The book is about the comedic pitfalls of dating in the modern world and was written with sociologist Eric Klinenberg.

In 2014, it was reported that Ansari was in a relationship with professional chef Courtney McBroom. He has self-identified as a feminist, saying his girlfriend has helped influence him.

Ansari is a "foodie"; he and his friends Eric Wareheim and Jason Woliner have formed what they called "The Food Club," which involves 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. (Adapted from Wikipedia. Retrieved 8/25/2015.)

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