Stand-up shows are opportunities for comics to air their complaints and grievances — or at least the complaints and grievances they have at the moment.
“By the time you write it, film it, edit and get it in the hands of the Netflix people, it ends up being a long time,” says Aziz Ansari, whose latest stand-up special, “Buried Alive,” hits the streaming giant tonight at midnight.
The tour happened last spring and summer, but he says he still generally believes what he said about turning 30 and not yet wanting to marry, have kids, settle down. “Definitely my views have changed a little bit here and there. I still have that fear, but I think I’m more comfortable with the idea waiting and doing the stuff later in life — as long as there’s reason to do it.”
The show brings him to Netflix, which has become a heavyweight in terms of premiering new material, like the original series “House of Cards,” “Derek” and “Orange is the New Black.” “I think Netflix is one of the few outlets we have where people get to watch things the way they like to,” he says. “I’ve done every kind of method of releasing material — say, releasing it for $5.”
The comedy scene has been rocked by controversies over the last year, such as Daniel Tosh's off-the-cuff rape joke during a show. “I think you have to take that all case by case,” Ansari maintains. “I’m sure if you take my things out of context, you can make me seem like a horrible person, too.” In “Buried Alive,” he skirts that fine line with a joke about pedophiles. “Ultimately that joke is about how I’d be scared to have a kid. I would be so scared for the safety of my kids. That’s the scariest part of that: how parents let their kids run around the mall by themselves.”
Ansari isn’t convinced there’s a ton of crossover between his “Parks and Recreation” gig, now in its sixth season, and his stand-up shows. He does admit the role — as irrepressibly boyish Tom Haverford — was tailored for him, as the other characters were for the rest of the cast. “They grab elements from my real life. There are elements of all our personal lives on the show,” he admits. He has wider taste than Tom, though. “I listen to rock music. I listen to plenty of rap but I like rock. My taste is pretty across the board.”