Aziz Ansari

Also Credited As:

Human Giant
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Biography

Comedic actor Aziz Ansari typically played off-kilter, intolerable characters like indifferent medical interns or racist fruit vendors, yet somehow made viewers root for them in the end. Ansari brought his irreverent, fast-paced comedy sensibilities from New York's club circuit all the way to mainstream TV in the cult hit "Human Giant" (MTV, 2007-08), which featured zany sketches about odd characters like a super alien in love with a human or …
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Job Title

Actor, Producer, Writer

Born

February 23, 1983

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About

Comedic actor Aziz Ansari typically played off-kilter, intolerable characters like indifferent medical interns or racist fruit vendors, yet somehow made viewers root for them in the end. Ansari brought his irreverent, fast-paced comedy sensibilities from New York's club circuit all the way to mainstream TV in the cult hit "Human Giant" (MTV, 2007-08), which featured zany sketches about odd characters like a super alien in love with a human or a genie addicted to drugs. His improvisational skills made him an obvious choice for the quirky series "Parks and Recreation" (NBC, 2009- ), a career-making role where he played an ingratiating municipal employee who routinely insults his co-workers. Based on his status as a sitcom standout, he began appearing on the big screen opposite fellow comic actors Seth Rogen in feature films like "Observe and Report" (2009), Adam Sandler in "Funny People" (2009), and Jonah Hill in the over-the-top comedy "Get Him to the Greek" (2010). Whether he was performing stand-up or scene-stealing on either size screen, Ansari's deadpan delivery always brought on the laughs, and established him as one of the most original comics of his generation.

Aziz Ansari was born on Feb. 23, 1983 in Columbia, SC. With both parents in the medical field, and an education being geared towards the sciences, acting seemed the furthest thing from Ansari's mind. He attended the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics, a public boarding school in Hartsville that only took in the state's most gifted students. He majored in marketing at New York University's Stern School of Business, only to realize that he was not interested in a corporate career. After graduating in 2004, Ansari hosted a weekly stand-up show called "Crash Test" at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York where he met comics Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel. He eventually took his comedy act across the country, performing at colleges and music festivals, and building up a following large enough that in 2005, Rolling Stone named him "Hot Stand-up."

Ansari, in collaboration with Huebel and Scheer, began making hard-hitting and funny short films including "Shutterbugs" (2005), about smooth-talking agents for child stars, and "Illusionators" (2005), which featured Ansari and Scheer as magicians who, because of extremely low self-esteem, only raise the dead to make their other tricks more impressive. The trio gained an even bigger following when they starred on MTV's "Human Giant," which recreated sketches from their previous films and brought back oddball characters like a drug-addicted genie and a carpet salesman who is killed by a monkey. The show made Ansari - with his trademark impish grin - one of television's most exciting new comics.

After "Human Giant" wrapped production, Ansari guest-starred on the ABC comedy series "Scrubs" (2001- ) as an intern who spends more time on his cell phone than attending to patients, and on HBO's "Flight of the Conchords" (2007-09) as a racist fruit salesman. In 2009, he played a variety of quirky characters on the big screen as well, including a lotion salesman in "Observe and Report" with Seth Rogen and a hyperactive stand-up comedian in "Funny People" starring Adam Sandler. That same year, Ansari nabbed a lead role on NBC's hit comedy series "Parks and Recreation," which followed the lives of government employees in a small Indiana town. Ansari played a very smug, overachieving employee who regularly insults one of his colleagues (Amy Poehler). The series gave Ansari plenty of chances to improvise - a skill he developed when he performed stand-up comedy - and expose his talent to a mainstream audience. In 2010, Ansari appeared in the film "Get Him to the Greek" starring Jonah Hill as a record industry intern who finds himself in the middle of brawls, lap dances and drug smuggling activities while trying desperately to deliver a crazy British rock star (Russell Brand) on time to a Los Angeles concert. That same year, Ansari hosted the 2010 MTV Movie Awards, the network's annual ode to film, which more than showed the actor had made his mainstream presence known.