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Ansaaaaaaaari!

The UCB-spawned comic actor and comedian presents his debut full-length special on CD and Comedy Central.

What makes Aziz Ansari so unique as a comedian is that he straddles different worlds that no other comedian does. As a comedic actor, he can move between playing the part of a sad-sack version of himself on “Parks & Recreation” and a hyped-up Def Comedy Jam style comic in the movie “Funny People” (see review, 7/28/09).

As a stand-up, on his debut full-length album, “Intimate Moments For A Sensual Evening,” to be released January 19 following the January 17 debut of his Comedy Central special of the same name, Ansari careens around material about alternative rock and about hip-hop with equal dexterity and comfort. He can be a “bad boy” talking about perplexing CVS clerks by buying the same items daily for six months -- Jack Daniels, Coke, condoms and CD-Rs -- or he can be a complete computer geek tormenting his cousin on Facebook.

So among comedy albums, “Intimate Moments” is going to remain memorable and get a lot of repeat listens. Ansari punctuates his pieces with memorable lines -- a lot of the material on the album is from his 2009 stand-up tour (see review, 1/11/09), where Ansari had shifted his material from experimental workshop-like UCB solo performances (see review, 7/30/05) to shorter, more succinct pieces better suited to clubs and theaters.

By the latter part of the album, Ansari’s putting together references from worlds that don’t normally go together -- describing the theatrics of a R. Kelly concert, he says “you won’t see that shit at a [rock band] Modest Mouse concert!” And he has the cadences of R. Kelly’s “Trapped In The Closet” patter down.

“Intimate Moments” culminates in “Raaaaaaaandy,” where Ansari puts together all his Kanye West-R.Kelly-Def Comedy Jam obsessions in the full-length routine he used as his Randy character in “Funny People,” punctuated with sung lines and punch lines that are purposely the crassest they can be. It’s a characterization that bridges a culture gap, creating a persona like that for the consumption of alternative comedy fans and even alternative rock fans, as well as those who might stumble across him from the NBC sitcom.

 

   

     

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