It’s been a week since Aziz Ansari took to Twitter early in the morning and tossed his hat into the ring and self-released his new stand-up special, Dangerously Delicious. Like a few big names before him, (ed note: I’d like to write one story about these without mentioning Louis C.K.’s name…awe dammit!) Ansari took to the new concept of cutting out the middle man and delivering his comedy directly to his fans for a lower price and hopefully netting a higher payout. It’s an intriguing new model for comedians and we’ll probably see more of this in the upcoming months but it’s also a model that only works for higher tier comedians that can pull this off financially. This is perhaps a debate for another time, not during the review of a special.
Ansari kicks off Delicious paying homage to his short comings with the ladies. Trouble talking to them, the ones with boyfriends, ones he’d like to have sex with, ones that don’t respond to his texts. Women and how Ansari interacts with them are a major theme of the hour and he seems as lost in the logic of women as much as ever. [Update: confirmed]
Another major theme is his rising fame. Even during the time since his previous special Intimate Moments For A Sensual Evening released just a few years back. TV, movies, touring, and a small cameo in a major hip-hop video have all played a role in his rise. Aziz addresses this right away by taking a minute for the fans to take their pictures upfront and get it out of the way. It’s a funny way to disarm the crowd that might otherwise spend the rest of the night on their phones clicking and Tweeting (a format Ansari is a big advocate of). Ansari still seems awkward about the fame rather than being able to harness it. In fact his innocent wonder about celebs still remain as he revisits stories with his favorites Kanye West, Jay-Z, and R Kelly. As Biggie might put it “Mo money, same problems.”
My favorite moments in Ansari’s set are when he talks about his family, telling loveable and goofy tales about his cousin Harris who’s older and quoting
The Wire himself on Facebook. In fact, I could listen to Ansari’s family stories for the entire special. With Harris just entering college, there’s a chance we’re going to get more hilarious Harris material in the next special.
Dangerously Delicious is a continuation of Aziz Ansari’s loveable, entertaining, and charming comedy. In fact, because of the similar touch points, this special could very easily be packaged with Intimate Moments… and be viewed as part 2 of the Aziz trilogy (we’re hoping the third will be the Buried Alive tour he’s currently launching). The special also includes bonus material such as photos, tour posters, a list of places he ate while on the road, and the chance to create your own DVD cover.
Regardless of the financial outcome of Ansari’s decision to self-release this special it’s a victory. Victorious because it’s hilarious and another step in the right direction for the comedian as he continues to refine and improve the brand that is Aziz Ansari. As long as he continues to make interesting decisions that feed the interest of his diehard fanbase it will be delicious, Dangerously Delicious. (Oh man! I can’t believe I just wrote that!)
You can get Dangerously Delicious at www.azizansari.com.