Comedian Aziz Ansari star on the rise


Planet Hollywood has rooms that are lightly decorated with Hollywood memorabilia. Last year, Aziz Ansari -- the comedian and co-star of "Parks and Recreation" -- came to Vegas with a friend, and they stayed in different rooms that featured different memorabilia.

His friend scored the "Spaceballs" suite.

"That's pretty cool," Ansari thought. "I wonder what I'll have."

"And then I go in, and I have the room for 'Made in America' with Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Danson," Ansari says incredulously. "The white leather jacket that Whoopie Goldberg wore in that movie is in the Planet Hollywood suite.

"I'm performing at the Palms this time, but I'm seeing if they can get the memorabilia from 'Made in America' and put it in my room. It's a good luck charm."

Ansari, 27, has been funny for at least the past five years. That's how long I can vouch for his funny stand-up.

But ever since he appeared as "Raaaaaandy" in the Seth Rogen comedy "Funny People," he's become a pop culture star, as well as an acclaimed actor on "Parks and Recreation," all of which led to his hosting of this year's MTV Movie Awards.

Subsequently, the fancy New Yorker magazine, which is read by people who like to read, just gave Ansari a huge spread. The fact that Ansari is bowlegged is the only thing remotely negative in the New Yorker piece.

However, Ansari disputes that "bowlegged" is a put-down.

"Compared to anything you can find written on an IMDB message board, I will take 'bowlegged' over 'he's a (expletive) that needs to kill himself tomorrow,' " he says.

The New Yorker also quoted Ansari joking about 50 Cent, the rapper who was dangerous in his youth. I asked Ansari if he's worried about any fallout with 50 Cent.

"I haven't heard anything from 50 Cent. He may not be a New Yorker subscriber, so he may not have got wind of it yet."

Ansari now has what the old-timers used to call "a three picture deal" with "Funny People's" writer-director Judd Apatow. One of those movies will be based on "Raaaaaandy." But it will have to wait. Ansari is working on the first Apatow movie now, which has nothing to do with Randy, but instead:

"Me and another guy are two disgraced astronauts who have to go back to the moon to salvage our name. That's the one we're working on right now."

Doug Elfman's column appears Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. E-mail him at delfman@review journal.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.

 

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