You probably didn’t expect — or even want — to learn anything from Aziz Ansari’s stand up debut at Northwestern. But the audience at Pick-Staiger on Friday left slightly more educated than they came in. After all, we learned how to say “jizz everywhere” in American Sign Language.
“One day, one of you could see a deaf person about to walk into a room where there’s jizz everywhere. So now you know.”
Ansari’s performance was the first of this year’s A&O’s Winter Comedian series. “There’s more to come this winter,” Chairman Barry McCardel assured the audience in his introduction.
More than 900 tickets were sold for Friday’s event, which was co-sponsored by the South Asian Student Alliance and the Muslim-cultural Student Association.
Despite persistent audio problems, both comedians gave solid performances and the night seemed to be a success for all involved — except maybe the girl that proclaimed her love for Aziz at the start of the show only to have him beg that she not murder him.
Opener Kyle Kinane, a Chicago native, warmed up the crowd with everyone’s favorite topics: puppies, marijuana and why we should all go into comedy. “This is a scam,” he said. “You should quit college and do this.”
When it came time for the main act, Ansari came onstage to raucous applause. But before he got to the jokes, he gave the crowd an opportunity to take photos of him before he asked them to put away their cameras for the night. “I’ll pretend to be telling a joke,” he told them, standing on his stool, pretending to get in a fight with a member of the crowd and otherwise hamming it up as the crowd brandished their dimly lit cell phone cameras.
After a few minutes of flashes, the cameras were ordered away and Ansari stopped just pretending to tell jokes.
If there was one thing that tied the night together, it was food. Both comedians felt the need to mine the comedy gold that is Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay biscuits. But Ansari took it one step further — expressing not just his love of food, but his very physical love of food. He used most of his performance time to mime-hump anything he could think of.
“I didn’t know what brand of comedy I was in for,” said McCormick sophomore David Libbe, who had never seen an Ansari performance before. “Mac and cheese, burritos — just not what you’d expect.”
Ansari imparted some of his dieting wisdom, too, in what could conversely be considered the best argument for why Taco Bell should be open 24 hours. “If you have a lot of alcohol in your system and you eat a quesadilla, it’s delicious.” True story, Aziz, true story.
And though Parks and Rec’s Tom Haverford never made an appearance, his die-hard fans did. Lauren Masterson arrived at Pick-Staiger with her friends an hour before the doors opened in order to secure front row seats.
“We are religious watchers of Parks and Rec,” said the Weinberg sophomore. “We have seen every episode. He is my favorite character.”
They had spent the day making iron-on T-shirts with Ansari’s face on them, and sported matching hats bearing a joke from the first season of Parks and Rec.
“They all say ‘Peacockin’ — with an apostrophe,” she said, referring to Tom Haverford’s preferred method of picking up the ladies, which involves wearing something conspicuous to catch their attention. “They all have different patches, which is how we are peacockin’.”
Ansari himself didn’t seem to be peacockin’ that night, but he did dress for success in a snappy gray suit. While it’s hard to believe him when he complains about never being able to get a date — until he pretends to hump a cinnamon roll — his act touched on other themes everyone could connect to: watching online porn, getting distracted by the internet and writing your college essay.
And he did provide us with some valuable dating advice, for all those occasions when “What’s the worst that could happen?” becomes a viable excuse to make social contact. (Answer: “He could murder you and use your legs as stilts that look like legs!”)
Yet despite the many educational facets of his comedy, Ansari went out in style as every comedian should — making fun of R. Kelly fucking up against an ATM. Thankfully, though, there wasn’t jizz everywhere.