What Aziz Ansari’s Comeback Tour Means for the Future of Performative Wokeness

I’ve been saying for a while that Louis C.K. is going to make the comeback he’s been testing the waters for at the Comedy Cellar and that he’s going to make it successfully. If Aziz Ansari’s new comedy tour, Working on New Material, is any indication, I was absolutely right. Aziz is adding new shows to his schedule because dates are selling out and selling out quickly.

Now, Aziz Ansari’s #metoo moment was not the same as Louis’; Louis took his dick out and masturbated in front of women who didn’t want him to while Aziz was accused of missing the non-verbal cues from the woman sucking his dick that she didn’t want to have sex. Notably, Ansari didn’t actually do anything to his anonymous accuser she didn’t want him to, he just asked her to have sex a few times and then didn’t have sex with her when she didn’t want to. But for some reason that was enough to throw his future in comedy and acting into question.

Of particular note about Ansari’s tour is that while he previously billed himself as a woke comic, he’s now doing material about “extreme political correctness” being stupid. He’s not wrong, but these things never go well. After comic Jamie Kilstein was kicked off of the podcast he did with his estranged wife for what turned out to be basically just being horny, he reinvented himself as an “ex-male feminist” on Joe Rogan’s podcast and quickly learned that the alt comics he used to s**t on for not being woke are actually way funnier than him.

See, Kilstein was basically an applause comic like Hannah Gadsby or Hari Kondabolu; he didn’t so much tell jokes as much as he said things people agreed with and then they clapped. When he got #metooed for not much (his ex-wife called it “emotional abuse” but one of the stories Jezebel told was that he slept with a woman on the road after a show and then months later said on the podcast that the women he slept with on the road didn’t mean anything to him), he tried to make it as a comic in alt rooms and got absolutely destroyed by Cum Town host Nick Mullen in a roast battle.

Nick Mullen is also pretty left-wing, but he’s never going to be accused of being woke; he says “retarded” and can tell a pedophilia joke that would make James Gunn blush, and more importantly he’s actually funny. He’s exactly the kind of person Kilstein said he hated until he was outed as a sex pest and saw his future as the female Hannah Gadsby go up in smoke.

So as Aziz reinvents himself as “post woke Aziz,” is he going to be as painfully unfunny and tedious as Kilstein? I don’t think so, because Aziz was funny before he was woke. Okay, he mainly told jokes about how rappers are silly, like the time he met Kanye West and Kanye was listening to a Kanye West song when Aziz got there, and that’s the most Kanye West thing I’ve ever heard, but he was funny.

Aziz even managed to be funny while he was woke, which is a nice change of pace. Amy Schumer’s album Cutting is one of the funniest hours I’ve ever heard, but after she started presenting herself as woke she was doing some really sub-Jeff Foxworthy material.

Of course there’s always a backlash when a comic rejects wokeness, but it’s starting to get harder to take it seriously. The guy on Twitter going “I never thought Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Woody Allen, Dave Chapelle or Ricky Gervais were funny anyway!” clearly has terrible taste in comedy.

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