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Aziz Ansari’s Comeback Special ‘Right Now’ is Actually Good

Good news for Louis C.K., Aziz Ansari’s comeback special is on Netflix and it’s actually really funny. Bad news for Louis is that one a scale of 1 to 10 what Aziz did is a 2 at the highest and what he did was jack off in front of every woman he worked with for like, three decades.

But we’ve heard some of Louis’ new material and it was good for an in-progress set.

Now anyone with a Netflix subscription can hear Aziz Ansari’s new material, and I suggest you do because it’s maybe his best set ever.

Aziz starts the set by addressing the elephant in the room, that one time we found out he tried to do weird sex stuff to a girl who was just trying to give him a blowjob, saying basically that the end of his emotional journey was “I feel bad that she felt that way.” Ansari quickly moves on to a punchline, and that sets up the rhythm of his comedy; slow, insightful setups highlighted with loud, excited punchlines.

Aziz’s style has changed a bit. He’s always been a storyteller as a comic, but his act is a lot more muted. His set-ups are softer and more insightful and his punchlines are more subdued. His new material is also a lot more personal than his older work, which had a lot of what I’d define as star fuckin. Instead of bits about meeting Kanye West or seeing Batman with his chubby cousin Harris, Aziz talks about the realization that he doesn’t have a lot of time left with his parents or trying to explain racism to his girlfriend who is from a racially homogenous country. He also spends a good long chunk of the act talking about “woke” culture, which you will either hate or love depending on if the material reminds you of yourself or your most annoying friend.

In fact, Aziz even mentions that joke and how he probably wouldn’t do a whole section about his teenage cousin today, but Harris turned out okay despite Aziz scarring him for life.

The special was directed by Spike Jonze and is very distinctly visually different from his older specials. Ansari isn’t wearing a purple rhinestone suit in this, just black jeans and a Metallica shirt. I don’t want to define the aesthetic as “lo-fi” because I’m not a douchebag, but the use of an on-stage steadicam and the “aged filmstrip” filter the special uses will bring the phrase to mind. Aziz mostly stays on a stool in the center of a stage that’s devoid of the normal backdrop comedy specials use, instead giving a view of people watching the show in the wings behind Ansari.

Basically, Aziz Ansari delivers a special that feels like he’s grown as an artist. His material now is more personal and less silly than his older hours, but his wit is even sharper now. He’s moved beyond “Hey, aren’t rappers weird,” and into a place where he’s being real, and it’s a great way to come back to the scene.

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