On my way
Aziz Ansari—Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening
Released January 18, 2010
I love comedy records. Always have. Wrote about them a few months ago. I love finding something new, something that makes me laugh out loud, something that just brings joy like a good comedy record does. This is one of those CDs.
I have been familiar with Aziz Ansari’s face for some time and in the weeks leading up to the Comedy Central debut of this special I saw a video clip on Ansari on Jimmy Kimmel talking about seeing a band, Major Lazer, that I liked. The clip was great and on a whim I downloaded the LP from iTunes in advance of a trip to Los Angeles. I spent the entire trip listening to the jokes and laughing, laughing, laughing over and over again.
There are aspects that I find compelling on the disc, the first being the atmosphere of the room. Great comedy records cannot be recorded in large concert halls. They work the best in a small room where you can hear the audience, hear the individual laughs as they ebb and flow across the performance. This record has that, a smallish room where you can differentiate the laughs of the people and tell what jokes really pop the crowd.
The next aspect of this that I find appealing is the common sense of interests. Kayne West, Jay Z, TV on the Radio, the names dropped on the disc are recent, relevant, part of something that people who like music know. I like the sense of intelligence behind the words. There is a concise aspect to this performance that really makes me think of hearing Eddie Izzard for the first time. While the jokes of Ansari don’t flip and dovetail into each other like Izzard’s best work (by the way, Izzard’s CDs are probably the only ones recorded in larger rooms that really are tremendous works of art), each bit feels individual and intelligent and hilarious.
I guess, at the end of the day, what appeals to me is the laughter. I laughed when I heard this for the first time. I laughed listening to the disc while I was writing this piece. I dropped his bit about Kanye West onto my iPod right before Kanye’s latest song. It works, works well. Comedy records should make you laugh regardless of what the comedian is saying or how they are saying it. This record touched on things I am familiar with and did so in a fashion that left me doing nothing but laughing and hoping that the new material we hear from Ansari is just as funny as his debut.
(Clue: The cover of the CD shows Mr. Ansari dressed for a night out standing in front of a big brown bear)