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Aziz Ansari (born February 23, 1983) is an American actor and comedian. He starred as Tom Haverford on the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation. He also created and starred in the critically acclaimed, cult MTV sketch show Human Giant. In November 2009, it was announced that Ansari along with collaborator Jason Woliner, is developing three films with Judd Apatow and Universal Pictures. Ansari is attached to star in the projects and Woliner would direct.[1]


Stand-up comedy

Ansari began his career performing stand-up comedy in New York while attending college at New York University. He frequently performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. In 2005, Rolling Stone included him in their annual "Hot List" as their choice for the "Hot Standup"[2] and he won the Jury Award for "Best Standup" at HBO's 2006 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado.[3] He occasionally tours colleges and music festivals and has also toured with the Comedians of Comedy and Flight of the Conchords. Ansari headlined his own comedy tour, the Glow in the Dark Tour, in the fall of 2008 and early 2009.

In July 2009, near the end of the Glow In The Dark tour, Ansari filmed a DVD/CD special for Comedy Central. The set, titled Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening, aired January 17, 2010, with a CD/LP/DVD release on January 19.[4]

Human Giant

Around the summer of 2005, Ansari began collaborating with fellow comedians Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer (both of the famed improv troupe Respecto Montalban), as well as director Jason Woliner to make short films. The first series created by the group was Shutterbugs, which followed Huebel and Ansari as cutthroat child talent agents. This was followed up by the Illusionators, which starred Ansari and Scheer as Criss Angel-style goth magicians. In mid-2006, MTV greenlit a sketch series from the group which debuted April 5, 2007. The critically acclaimed show completed two seasons. The group was offered a third season, but was unable to accept due to other commitments.

Parks and Recreation

In June 2008, Ansari was announced as the first cast hire for NBC's new comedy from producers of The Office.[5] The show, Parks and Recreation, debuted in April 2009. Ansari's performance as Tom Haverford has received notable praise from critics, including Yahoo! TV placing him in the number one spot of their list of "TV MVPs: The Most Valuable Performers of the Fall Season." [6]

Other notable television work

In addition to his work on Parks and Recreation, Ansari appeared on the HBO series Flight of the Conchords.[5] as a xenophobic fruit vendor. He also had a recurring role in season eight of the ABC sitcom Scrubs as Ed Dhandapani, a new intern to the hospital. His character was fired to write Ansari off the show as he was filming Parks and Recreation.

Apatow-Universal development deal

In the summer of 2009, Ansari appeared in the Judd Apatow film Funny People with Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen as an energetic stand-up comedian named Randy. The character was so popular with Apatow that he commissioned Ansari and Human Giant collaborator Jason Woliner to create online shorts centered around the character to promote the film. These shorts proved successful and the Randy character became the subject of one of the film ideas Ansari and Woliner are currently developing for Apatow Productions. The other two ideas in development are "Let's Do This", a road movie about two motivational speakers and a film called Back To Uranus about two disgraced astronauts who must return to space to clear their names.[1]


Year Film Role Other notes
2006 School for Scoundrels Classmate
2008 The Rocker Aziz
2009 Funny People Randy
Observe and Report Saddamn
I Love You, Man Eugene
2010 Get Him to the Greek Going to Uranus (post-production)
Year Title Role Notes
2007 Flight of the Conchords Sinjay
Human Giant Cast Member
2008 Worst Week Morgue Employee
2009 Reno 911! Insurance Representative
Scrubs Ed Dhandapani (4 episodes)
Parks and Recreation Tom Haverford Regular cast member
2010 Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening Stand-up (in January)


External links