On the cusp of filming his fourth stand-up special, the prolific comedian talks relationship expertise, the end of Parks and Recreation and the lessons he gleaned from Joan Rivers.
How do you feel about Parks and Rec coming to an end after this upcoming seventh season? On the bright side, you’ll have a bit more free time in your schedule. Any film or TV projects you’re actively pursuing? Ahhh, I’m so sad. I’m happy to move on to a new project, but the people are the best in the world. I’m already getting really bummed about the thought of not coming into work and spending time with them. The other stuff I’m pursuing: I have a book coming out, I’m filming a new stand-up special, and the other big thing I’m working on can’t be discussed for now.
Your book is about dating and technology. What makes you such an expert on the subject? I, like everyone, have spent significant chunks of my life engaging in the perils and joys of finding love and romance. I’ve written a lot of stand-up about it, but for the book, I worked with a sociologist named Eric Klinenberg. We interviewed hundreds of people all over the world (New York, Paris, Tokyo, Wichita, etc.) and spent hours talking to the smartest academics we could find. So, at this point, I feel like I’m pretty qualified.
You’re no stranger to performing in Vegas. What are your favorite spots to hit, and what’s your best Vegas story? I can’t give away where I go, what if the Aziz murderer is reading this! He’ll know where to find me. My best Vegas story is I randomly saw Trinidad James last time I was here and he was super-nice.
Five days after your Mandalay Bay date, you headline two shows at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. What’s your mind-set/gameplan heading into such a significant career milestone? I’m doing a few arenas, including the Vegas show, to build up to it. I’ve been working harder than ever on my stand-up, and I just really want to make that show my best special. I’m planning on filming it.
Anything else you’d like to mention? I’m sad Joan Rivers is gone. The day before she went to the hospital, she did an hour set in New York. That’s the most badass thing in the world to me. I always say in interviews that TV, movies and all that sh*t means nothing in the grand scheme. What I really want to do is be 80 or 90 years old and drop into a comedy club and still be able to have a killer set. Joan did that up until the day she died. It’s incredible to me. She’s a real hero.
Aziz Ansari October 4, 9 p.m., $35-$75. Mandalay Bay Events Center, 702-632-7777.