Aziz Ansari has some of the sharpest standup out there right now. Unlike many other comics, the Parks and Recreation star doesn't just stop at oddball observations, but puts in the necessary brain sweat to transform them into nuggets of gut-busting gold. At the moment, he's at work on a book about relationships in the time of Twitter and Instagram—for proof of both his thoughtfulness and comic skill, listen to him explain to Conan O'Brien how texting has ruined dating.
His new tour, which hits Portland this week, is titled Modern Romance. We asked Ansari a few questions via email.
WW: You have a great bit on dick pics. How have they changed the face of modern romance?
Aziz Ansari: Dick pics are just another strange development that never existed before. I can’t even think of an analogous equivalent for past generations. There hasn’t been any record of men in ancient cultures sketching pictures of their penis or carving dick pics into stone. Or maybe there is? I’ll have to look into it.
What is your idea of a perfect date?
I’m really a homebody these days. My perfect date would start with me and the lovely lady cooking a meal together at my house. I’d make us some nice cocktails, and after dinner we’d just chill out and watch Jurassic Park and/or Mrs. Doubtfire on Blu-ray.
What are your thoughts on Tinder?
This is a good story I heard about Tinder in one of our focus groups with a guy who lived in a small town. He turned on Tinder. It showed the first girl. He swiped no. The second girl came up. He swiped no again. Then it said, that’s all the girls in his area. He freaked out and thought, “Oh shit! Can I go back?!” So many parts of that story sum up modern romance to me.
Do you use Snapchat?
No, but I have seen it and kind of understand it. I might be too old for it. Besides penis photos, which I don’t send, I have no clue why I would want to send anyone a photo that disappears after a few seconds. That Flappy Bird ripoff that uses Drake and Drake noises, on the other hand—that I totally get!
SEE IT: Aziz Ansari is at the Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St., 800-745-3000. 7 pm Wednesday and Friday, March 26 and 28. $46.50.