Aziz Ansari is back, but it’s not the Aziz Ansari you’re used to. After a mid-MeToo sexual harassment scare, the Parks and Recreation comedian-actor took some time to reevaluate what’s important to him — the present moment, which he’s grateful to have — and it shows in his new Netflix standup special, Right Now.
Aside from rolling in the deep and having several genuine bits of authentic moments with an intimate Brooklyn crowd (and threading jokes aimed at one lucky slash unfortunate front-row sitter, Dan Gleenblatt, throughout the entirety of the set), Ansari composed himself less like the loud, obnoxious comic and more like a young Dave Chappelle, carefully and quietly crafting his setup whilst sitting on a bar stool, just before spiking his punchlines. It didn’t hurt that the special was shot and directed by Spike Jonze with a grainy, intimate vibe that sets the tone for the entire act.
Right Now is available for streaming now, wherever you may be sticking your head in your phone and ignoring your surroundings. But if there’s one takeaway from Ansari’s set, it’s to be present and grateful for the moment and people who are in it with you.