We live in a network-TV landscape where hit shows like 2 Broke Girls behave as if “edgy” comedy means Asian stereotypes and saying vagina multiple times per episode. Then there’s the Parks and Rec gang, who thrive instead on jubilant comedy-dork experimentation and have turned the show into a mini SNL-style launching pad.
Aziz Ansari is everywhere these days: driving chopped up Maybachs with Jay and Ye, expounding on his love for mac and cheese in Bon Appetit, traveling the country on massive comedy tours, and playing a loveable loser on Parks and Recreation, one of the funniest shows on TV today. He’s also hands down the most stylish comedian in the game, so we talked to him about the dinner jacket he wore to meet POTUS, the best face wash in the world, and the secret source of his boundless energy.
We went out last night (along with the rest of the fashion world) and celebrated the launch of our new pop-up shop with Nordstrom. The most dapper dudes in the city joined us, from Aziz Ansari to the almighty Nick Wooster. Even our new fashion week intern Rajon Rondo (and his NBA buddies Russell Westbrook and Chris Bosh) got in on the action. Not a bad first day on the job, if we say so ourselves.
GQ: Do you have an ideal girl?
Aziz Ansari: I don’t think you can describe your ideal girl. A big part of that is just meeting someone and really clicking with them and wanting to hang out with them all of the time. I don’t think you can really set out a list of factors that will make that happen because that’s a very indefinable thing.
GQ: She has to be into food, though, right?
Aziz Ansari: I mean, that definitely is not going to hurt someone’s case. [laughs] Any kind of common interest is always going to help when you’re meeting someone.
GQ: You talk in the show about how difficult it is to meet people. How important is the “meeting story” to you?
Aziz Ansari: I guess I’m less concerned with how I meet someone. But like I said in the show, it is fascinating to me when people meet just in chance, like sitting next to someone on an airplane or meeting someone out in the world randomly. But that whole chunk about how hard it is to meet people, I just know a lot of people my age are dating and are really frustrated because it seems like there’s not a lot of great people out there sometimes, and they go out on a lot of bad dates and stuff. I think a lot of people my age are really kind of surprised when they meet someone they really like.
One of our favorite stories in GQ last year was correspondent Brett Martin's very very funny account of what happened after Aziz Ansari asked on Twitter if a magazine (or travel channel) would please pay for him, chef David Chang and LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy to go to Tokyo and eat food together … and GQ happily volunteered.
Tonight, Brett won a James Beard award for it in the humor category.
(By the way, this was also one of our favorite photos in GQ last year. It’s by Ture Lillegraven)
We flew Aziz Ansari, LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, and chef David Chang to Tokyo to binge eat raw fish and do lots of drunk-araoke. Sometimes Twitter dreams do come true. Writer Brett Martin was there to take it all in:
Jet lag is a funny thing. It plays tricks on the mind. For instance, right now I could swear that I’m crammed into a tiny karaoke room on an upper floor of a building somewhere in Tokyo. The narrow table is covered end to end with empty bottles of Asahi beer and Zima, jugs of whiskey and vodka, buckets of ice, huge clear-plastic bags of luridly colored Japanese candy. There are about ten of us in here, packed thigh to thigh on the U-shaped banquette, under a ceiling of peeling geometrically patterned wallpaper that seems to strobe in the fluorescent light. That’s not including the trio of waitresses in tiny fur-trimmed Mrs. Santa Claus dresses, peering in curiously from the door. All this is more or less plausible. The strange part is what we’re all staring at, to all appearances a surrealist pop-culture mash-up, bizarre even by the standards of a country known for bizarreness: the comedian and actor Aziz Ansari (of Parks and Recreation), the musician James Murphy (of LCD Soundsystem), and the chef David Chang (of Momofuku), in suits, arm in arm, belting out A-Ha’s “Take On Me.”
The comic, Parks & Rec star and noted FOK (friend of Kanye, obvs) is doing a small project with his pal annamarie where they put on fancy clothes, go to fun restaurants, eat a lot and take pictures. Why do we like? Cuz Aziz writes about food the same way Tom Haverford talks about everything. A selection of his thoughts on their latest Food and Fashion stop, New York’s Torrisi on Mulberry Street:
Let me say this right here, if you don’t like creamed corn, just fucking get out of my face if you see me in person, we’re never going to get along.
Trust me, this is THE must eat sandwich of 2011. Also, if you are into phrases like “THE must eat sandwich of 2011,” we can be best friends.