[tranquil drum and bass music plays]
[comedian] We had a golden retriever. Yes, and you guys know me, I don’t see race, but I think we all know that’s a white dog.
Again, sit that one out. Sexting. As a dyslexic adult, sexting, that is the hurdle. I was dating a woman. She was a strong feminist. We would sext, and I obviously wanted to turn her on but I also wanted her to know that I was an ally. One time, she sent me a sext. She’s like, “How you gonna fuck me?” I’m like, “Like you deserve an equal wage.”
Thank you guys very much.
Come on, you guys. Show your love for Phil Hanley.
Hell, yeah. Folks, I know I told you that Phil was the final comic, but this is why I always say when you make the choice to come to the Comedy Cellar, you always make a really good choice ’cause you never know who’s gonna stop by. Ladies and gentlemen, show your love for Aziz Ansari, y’all. Show your love.
[loud applause, cheering]
[applause, cheering continues]
Thank you, thank you. Thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks. Thanks, thanks. No way!
[audience cheers, applauds]
[Aziz laughs] Oh, wow, wow. Thanks, thanks. Wow. Man. No, I… You know, I love doing these sets. You guys had no clue I was coming, and you don’t even know what I’m gonna do. You know, I could just be terrible for ten minutes and then go home, and I wouldn’t feel that bad, you know? Still a pretty good deal, right?
Yeah, I mean, I like doing nice theaters and everything, but sometimes, you gotta come back and compete with chicken wings. Ah, but it’s nice to be here. Nice to be back in New York. You know, I don’t live here no more. I live in London, and…
Yeah. I like it there, but it’s nice to be back in New York. Always a lot of love for me here. Sometimes too much love, you know. The other day I went to a restaurant and there was a line. Everybody was checking their COVID passes and stuff. I walked up and the guy was like, “Oh, Aziz, you’re all good, bro. Just come on in.” And I was like, “No, no, no, no, no.” Please check my pass. Uh, I’m not out here trying to have dinner with Kyrie Irving and Nicki Minaj. I got an extra ten seconds. Please.”
We’re all pretty close, man. You guys had to show your COVID pass, right? Yeah. Or your easily obtainable fake COVID pass. Who designed these things, man? Can’t we get the squad that did the McDonald’s Monopoly pieces? Those have so much more security. There’s like holograms and shit. You go into a McDonald’s, they’re like, “This isn’t Pennsylvania Avenue. Get this shit out of here.” COVID pass team was like, “White paper, black lines. I think we’re done, Jim.”
I mean, in theory, we’re all vaccinated, right? At this point, like, 96% of doctors are vaccinated, and I feel like, at this point, if you don’t want the vaccine, you’re kind of like a white dude with dreadlocks. Yeah, I’m sure there’s some people telling you it’s a good idea, but pretty soon, the people around you aren’t gonna be able to breathe.
I got… You know, I was in London and I got one shot of AstraZeneca, then I had to come to LA for something, and I called my doctor. I was like, “Should I just get the Johnson & Johnson?” He’s like, “Yeah, go ahead and get it so you’re fully vaxxed.” So then I got Johnson & Johnson, and then, recently I got a booster. I got a Pfizer. So, I got a lot going on. I’m like one of those DJ Khaled songs with way too many features. “Another one.”
People go in on the folks that don’t want the vaccine though, right? Who’s that guy, a football player? Aaron Rodgers. Yeah.
What do you think about that guy?
[person] Fuck him.
Fuck him! People hate that guy, though. “He’s a fucking idiot!” It’s like, all right. Calm down. He’s a football player. He read some articles, he got skeptical, he did some research. Are you stunned he came to the wrong conclusion? Did you really think he was gonna crack the case? Did you think Fauci was gonna be out there like, “I just got off the phone with Aaron Rodgers”? This poor guy. It’s like we’re all in high school and we’re making fun of the quarterback for doing bad on the science test. “You’re a dummy, Aaron. You’re a dummy. You don’t know anything, do you? You’re a dum-dum.” This guy makes a living getting hit in the head. Can we cut him a break? I guess he did kind of lie, right? They were like, “Dude, are you vaccinated?” He was like, “I… [blabbers] I’m immunized. I… [blabbers] My doctor gave me some powders from Jamba Juice and I…”
He did come off a little arrogant in some of those interviews and stuff, right? He was out there, he’s like, “You know, I’m a critical thinker.” Oh, no. Was he, like, running the scientific method? “Question: Should I get the vaccine? Hypothesis: I don’t think so. Data gathering: Listen to some podcasts and talking to a few sketchy doctors. Conclusion: No way, José.” I don’t think he’s an idiot, though, okay? I don’t think him, Nicki Minaj, any of these people are idiots. I’m not here to say that, okay? And I just think they’re trapped in a different algorithm than you are. You know what I mean by that? And If you’re calling them idiots, you’re trapped in another algorithm. I know everything you’re gonna say about everything. “All these dummies. They’re taking horse medicine.” All right, well, technically, humans can take that medicine, all right? Yes, there’s nothing showing it actually helps with COVID, but when you just say they’re taking horse medicine, it pushes them further away. I don’t know, man. We just gotta figure out some way to have some empathy. We’re all kinda just trapped in our own little world. And unless we figure out how to talk to each other in real life again, it doesn’t matter what the problem is. I don’t know what the answer is. Maybe click on some of the stuff they click on for a few days. See what’s going on. Don’t go too hard, though. End of the week, you’ll be out there like, “Fauci’s a pedophile.”
I’m just saying, this current strategy, just shaming people, isn’t gonna work. Like, you see these videos people make shaming anti-vax people? They take all their tweets and stuff. The video always goes the same way, right? It shows tweets like, “This COVID thing’s a hoax. I’m never wearing a mask. Fuck these mandates. Open everything up already. Oh, God, I just tested positive. I’m in the hospital.” And then their cousin writes, “They died.” And then the person that made the video is like… [triumphant laughter] Yeah, that’s gonna help. You know, my uncle didn’t get the vaccine, and he passed away. It was very sad. My dad talked to him four days before and was begging him to get the vaccine, and he didn’t want to do it. It was very sad. My dad has a lot of siblings. I was talking to my aunt and she was like, “I can’t believe one of us is gone.” It broke my heart. You know, I could hear it in her voice. How she felt it was preventable, like it didn’t need to happen. You know, I don’t think my uncle’s an idiot, all right? I just think he got… he got hit by this other thing we created now, which is a culture where the flow of information has been completely corrupted. Think about the biggest companies in the world. They’re all making money off information. So, of course, people are making money off disinformation. That’s why the skepticism is there. People are making money off of it. People aren’t normally this skeptical of the medical community. Think about all the crazy things you’ve done in your life, ’cause the doctor told you to. You never asked no questions.
Look at Ice Cube. Ice Cube doesn’t want to get the vaccine. He was supposed to do this movie called Oh Hell No, which, sadly, we’ll never see, and, um… He was supposed to get the vaccine and he wouldn’t do it. But you know what’s weird? A few months before the pandemic, Ice Cube got a colonoscopy. [quietly] You know what a colonoscopy is? Basically, Ice Cube went to the doctor. The doctor was like, “Hey, you got a problem in your stomach and we need to do a colonoscopy.” And he was like, “What’s that?” And they were like, “Uh, well, sit down, Ice Cube. Basically, you need to drink a gallon of fluid and just shit out everything in your body. Just clean out your system, right? Next day, you come in, we’ll put you under, and we’ll shove a rubber hose up your asshole that’s got a camera on the end of it and we’ll go in there and film for a few hours and see what’s going on, and we’ll run some tests, and when we’re done, we’ll wake you up.” And he was like, “All right, well, do what you gotta do.”
He didn’t say any of the shit he’s saying now. He wasn’t out there like, “I don’t understand the science.” He wasn’t out there like, “My butthole, my rights.” No. He was passed out with four strangers around him. They’re like, “We’re having a little trouble.” He’s like, “You can do it, put your back into it.” They were in there for hours. For hours! What were they doing? Filming a limited series? Does season two of Queen’s Gambit take place in Ice Cube’s large intestine? I don’t know if Ice Cube’s had a colonoscopy, uh, but… he’s… he’s over 45 years old. He should’ve had one. It’s… It’s a screening colonoscopy to make sure you don’t have colon cancer. So, let’s hope my joke is true.
You know, one cool thing, you know, after lockdown and everything, a lot of people stood up for themselves. In terms of their job, they reassessed their lives and their work life, and, you know, they were like, “Look, man, if you don’t pay me right, you don’t give me these benefits, I’m gonna leave.” And the companies are like, “All right, then, leave. We’ll just get other people that aren’t as good at the job, and then everything in the world will be a little bit shittier.” And that’s what it is now, right? Like, everything is just a little bit shittier, like, everywhere. Like, there’s never enough people around. Everyone just running like, “It’s my first day!” Even here, tonight, things are a little bit shittier. There’s just not enough people. You know what I mean? Everything is a little bit shittier and, you know what, we fucking deserve it, ’cause we took all these people for granted, man. They all worked so hard, wasn’t getting paid proper, still not getting paid proper, and we just take ’em for granted. Of course they’re getting screwed over. We all know they’re getting screwed over, right? Think about it. How can you sell a cheeseburger for 99 cents? How can you do that? If I gave you 99 cents and said, “Make me a cheeseburger,” what the fuck would you do? They’re screwing everybody, from the guy in the meat factory to the guy that actually sells you the burger. And now, you got to admit, there’s no such thing as an unskilled worker. If you go to a Wendy’s and everything goes according to plan, there were some skilled people in that Wendy’s, ’cause now… now, you go in there, every Frosty comes with a free nugget, all right?
I support all these people that are striking and all this shit, ’cause… I mean, God. I hope they bring ’em back and pay ’em proper ’cause it’s rough out there sometimes. You ever been out to, like, a Chipotle in Pennsylvania, like, right now? It’s intense. You go in there, it’s like the Chipotle got COVID. You go in there, just two dudes like… [screaming, groaning] “Give me the peas!” [groans] And then you walk up, you’re like, “Um, can I have some extra guacamole?” And they’re like, “We don’t have any guacamole! There’s an avocado shortage and our guacamole guy quit last week, and now he makes $50,000 a year doing guacamole videos on TikTok!”
Sometimes, I wonder if I’m messing up at my job. Not the stand-up stuff. I’m talking more in a bigger sense. Every day, I look at the news, I see some article about some actor celebrity selling some company for hundreds of millions of dollars that has nothing to do with what they do. I’m not getting involved in any of this. I don’t have a beverage. No skin care line. Skin care? I could easily get into that. I’m Indian. I’m gonna have good skin. I could easily trick the whites. “Oh, it’s a coconut oil from my great grandmother’s village, and I’ve been… It’s how I maintain this youthful Indian glow.” All my friends in the industry, they’re hip to it. They all want a piece. No one wants to make The Chronic. Everybody wants to make Beats by Dre headphones. You ever see an interview with Drake or something? They’ll be like, “Drake, what’s going on with your new album?” “My new album? What about my new health care system? Yeah, I’m opening up OVO Hospitals all over the country. We’ve got nurses wearing OVO gear, we got the best doctors in the game.” Got a beat of all these doctors, like…
♪ I got my eyes on you ♪
I mean, I’m an okay comedian. I’m a terrible businessman. I’m up here for free right now. Kevin Hart would never be up here for free, okay? If Kevin were up here right now, it would be livestreaming to his new lawn mower or something. “Yeah, I’m partnering up with my friends over at John Deere and every time you mow your grass, a hologram of me pops up and I’m doing my new stand-up special. It’s called, Kevin Hart, Man, This is Crazy, I’m Doing Stand-up While You Mow Your Grass”! I’m not judging any of those people. It’s just not for me, you know. I remember, one time in my career, I felt like I was doing too much. I felt a little stretched thin, and I ran into Frank Ocean at a party, and I was like, “Frank, how do you do it, man? Never do any press, you barely tour, and you only put out your music when you really want to. What’s the secret?” And he said, “Oh, man, you just got to be comfortable making less money, that’s all.” And I was like, “Oh, shit. Make less money, you say? [breathes heavily] Never thought about that.” But I did. And I still do. You see me. I don’t do a lot of stuff. I just do the stuff I really care about, you know? And, Frank… Frank started a jewelry line, so I don’t know. Guess he changed his mind. “Oh, shit, I got too comfortable making less money.”
Last time I was in New York, it was right before the election. That was an interesting time, right? Everyone had all this energy, you know. Everyone was out there like, “We gotta do something! We gotta stop Trump, and we’ve gotta save the planet! We gotta do everything we can!” And then, Trump lost, and it was like, “We did it! Let’s make the world a better place!” And I come back two years later. It’s the same shitty place. It just feels like we unfollowed him from Twitter. That’s it. You just see him less. You know what I mean? And I’m not saying him and Joe Biden are the same thing. Don’t hit me with that. I get him. Yeah, infrastructure, I know. I’m just saying, what happened to us? What happened to all that energy? How come we can’t channel that now, you know? Why aren’t we out there like, “We gotta help all these people after COVID. There’s so many people that are displaced.” No, people aren’t doing that. People are just out there like, “I wish I put more money in crypto.” “Matthias, are you going to that event tonight? There’s, like, this pop-up for this new collaboration that Travis Scott’s doing with, like, Citibank and Chips Ahoy and they’re selling these, like, limited edition Chips Ahoy designed by these, like, emerging artists, and, like, whenever you go, you get, like, this limited edition tote bag with, like, these limited edition T-shirts designed by these, like, eco-friendly emerging streetwear brands, and when you come home, the tote bag, like, turns into an NFT and, like, the NFT starts deejaying and it’s all sustainable.” You know who’s worse than Trump? All of us, just collectively, you know, the human race. If you really step back and look at us, kind of a shitty group of people, right? Like, what do you see when you step back? You see, like, 30 people, right? Twenty people are doing okay, and ten people are like, “We don’t have clean drinking water or much else. We’re having a hard time.” The other 20 people are like, “I don’t know, you live pretty far away. I’m not sure what you want me to do. You’re not really part of our crew, you know? I mean, I hear you, but, you know, I ordered groceries on my phone six minutes ago and they’re still not here, so… I’m hungry too. [exhales] You know, I got my problems. I washed my duvet cover the other day. I tried to put the duvet back on. You ever done some shit like that? You ever been putting the duvet on, realize the buttons are on the other side and you had to flip it out and start over again? Perspective.” It’s pretty dark if you just take a step back, and you really think about how much suffering and poverty and starvation and death we just tolerate ’cause it’s out of sight, out of mind. Even in our own country. Homelessness, et cetera, we could fix it all just like that. You know how I know? ‘Cause two years ago, people in rich countries started dying of a mysterious illness. And what did we do? We shut down the earth for two years! Every single one of us stayed in our fucking house every day. We didn’t even go to work. “No, don’t go to work! We’ll just send you money every week!” “What? But what if this keeps going?” “We’ll just keep sending you money every week!” “What if it’s six months, a year?” “We’ll just keep sending you money! Just stay in your house!” “You have that much money?” “Yes! Just stay in the house!” That’s how much we have. There’s a guy outside right now with a cup asking if anybody has a dollar to spare. We have so much. We just don’t wanna give it to him. Why don’t we wanna solve all these problems? One, it doesn’t affect us, and two, they don’t give us no content. We gotta have the content. Why did everyone get so riled up about Trump? Dude delivered the content. Say what you will about that man, the content was amazing. Day one he comes out, “I hate Mexicans.” I was like, “Oh, shit! This is way better than any of those Obama speeches.” I mean, it’s horrible, but very captivating. That’s why I’m so puzzled by these people that are like, “Fuck Joe Biden.” I’m like, “Based on what? I never even see this dude.” What are you mad about? Where’s the content? What, that time he almost fell once? What are you talking about? You hate Kamala Harris? I’ve never even seen her. I was so excited, she’s, like, Indian. There’s, like, more footage of Bigfoot than Kamala Harris, okay? This lady’s… I’ve never seen her. There was that one piece of content in the beginning where she’s like, “We did it, Joe!” And then she’s gone. She… She disappeared like the original mom from The Fresh Prince. [whooping] Gotta have the content. If you don’t have the content, you don’t have the Internet. You don’t have the Internet, you don’t have the culture. The culture decides what we actually end up doing, right? Some of these things I’ve been talking about, they’re too boring. Wouldn’t work in the system we have, right? You put them in there, be like, “If we just figured out clean sanitation in the developing world, we’d be able to… [blows raspberry] There’s a lot of sweatshop labor out there still, and if we could… [blows raspberry] Timothée Chalamet threw a boba tea at some Asian guy in Washington Square Park.” “Wait, what? Why did he do that? Does he not like Asian people? Then why is he drinking boba tea? That’s, like, an Asian beverage. What are in those gelatinous globules inside a boba tea? I have so many questions.” Next day, Chalamet drops a statement. “Oh, my God. To all my fans and everybody, I didn’t mean to throw that boba tea. I was walking in the park and I slipped, and the boba tea was dislodged from my hand and hit this poor gentleman in the face. I have no ill will to him or anyone in the Asian community or any community. I’m so deeply sorry.” [exhales] “I thought he was a good dude.” Two days later, though, video leaks of Chalamet. This dude didn’t slip. He was rearing back. He went in on this guy. “What the fuck? Did you see that clip?” “Yeah, that’s so messed up. I can’t believe it.” “Did you see that article that came out today?” “What?” “There was another article.” “What’d it say?” “Apparently, that wasn’t Chalamet. It was some other hipster dude and they did a deepfake to make it look like Chalamet.” “Are you serious?” “Yes!” “Is he still gonna be in Dune 2?” “I don’t know.” “What should we do?” “Let’s keep track of this and keep talking about it every day for two weeks, even though it has nothing to do with our lives.” And that’s us, man. We just live in the comments threads now. Doesn’t that feel like the last, like, ten years? We get sucked into one of these loops, we’re in there for a couple weeks, we get out, and we’re on to the next thing, spending all this mental energy on these things that end up going away anyway. Oof. That’s why it’s weird to me when people are like, “Oh, the vaccine’s gonna put a microchip in me and turn me into a robot.” It’s like, don’t you realize we already got got? You know, how much more robotic could we be? Don’t you know everything everyone’s gonna say about everything? You know, they already got us a long time ago, ’cause these companies making the money were thinking 40, 50 steps ahead. They’re way savvier than we give them credit for. Like China. China doesn’t go, “Hey, we’re working on facial recognition technology and we need your face.” No, ’cause everyone would be like, “No way, China. I’m not giving you my face. See, my face is my rights.” But China doesn’t ask like that. China goes, “Hey, wanna see what you’d look like when you’re old?” [laughing, clapping] “Me when I’m old? Well, yeah! What do I need to do?” “Just give us your face.” “Oh, cool. Take my face! Take my face! Take my face!” Clap if you feel like you’re on the phone or on your Internet too much. Clap if you feel that way. I mean, I’m clapping with you. That was damn near everybody. I feel it, man. Has anybody done anything to try to curb the amount of phone and Internet time? Raise your hand if you’ve done anything to try to stop yourself a little bit.
What did you do, miss?
I set a time limit. You set the time limit. I know this trick. A little screen time thing. Thing pops up. “You’ve hit your daily limit.” You’re like, “Get out of here! I’m still going!” That doesn’t work. What else do you guys do? Raise your hands if you do something else. Anything else? What do you do, sir? [person] Deleted Instagram. Deleted Instagram. Yeah, I did that. Like, seven years ago, I deleted all my shit from my phone and everything. I mean, I still have the accounts, but it’s not me, it’s some lady. Um… But, you know, I felt this thing. You know what I mean? I’ve been feeling this for a long time. And I’ve done all these things you are talking about, and I kept going further and further and further until where, now, I finally feel a little bit better. And you know what I had to do? I had to join Team Flip. [audience exclaims] Team Flip. It’s a bit extreme, but I tell you what, man. You get your mind back. You can see through the fog. You can go wherever you wanna go. You just gotta write down detailed directions before you leave your house. It’s tough to get around sometimes. I mean, I can’t do anything on that thing. I can just call people and text, and if I wanna text, I really gotta wanna say what I’m saying, ’cause it takes a minute. I’m on that T9 life. I just… I had to let go, you know? It was getting too much for me. I remember one time I had a moment… Maybe you had moments like this. I was talking to my mom on the phone, and it was when I had the smartphone and I was on speakerphone, talking to her. And then, um, you know, at some point, I was, like, reading stuff on the Internet and she was like, “What are you doing? Are you listening to me? Are you reading something?” And I was like, “Yeah.” She’s like, “What are you reading?” And I was like, “Ten things Sean Paul can’t live without.” She’s like, “What? I’m your mother. I’m calling you on the phone. That’s not very nice.” “You wanna know some of the things?” I was in my apartment last week and I was looking through these boxes and I found this old videotape and it was footage of me from 20 years ago when I’d been doing stand-up for just, like, a few weeks. This other NYU kid was doing a documentary about me and it was so wild. I was, like, in my dorm room, writing jokes in a little notebook and I took the NYU bus, came down to Washington Square Park, walked through the park, came down MacDougal Street and walked down those steps right here, and then I came on this stage. This very same spot. This is actually the first place I ever did stand-up in my entire life. And I realized, “Oh, man, that’s kind of exactly what I did today.” You know? I was in my apartment. I was writing some jokes. I walked all the way down here, got to the cellar. Let the manager know… [imitates button clicking] “I’m here.” [electronic music plays] How am I doing on time? All right, man’s giving me the twirl, so I guess I got…
They want more! They want more. [clapping] Ay, ay, ay, actually, if you really want more, I’m running out of friends and I gotta bring three people every week. My name is Aziz. Come back… When, next week?
Next week, say you’re here to see Aziz.
[audience applauds, cheers]
[mid tempo electronic music plays]