If you haven’t gotten around to binge-watching Aziz Ansari’s new Netflix series “Master of None” (in which case, run don’t walk to your TV immediately!), you should know that its breakout star isn’t an up-and-coming comedian or even an actor by trade at all. It’s Aziz’s real-life father, Dr. Shoutkath Ansari, who steals every scene with his hilarious but poignantly sweet performance.
Aziz cast his mother and father, Dr. Shoukath and Fatima Ansari, as the parents of his character Dev, and they got their chance to shine during episode two, which tackles the relationships that first-generation kids have with their immigrant parents. For many viewers, the episode hit close to home because it tackled a feeling that’s all too common: taking your parents for granted.
The younger Ansari reflected on that feeling in a poignant Tumblr post on Wednesday (Nov. 11) after appearing with his father on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” He wrote about how he felt like a “total piece of garbage” for not visiting his parents in South Carolina as often as he should have, but said the show has helped strengthen their relationship.
“My dad took off most of his vacation time for the year to act in 'Master of None.' So I’m really relieved this all worked out,” he wrote. “Tonight after we did Colbert together he said: ‘This is all fun and I liked acting in the show, but I really just did it so I could spend more time with you.’ I almost instantly collapsed into tears at the thought of how much this person cares about me and took care of me and gave me everything to give me the amazing life I have.
“I’ve been overwhelmed by the response to the Parents episode of our show,” he continued. “What’s strange is doing that episode and working with my parents has increased the quality of my relationship to my parents IN MY REAL LIFE. In reality, I haven’t always had the best, most open relationship with my parents because we are weirdly closed off emotionally sometimes. But we are getting better.”
Aziz hits on a lesson that many of us learn later on in life: Our parents are actually cool people who have done a lot for us, and we eventually want to hang out with them by choice — not by obligation — as a way to thank them for their sacrifices.
“I’m an incredibly lucky person and many of you are as well,” he continued. “Not to beat a dead horse here and sorry if this is cheesy or too sentimental but if your parents are good to you too, just go do something nice for them. I bet they care and love you more than you realize.”
Read the whole Tumblr post below — and then probably give your parents a call.