Fill up the pinata with Jolly Ranchers and put a little extra butter cream on that cake, because today marks the birthday of a comedian whose fortunes have been tied up with MTV for a while. Aziz Ansari, the star of the stellar show "Parks & Recreation" as well as movies like "Funny People" and "Observe and Report," turns 28 years old today.
Ansari began his comedy life while he was a student at the business school at NYU. His stand-up work evolved into sketch experiments, and he soon found himself partnering with like-minded performers Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer (as well as film director Jason Woliner) to form Human Giant, a sketch collective whose two seasons worth of work on the MTV show of the same name is legendary. Ansari parlayed the exposure on "Human Giant" into a number of different film and television opportunities (including a stint hosting the 2010 MTV Movie Awards), but he never strayed far from the comedy world from which he emerged.
In fact, Ansari released one of the best albums of 2010 in Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening, a stand-up special that featured some of his most killer stories (as well as an appearance by "Raaaaaandy," the raunchy, Dane Cook-esque character Ansari crafted for "Funny People"). Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening has a number of excellent riffs, including extended bits about the horrors of the dating show "Next," the awesomeness of "Walking With Dinosaurs" and the madness hidden within Cold Stone Creamery. But the greatest stories are the ones about meeting and hanging out with Kanye West (including a feud he starts between West and his cousin Darwish and a vignette wherein Ansari shows up at West's house and finds the rapper listening to 808s & Heartbreak — "These beats are dope," West says) and about going to see R. Kelly live in concert. In fact, Ansari channeled Kelly when he paid tribute to "Avatar" while hosting the 2010 MTV Movie Awards. In honor of his birthday, let's relive the magic.