Aziz Ansari’s comeback show, ‘Right Now’, sees the comedian different and even better
Keeping track of the allegations against sexual misconduct, Ansari made it a point to come out of the brighter side in his comedy special where he spoke about white wokeness and the idea of dilemma surrounding truth.
There is a fine line between bawdy rants delivered by a person claiming to be a comedian of a kind and an actual comedian making observational remarks juxtaposed with a witty out-take on the matter concerned. Aziz Ansari has time and again made his way to the latter kind, and with Netflix now opening up to more affordable comedy specials than a few riskier business such as ‘Sense8’, Ansari’s comeback to the streaming giant is certainly a step forward for the comedian/actor.
In his hour-long comedy special, the ‘Master of None’ actor took a step back to reflect upon the allegations that were charged against him last year and tied up loose ends to reflect upon what can be done Right Now! The allegation against Ansari during last year created a lot of noise, and the question about the subtle power of male misogyny took the central stage as throughout the scandal Ansari’s ignorance as the abuser was constantly questioned. James Hamblin wrote in the Atlantic, “Even Ansari, the semi-ironic expert who authored a book on interpersonal communication, claims to have not perceived Grace’s distress. He may have perceived “mixed signals,” but also that his advances were ultimately warranted. In a sort of internal ink-blot test within the story, Ansari was seeing something totally different from his date, Grace. This sort of human mating ritual always involves complex arrays of social cues.”
This notion of the gray area in mating communication was highlighted throughout Ansari’s comeback show, ‘Right Now’. Stepping in to a packed up BAM Opera House, Ansari started off on the key note of learning from the past and concentrate on what is happening right now. Keeping up with his tendency of presenting philosophy with the gritty chains of humour, Ansari reflected upon the incident last year as he stated, “There's times I felt scared, there's times I felt humiliated, there's times I felt embarrassed, and ultimately I just felt terrible that this person felt this way. After a year or so, I just hope it was a step forward. It moved things forward for me, made me think about a lot. I hope I've become a better person."
Continuing with the reflective note, he further stated, “I always think about a conversation I had with one of my friends where he was like, 'You know what, man? That whole thing made me think about every date I've ever been on.' And I thought, wow! That's pretty incredible," Ansari said. "If this made not just me but other people be more thoughtful, then that's a good thing, and that's how I feel about it." While, on a brief read, it might sound Ansari had moments of reconciliation where he is now a philosophical guru and not the comedian we know him to be, he did break the ice by cracking a quick joke how he would deny being Ansari and rather be Hasan Minaj every time the sexual misconduct case would be fired at him.
Spike Jonze's creation perfectly captured Ansari’s slightly uncomfortable reflections as time and again, the show sweeps in and out of phases intimate reflection to outward perception. Ansari’s intention to take a step back and reflect upon what happened while holding on to moments happening in the present was evident even in the times when he suddenly made transitions between alternative stand-up and blue comedy. What actually was the highlighting feature of the show was that Ansari yet again dared to strike back at the pretentious concerns of “wokeness”. Tracing back to the allegations made in the documentary, ‘Leaving Neverland’, where Michael Jackson has been accused of child sexual abuse Ansari brought up an interesting poitn about the dilemma faced by truth today.
To enhance upon his perspective he created makeshift information regarding which he directly inquired in the audience is anyone was aware of it. As someone mentioned they might have come across the piece on social media, Ansari immediately retorted mentioning that the information was completely mend up. This is where he stretched upon the concerns of an era where anything can be passed out as the truth without proper verification. The show came to a close with Ansari leaving everyone on a hopeful note about what happens next as he exited from the opposite side with Jonze’s camera steadily following him sighing and finally getting over with what was needed to be done.