Standup comic Aziz Ansari was at Central Park first-thing Monday morning to mow the lawn. His “Parks And Recreation” character, Tom Haverford, would’ve ditched an event this early, but Ansari showed up ready to ride a giant lawn mower across the park’s Sheep Meadow (sorry, does not actually contain sheep). He teamed up with the real life parks and recreation crew to do the ceremonial first cutting, which happens annually one week before the meadows and ballparks of Central Park officially open to the public.
Once he finished his chores, MTV Clutch got the chance to ask him a few questions.
Aren’t you glad you worked so hard at your comedy career so you could cut somebody else’s grass?(laughs) Yeah, it’s quite an honor to mow the lawn.
Is this some sort of Tom Sawyer situation? Did they trick you into thinking this would be a really cool job?
Yeah, it was like, “Hey you’re gonna help open up Central Park.” “Oh, I’ll cut the ribbon, meet the mayor, OK.” “No, you’re just going to be mowing the lawn.”
You recently decided to self-produce and distribute your own hour-long comedy special. Are you happy with that decision so far?
It’s just fun to do something different and it’s been going well.
You are the perfect comic to do something like this because you’ve been cultivating an audience since the dawn of YouTube. Do you think this is the future of stand-up specials?
Who knows, I mean, I did that stuff, but I also did a show on MTV and a show on NBC. I mean online stuff was there, but the other stuff was necessary to build a fan base to really tour at a large level and have the finances to fund your own stuff. Who knows what the future of anything is, it all changes so fast?
You’ve always been ahead of the curve on the tech stuff. Is that something you do actively or do you just have amazing timing?
Nah, it’s all by accident. I just do whatever comes natural, whatever I feel like doing, and I hope it works out for the best.
Last time I saw you perform, you were joking about not meeting decent women.
(Laughs) I don’t think I said it like that. I said how everyone has trouble meeting decent people right now. People are just bad right now, there’s so much riffraff.
You got a gold digger problem now that your PayPal account is blowing up?
No. That’s very easy to see. “Hi, how are you? So, you want to buy me a car?”
Be sure to check out Aziz’s self-produced, self-distributed stand-up special “Dangerously Delicious.”