With a little less than two weeks of classes and finals on the horizon students could use some comedic relief.
Tuesday night comedian Aziz Ansari stepped in to do just that. Students and comedy fans alike came out and packed into the UCF Arena to watch Ansari perform. The comedian kicked off his new tour, “Buried Alive,” in front of a crowd of close to 8,000 people.
Among them was dedicated freshman art education major, Vicky Boisvert, who was especially enthusiastic to see her first live comedic performance. She waited in line with friends for two hours before the show to secure their seats for the performance.
“I’ve seen some stuff online,” Boisvert said. “I’ve never seen any comedian live before so I’m very excited.”
Knights Plaza was packed an hour and half before the event even started. Students waiting to get in formed two lines that wrapped around the UCF Arena stretching as far back as Jay Bergman Field. Some students didn’t mind the wait to see one of their favorite comedians live. For senior pre-health clinical major Nancy Bussiere, who is a fan of Ansari’s stand-up routines, the night provided a break from hitting the books.
“He’s funny, it’s almost finals week and we need something,” Bussiere said.
Ansari’s performances are known for his trademark high-pitched act and expressive reactions. He currently stars every week on NBC’s Parks and Recreation as Tom Haverford alongside Amy Poehler. His most recent films include “30 Minutes or Less,” ”Funny People” and “What’s Your Number.” Following the release of his debut CD/DVD, he hosted the 2010 MTV Movie Awards.
As an Ansari fan, junior accounting major Marielle Robinson made it her top priority to get her ticket when the show was announced. Robinson spared no time and bought her ticket the first day they went on sale and believes it was worth risking being late to class.
“I saw 30 Minutes or Less and he was hilarious, and I love Parks and Recreation — Tom is my favorite character. I have his CD and I listen to it on repeat,” Robinson said. “I haven’t seen him live so I’m really excited to see him live, and I’m looking forward to his jokes.”
Comedian Joe Mande, who has been seen on Conan and Comedy Central, helped to loosen up the crowd as the opening act with about half an hour of material.
As the first stop on Ansari’s new tour, this performance certainly didn’t disappoint with the turnout of an almost sold-out crowd, Campus Activities Board Promotions Director Alan Zegarra said. The routine features all new material not included in his latest released special and that can only be heard on the tour.
In typical Ansari fashion he explored every topic from his opinion of online dating to his favorite racial stereotypes. No topic was off limits. It even involved some audience participation. Ansari enlisted the help of a few audience members to help get his point across and asked them a few personal questions to share with the crowd.
“UCF and the Campus Activities Board pride itself in bringing the best entertainment and making sure students get the best UCF experience,” Zegarra said. “Aziz Ansari was the comedian that was going to make sure that students were going to make incredible memories tonight.”
Fans can get a taste for Ansari’s brand new hour special “Dangerously Delicious” available on his website for $5. Ansari joins the growing list of comedians bypassing networks and directly reaching their fans by offering their work to download or stream.