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10 Funniest Aziz Ansari Lines

‘Master of None’ star’s best bits, scathing put-downs and hilarious OMG zingers

Aziz Ansari

Aziz Ansari, from his Netflix special 'Aziz Ansari: Buried Alive.'

Andrew Baasch/Netflix

Actor, stand-up comic and sitcom star Aziz Ansari's appeal might best be explained by his "favorite" racial stereotype, which serves as the premise for a bit in his third special, Buried Alive: "Black dudes are blown away by magic tricks." At his most excitable, the comedian is just like the guys he describes in this joke, repeating "That's amazing!" over and over while having to "reassess existence from the ground up" because something has blown his mind. Ansari's own overriding sense of joy and silliness informs all of his comedy, from the ridiculous neologisms of Parks and Recreation's Tom Haverford to the foulmouthed "fuck tales" of Funny People's meta-hack comic Randy (or rather, Raaaaaaaaaandddyyyy).

Now, after nearly 15 years of performing, four hour-long specials and having sold out Madison Square Garden and Carnegie Hall, Ansari is set to follow in the footsteps of powerhouse comics-turned-auteurs such as Louis CK and Chris Rock. In advance of his new Netflix series Master of None — a Louie-like day-in-the-life sitcom following Dev, an Indian-American actor trying to make ends meet in New York — here are 10 of the comedian's best lines to date. (Keep in mind that the list makes no distinction between jokes that Ansari wrote himself, had written for him or ad-libbed something in between.) Treat yo self and read on.

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Raaaaandy! (‘Funny People’)

"Hey Randy's parents, there's been a terrible cunnilingus accident. Randy was eating pussy underwater. Yeah, I know it's awesome, but he didn't make it!"

While this line may not be Ansari's most articulate, it's a signature bit from the bloated caricature known only as RAAAAAAAANDY! The puerile parody of a comedian — Ansari told Vulture that he conceived the character while wondering, "What if Soulja Boy did stand-up?"— talks about his junk, ladies fellating his junk and the aforementioned death by cunnilingus in a hot tub while a DJ punctuates the proceedings with dancehall air horns. What began as a bit part in Judd Apatow's Funny People soon became a part of his repertoire onstage, and as Randy, Ansari gets to have his cake and eat it, too. He can play for cheap laughs, unfettered from any sort of compunction to appear clever, and take cracks at comics that rely on nothing but dick jokes.

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Treat Yo Self! (‘Parks and Recreation’)

This strong choice for the greatest Tom Haverford line ever has become something fun to bark at office mates, as well as an ongoing, self-pleasuring [ahem] movement among Parks and Recreation fans. An exhortation between Ansari's would-be ladies man-slash-hapless entrepreneur and his partner-in-crime Donna Meagle (played by Retta), this phrase marked a day of shopping and other activities designed with personal indulgence and maximum pampering in mind. While it may not have contained one of Haverford's signature, half-baked business ideas or highlighted his knack for ad-libbing, the cartoonish swagger of the "treat yo self" moment reinforced the comic's ability to propagate a catchphrase.

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Racism (“Intimate Moments From a Sensual Evening’)

"The government's, like, 'Oh yeah, you can come to the United States, but you've got to go to Alabama.' It's kind of like a girl going, 'Yeah, you can see me naked, but you can only look at my left elbow. And my left elbow is racist.'"

While some of Ansari's popular early material relied on pop-culture figures and emphatic declarations, many of his quieter, thoughtful moments display a broad range of interests and a keen comic intelligence. In this bit from Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening, he talks about an acquaintance who emigrated to the States on the condition that he practice medicine in a less-than-desirable location. As is often the case, the comedian acknowledges racist tendencies in the States, his own heritage and the challenges presented to immigrants in his stand-up, but he refuses to let this perspective define him in the eyes of the audience.

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50 Cent and Grapefruit Soda (‘Dangerously Delicious’)

"Oh my God, 50 Cent has no idea what a grapefruit is."

This bit from Ansari's second special, Dangerously Delicious, stems from an conversation the comedian overhears between a waiter and 50 Cent himself. In the bit, the rapper orders a grapefruit soda and then asks why the drink isn't purple. The comic's precise and damning extrapolation is both absurd and, given the musician's reformed gangster persona, somehow completely believable. This story also fits nicely alongside Ansari's early brushes with Kanye West and R. Kelly, in that it's loving jab to a hip-hop celebrity delivered by someone enamored of the culture. While he does this bit, it's easy to imagine him squirming at his table, just waiting for the moment he can share this bit of news onstage.

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Marriage (‘Buried Alive’)

"I want to keep hanging out with you 'til one of us dies. Put this ring on your finger so people know we have an arrangement."

For years, Ansari has been preoccupied by romantic relationships — in particular, the hopelessness of modern dating and the incomprehensibility of marriage. In his third special, Buried Alive, he imagines a world in which the bonds of matrimony do not exist; this line, delivered with a loutish confidence from a would-be wooer, represents how a proposal might sound to an alien visiting earth. Comics have endlessly examined the notion of matrimony, but this incisive dissection helps reveal the truly strange nature of a ritual whose origins most of us take for granted.

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Parents (‘Live at Madison Square Garden’)

"I don't think we’re as amazing as our parents are… I'm not going to have any struggles to tell my kids about. What's my story going to be like? 'Ah, son, once, when I was flying from New York to L.A., my iPad died!'"

Ansari loves his parents: He talks reverently about their emigration from India to South Carolina, brings them onstage after his sold-out Live at Madison Square Garden show and even cast them as — wait for it — his mother and father in Master of None. While the comedian's affection extends to his folks' peers, his stand-up act regularly questions his generation's mating habits, technological dependence and sense of entitlement — and this bit neatly stitches together all of Ansari's preoccupations. Jokes like this one that point toward his emergence as a social critic in the mold of one of his heroes, Chris Rock.

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