Parks and Recreation star Aziz Ansari is a busy man. Along with the show, he's currently in the middle of a stand up comedy tour and is about to film a new comedy special. Somehow, he also found time in his schedule to support Advil's Relief in Action program with a special performance honoring Habitat for Humanity volunteers who helped rebuild after Hurricane Sandy.
The Advil Relief in Action campaign honors volunteers who don’t let pain get in the way of providing relief. On Thursday, April 4th they kicked things off at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where 100 awesome volunteers were treated to a Nets basketball game, followed by a private comedy show from Aziz.
Wetpaint Entertainment was lucky enough to attend the event, and we had a chance to chat with Aziz about the campaign, this season of Parks and Rec, and more.
Wetpaint Entertainment: Tell us about the Relief in Action campaign and how you got involved.
Aziz Ansari: Advil told me they were kicking off this Relief in Action campaign with a show here at Barclays for all of these Hurricane Sandy volunteers. I thought that was a pretty good idea, so I was happy to lend my performing to that. I'm happy to be a part of it. I'm from New York — well, I'm not originally from here, but I've lived here a lot, and this is where I started my career. New York means a lot to me and I don't think I would be where I am today without the city of New York, so it's cool to be able to give back to these people who were kind enough to go out of their way and volunteer during Hurricane Sandy.
These are Habitat for Humanity volunteers. Have you ever done Habitat yourself?
I haven't worked with Habitat for Humanity personally, but I'm excited to do this show. It seems like they they're doing a good thing. I'm onboard!
They're not, like, ripping down homes, are they? They're building homes, right? [Laughs]
Pretty sure that's right. Speaking of which: If the characters of Parks and Recreation were to do a Habitat day, who do you think would be the best at it?
Oh, my God, Leslie Knope. She's the best at everything!
That was our first thought, too, but then we remembered how good Ron is at building things...
That's true. Yeah, that's true. I didn't even think about that wrinkle. You might be right!
Can you tell us a bit about what's next for Tom on Parks and Rec?
Throughout the season, you kind of see what happens with Rent-A-Swag and how that goes on. And then you also see what happens with him and Jean-Ralphio's sister, Mona Lisa, which is a lot of fun. Jenny Slate, who plays Mona Lisa, is so funny; and we had a lot of fun together.
Tom has had a number of very different love interests over the years. Who do you think would be his perfect woman?
I don't think we've met her yet. I think Tom's been looking for love in all the wrong places so far. Maybe in the next season we'll meet someone who could work.
Are you saying crazy Mona Lisa isn't The One?
Yeah ... But Lucy was pretty great! She was a good match. She was nice.
She was great. Is there any chance we'll see her again?
Maybe. Natalie Morales [the actress who plays Lucy] was really great. She's on some other shows and stuff now, but maybe we can grab her and do some more stuff with her next season. She was good.
What can you tell us about the rest of the season outside of Tom?
The season finale is coming up soon. Our season finales always do those cool, like, cliffhangers with all the characters. This one's really cool. I'm excited for it. It'll be good. People will like it.
Everyone loves Tom's Treat Yo Self day. Do you ever treat yo self?
You know, I'm really bad at treating myself. I don't vacation or anything. So my treating myself is, like, I'll go out and do a lot of stand-up, which is really fun.
That's basically work!
Yeah. But I have fun doing that, so I guess I'm lucky.
You're touring stand-up right now, right?
Yeah. I'm touring right now, and I'm going to record a new special next week, so I'm excited for that.
Obviously you've had a lot of success in TV and film acting, but you keep coming back to stand-up. What draws you to that format?
I just think it's so unique, and you get so much control, more than any other artform. Especially [compared to] movies or TV, which are great because you work with different people. But it's cool to have one thing that's just my thing, that I can really share with people, kind of very untouched by any outside forces.
When you put a stand-up special on TV, you don't get any notes from the network. That's the special. You can really talk about whatever's going on in your life or whatever you want. There's really no other medium that I can think of where you can just express yourself so uniquely in that way. That's why I always continue doing it. I just really love it, and think it's a unique artform that I really respect.
We love TV at Wetpaint Entertainment. Are there any shows you're obsessed with?
I've been watching this show on Comedy Central called Nathan for You. It's so funny. I definitely recommend people check that out.
Do you have an everyday hero you want to honor? Share inspiring photos on Twitter and Instagram using the #ReliefinAction hashtag!
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaDMartin.