Wednesday night at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York, Aziz Ansari was the guest on SiriusXM's newest installment of their "Unmasked" series, and gave a funny and candid talk about achieving his successful comedy career.
The "Parks and Recreation" cast member told host Ron Bennington about the lessons he learned from Chris Rock and Louis C.K., and reflected on the fact that they've been doing stand-up comedy as long as Aziz has been alive -- and they still perform as frequently as possible.
He recounted a conversation he had with Chris Rock at the Comedy Cellar. "I was telling him that now that I've hit 10 years, I feel like I've made a jump," Ansari remembers. "And he said, 'Wait till you hit 25 years!'"
He also explains that he gets bored by watching live music now, because he has to keep his material fresh, while rock stars simply have to perform their hits.
"Every breath you take? Fuck you, Sting! " he riffed, describing watching the former Police frontman in concert. "Don't you have any new viewpoints on this woman? Yeah, I know. Every move she makes. I know. I know. Let me guess, you'll be watching her."
In the clip below, he gets more serious about the necessity of constantly performing to stay funny.
"I'm in a zone where I'm obsessed with stand-up, so I try to do it almost every day," Ansari told Bennington. He explains that stand-up comedy is one performance art where the comedian must be constantly go onstage to perform, or he or she is in danger of losing the ability to consistently entertain an audience.
"You can be the most famous guy, but you're not going to be able to keep those people entertained unless you're tremendously hard-working," he says. He cites Louis C.K. and Hannibal Buress as two beloved comics who rarely take time off from performing so they can stay at the top of their game.
The full interview will premiere today at 2 p.m. EST on The Opie & Anthony Channel (XM 105, Sirius 206 with Sirius Premier). It will rebroadcast on Raw Dog Comedy, channel 99, on Saturday, July 21 at 8 p.m. EST; as well as UCB Radio, channel 406 online and through the SiriusXM Internet Radio App on Saturday, July 21 at 2 a.m. EST.