Aziz Ansari Got His Start While At NYU Stern

Aziz Ansari

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This weekend, Aziz Ansari is co-starring Jesse Eisenberg in “30 Minutes Or Less,” but you’d know him best from NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.”He got his start like many other comedians: doing stand-up in New York City. He began the circuit in 2001, after his freshman year at NYU’s Stern School of Business.

“I had no clue about [what the] vibe at Stern was going to be and to put it mildly, it wasn’t my scene,” he told NYU’s newspaper. “When I graduated, I just kept doing stand-up and never did anything with my degree. Getting a marketing degree at NYU was an expensive but easy way to procrastinate having to find a real job while I figured out how to make a career as a comedian.”

During school, he also worked at NYU’s Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Department. “I just got a sense of pride every time I was in an NYU building that had cool air,” he says. “And when it was too hot or too cold, I felt shame.”

Before heading to New York, Ansari went to boarding school at the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics. Once in the city, he considered transferring from Stern to NYU’s Tisch, but he was just “too lazy.” 

Now see Amy Poehler address Harvard’s Class of 2011 >