The Washington Post

Two Ways to Laugh

IJaziz

Aziz Ansari has been doing interviews lately about dating rituals, turning 30 and how scared he is to have kids. Those are also some of the subjects covered in his current tour and future stand-up special, “Buried Alive,” which brought him to Constitution Hall last weekend.

In a recent Washington Post story, Ansari says there are “two kinds of laughs. One is that funny ‘ha-ha’ laugh.” The other is “where someone will laugh and they’ll also be like: ‘Oh my God, thank you for saying that! I went through the same thing.’ ”

While “Buried Alive” features deeper laughs, it also exposes the challenge Ansari faces as he moves past the easy, pop culture-referencing jokes that made him famous.

When Ansari talked about how online dating is a much more effective method of meeting someone than going to a bar, or how arranged marriages tend to yield stronger relationships, he was tackling social issues in the way Louis C.K. does.

In contrast, an early bit on the juxtaposition between MTV’s “16 and Pregnant” and “My Super Sweet 16” seemed trite.

“Buried Alive” is a very funny and well-constructed hour, but it shows just how much better of a comedian Ansari is when he’s making you think in between all the laughter.

Rudi Greenberg is Express' Weekend Pass editor and comedy columnist.

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