I could go on and on about how the “Parks & Recreation” star cracked some jokes about the early stages of his career, poked fun at Extra!'s Menounos and her love of the New England Patriots and dished about the new material he's working on, but the nuttiest part involved Salt Lake magazine. (Yes, that's right, we became part of the bit.)
Let's start out with this advice. Always, always make sure your phone is on silent when you're in any sort of audience setting. Even if you're certain you turned it off. Even if you're only going to walk away from it for 60 seconds. Because, if you don't, it WILL ring the second you step away. And you WILL think, “Oh that's not me. I turned mine on silent,” as you walk off. “How embarrassing for whoever left their phone on. Turn it off already.” And, if Aziz Ansari is holding a microphone in front of a hundred or so people, he WILL answer the call.
That's a promise.
I came back to my front row seat no more than a minute later, only to first hear Ansari say, “Hi Jeremy... This is Aziz. Your friend walked away from her phone.” There he was, sitting on the stage, next to Extra!'s star correspondent, talking on my phone to my colleague, Jeremy Pugh. There was a little more banter. What was said exactly, I'm not sure. Like a big trauma, when you block out everything to make dealing with the reality easier. I'm pretty sure there was a national camera rolling. I know everyone watching thought it was hilarious. Aziz and Jeremy wrapped up their call. Aziz assured Jeremy I would call him back.
Um, whoops. Glad my supreme attention to detail could be worked into a bit. At Sundance. Where panels have included conversations about films focusing on the failing healthcare system, post-emancipation slavery and wrongful conviction. And, because Ansari has my phone (which often doubles as my fancy camera for such events), I cannot provide you the entertainment of watching the exchange. Trust me, it was painful (or hilarious, more likely, if you're not me).
But, what I do have is video of Ansari talking about his biggest-ever standup bomb. Tit for tat, Aziz. Tit for tat.