Aziz Ansari Uses New Special To Address Catcalling

by Chrissa Hardy

Everything can be used as comedic material, but only if handled in clever, careful ways. Aziz Ansari is a comedian I would trust to tackle any issue, no matter how intense or controversial, in a stand up routine because he has such a uniquely sophisticated and relatable way of seeing the world. He takes his natural swagger, his well-adjusted childhood, and his humility, and makes you want to scream in enthusiastic agreement after every joke because he just GETS. IT. It doesn't matter what the topic is, Ansari understands the plight of both sexes, of people of any age, race, or sexual orientation, and he takes you to school on how to be a better person through the use of comedic timing and completely original punchlines.

His newest comedy special, Live at Madison Square Garden, hit Netflix at midnight on March 6, and the only obvious option was to watch it the exact moment it became available. Of course it was going to be amazing, just like everything he does, but I hadn't anticipated how much I'd want to give him a hug and thank his parents for creating such a wonderful human. Then he tackled sexual harassment and what it's like for women to be treated as nothing more than sexual objects by the army of creepy dudes who roam the Earth, and he ultimately became our new feminist hero.

The joke started with this:

"You know what I realized recently? Creepy dudes are everywhere. It really sucks 'cuz women have to worry about creepy dudes all the time. And it's very unfair because men NEVER worry about creepy women. That's not a thing."

Then he went through a series of real sexual harassment scenarios that women very commonly face, and what it would be like if men faced them instead. And then he added, "No man has that story. No guy in here has any story like that. Every woman in here has at least three stories like that."

He talked about the Internet and how it's such an ideal showcase for creeps to be creeps. He went into the difference between how men and women are treated differently on the Internet, specifically Twitter.

"I did a show once with a female comedian. She got on stage and the first thing that happened is some idiot in the front yells, 'Take it off!' If you're a dude, never yell, 'Take it off!' Unless a woman has placed a tarantula or a scorpion on one of your shoulders, there's no reason to yell, 'Take it off!'"

He also brought up how creepy dudes follow women. He asked the women in the audience to raise their hands if they'd ever been followed by a strange man, and guess what happened? Too. Many. Hands. Went. Up. Ansari told the audience to look around at all the raised hands and said, "That should not be happening."

Look, this is a comedy special, so the joke was hilarious. He brought us through the ups and downs of the joke with laughter and silly twists. But the fact that he used his comedic talent to show his disgust for a very real issue is absolutely fantastic. He didn't do it in a man-splainy way, either. The feeling was more like, this is insane and it needs to stop immediately.

Ansari, we love you. And we will always want an encore. *Insert applause emoji here.

Image: Ruvan Wijesooriya/Netflix; Giphy (2)