From the way it handles relationships to family to self-identity, Master Of None has been celebrated for its authenticity. But there was one real-life story that Aziz Ansari deemed "too crazy" to include in Season 2. When Ansari picked up an award at The Moth Ball, a fundraising gala held by the storytelling series The Moth, it was only fitting that he'd tell a story of his own. This one was about Ansari eating pork in front of his devout Muslim parents for the first time, which was a big no-no, since many followers of Islam abstain from eating pork. For fans of Master Of None Season 2, this storyline probably sounds pretty familiar since Episode 3, "Religion," is all about it. But there was one twist Ansari had to leave out, because it was just too ridiculous to believe — even if it was the honest truth.
Often when he's in the writer's room, Ansari explained that "it's me telling stories of my life and us trying to figure out how to adapt that into a narrative form." But every now and then, stories he's ripped straight from his own life are just too weird to include on the show, so they have to change them to be a little less crazy.
In this case, Ansari had to change one big moment in his life to fit the episode, where his character Dev secretly introduces his cousin Navid to bacon. See, despite being in his 30s and his parents knowing he's not that religious, Dev decides to pretend he still doesn't eat pork to make them feel better.
It's something the real Ansari also tried, though, he admitted that in college he fell off the wagon. "If I was around my parents I wouldn't eat pork," he told The Moth crowd. "But if I wasn't around them, then I would." On Master of None, Dev keeps that ruse going, until he goes out for Chinese food with his parents and his more religious aunt and uncle. But he then says "to hell with it" and orders a crispy pork dish.
In the show, Dev's mom gets mad at him, and it forces him to think about his family's religion and the role it plays in his own life. But, in real life, Ansari says it was a former girlfriend ordering pork when out to dinner with his parents that caused him to say the heck with it and just eat pork. His then-girlfriend didn't realize his family didn't eat the cured meat. And despite his mom seeming mad about Ansari eating pork, they never talked about it. "'Cause we're Indian people," the actor said, "and we keep that sh*t inside."
This isn't the crazy part, though. According to his Moth speech, the next day, Ansari went to get a breakfast sandwich with his girlfriend, who wasn't so keen on the idea of him eating pork if his parents were so against it. He insisted, but guess who they ran into as he bit into his bacon, egg, and cheese? Yup, his parents. "You see how we couldn't put this in the show?" Ansari said. "It seems like it could never happen and it did."
I can't argue that running into your parents randomly on the street would seem a little farfetched. But, it does make for a really funny story, which you should definitely hear the rest of by watching the video. Hint: It deals with peer-pressuring someone into eating pork. Intriguing, right?