There are few comedians who are able to address sensitive issues in a way that is both candid and respectful, but Ansari can — and did — during his stand-up show at Madison Square Garden in New York City. During the special, he spoke about the sexual harassment that all women face, and reflected on his parents’ immigration experience.
“Pretty amazing thing our parents did,” Ansari said of his parents’ immigration from India, before admitting that his generation may not be quite as amazing.
“Is our generation that amazing? I don’t think we are, I don’t think we’re as amazing as our parents are. I don’t think we can pull that kinda shit off. Can you imagine if you sent me to Brooklyn with $20 in my pocket? I’d get there the first day and be like, ‘Oh man, I’m outta money.”
He then went on to speak about his parents’ struggles, saying that because of their sacrifices he is not going to have any real struggles of his own.
“I’m not going to have any struggles to tell my kids about. What’s my story going to be, like, ‘Oh son, once when I was flying from New York to LA, my iPad died!'”
Ansari also spoke about how women have to deal with “creepy dudes” and how the reverse is seldom true.
“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,” he explained, according to Bustle.
To prove his point, he made several jokes about how men shouldn’t act, while at the same time highlighting real issues.
“I did a show once with a female comedian. She got onstage 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!'” he said. “Unless a woman has placed a tarantula or a scorpion on one of your shoulders, there’s no reason to yell, ‘Take it off!'”
His comments are, of course, hilarious, but we also applaud Ansari for tackling serious issues with a certain vulnerability.
Watch a short clip of his performance below.