Poor Aziz Ansari. Dude had an awful weekend. He was brought in to be the opening act for Drake at a Sundance party hosted by Bing on Saturday night. The problems started when Drake showed up to the gig almost 3 hours late. Various accounts note that by the time Aziz took the stage, the crowd of drunken Jean-Ralphios in attendance had grown impatient.
“First off, sorry we’re starting so late. You’re not going to believe this, but the rapper was late,” Ansari said at the start of his set. “It’s unbelievable. The rapper was late. I expected to find him in the green room at 11:15 eating carrots and hummus. That was not the case. He just got here. So we’re starting late. But thank you all for waiting. This is going to be a fun show.”
From there, things went downhill rapidly, with the crowd flat-out ignoring Ansari, talking above his performance and booing him. DIDN’T THEY KNOW THIS MAN IS TOM HAVERFORD?!
It’s around 12:45 a.m. on the third night of Sundance 2012 at the Bing Bar—a two-story hot-spot boasting dual open bars, upstairs and downstairs stages, lascivious women, and guys who likely alternate between Axe and Drakkar Noir. The space formerly known as the Claim Jumper hotel is playing host to the most anticipated concert during the Sundance Film Festival: a late-night performance by chart-topping rapper Drake.
Hordes of well-coiffed hopefuls, braving a mild snowstorm, form an attractive horseshoe outside the flashy venue, while inside, the basement area is packed with celebs. A trio of spindly blondes sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul, who’s holding court in a VIP banquette. When the DJ finishes spinning Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Niggas in Paris” for the third (or fourth) time, the monotony is broken by a brief stand-up set courtesy of comedian Aziz Ansari.
Aziz, barely audible over the jabbering crowd and telling jokes skewering everything from the gay hookup app Grindr to the sanctity of marriage, is bombing terribly. He’s visibly annoyed. All of a sudden, Cuba Gooding Jr. bum-rushes the stage out of nowhere, snatches Aziz’s microphone, and yells, “Everybody, shut the FUCK up! Have some respect for the black men onstage.” Aziz—who is Indian— looks baffled, and when Cuba exits, remarks, “Y’all would be paying more attention if we were showing BOAT TRIP up here!” Aziz: 1, Cuba: 0.
“No seriously, WHERE THE F–K IS DRAKE?”
Cuba Gooding Jr. to the rescue? Was Mark Wahlberg not around to step in?
Sadly, not even Rod Tidwell could not save Aziz — people in the crowd continued to ignore him and talk loudly, and then Drake’s roadies started setting up equipment while he was still performing, according to Vulture.
As Ansari spoke, Drake’s roadies started setting up behind him. “This is actually part of my act,” he said. “I actually like having two dudes setting up turntable equipment. It’s a new thing I’m trying.” Ansari went back to talking about kids. “Does anyone here have a kid? Clap if you have a kid.” No one clapped. No one seemed to have noticed he’d asked them to clap. Then a loud screeching pop blew out of the speakers. “Oh wow,” said Ansari, feedback still ringing. “This is the best venue for stand-up comedy ever. I’m so glad I’m doing this.”
And yet, despite the technical snafus and audience ill will, he persisted, but it was impossible to hear him over the restless crowd. “Oh my god, so many people are talking. This is the worst,” Ansari remarked, mostly to himself. “Thank god they paid me a lot of fucking money or otherwise it would be like, ‘Why did I fucking come here?'”
Help your boy out, Jean Ralphio!
(Pic via Vulture)