It’s been a big year for Jeopardy! They’ve had two big, record-busting champions: first Matt Amodio, then Amy Schneider, the first trans person to qualify for the show’s Tournament of Champions. They’ve had bizarre trouble finding a full-time replacement host for the late Alex Trebek. Then there’s Aaron Rodgers. The Green Bay Packers quarterback was a surprise hit when he guest-hosted the show early last year. People even thought he should be Trebek’s replacement! Not only did he not get that job, but he went from hero to pariah, outing himself as a vaccine skeptic who even lied to his teammates.
People are disappointed in the radical direction Rodgers has taken with his life. But not everyone’s surprised. In his new Netflix special Nightclub Comedian, Aziz Ansari offers a slightly sympathetic take on the footballer. He talks about how angry Rogers’ vaccine status made people, then offers some needed perspective.
Following hiatus, Aziz Ansari hits Aaron Rodgers and anti-vaxxers in return to Netflix with “Nightclub Comedian” special:
“Did you think Fauci was going to be out there like, ‘Uh, I just got off the phone with Aaron Rodgers?’” pic.twitter.com/HfuumLxkTc
— The Recount (@therecount) January 25, 2022
“It’s like, calm down. He’s a football player,” Ansari says in the special. “He read some articles. He got skeptical. He did some research. Are you stunned he came to the wrong conclusion? Did you really think he was gonna crack the case?”
He added, “Did you think Fauci was going to be out there like, ‘Uh, I just got off the phone with Aaron Rodgers?’”
So while people are dragging a guy — who, for the record, did a really great job hosting a game show for brainiacs — Ansari won’t join them. “This poor guy! It’s like we’re all in high school making fun of the quarterback for doing bad on the science test. ‘You’re a dummy, Aaron, you’re a dummy. You don’t know anything. You’re a dum-dum,’” Ansari jokes. “This guy makes a living getting hit in the head. Can we cut him a break?”
That said, it’s not as though Ansari forgot another reason people are mad about Rodgers: for deceiving his team by strongly suggesting he’d been vaxxed before hitting the field. “I guess he did lie,” Ansari said, then launched into a nasal impersonation of Rodgers. “‘My doctors gave me some powders from Jamba Juice.’”
Aziz Ansari: Nightclub Comedian now streams on Netflix.