Aziz Ansari brings joy, laughter to Bramlage Coliseum

Parker Robb | The Collegian Commedian Aziz Ansari, famous from NBC's "Parks and Rec," during his "Modern Romance" tour stop in Bramlage Coliseum Wednesday evening, merely pretends to do a comedy act to give members of the audience an opportunity to take the custom break-the-"no-photography"-rule camera-phone photo, which, in his words, will be a crappy, blurry photo at which one will either never look again, or at which one will look years later and wonder if Usher came to town in their college days.

Comedian Aziz Ansari lit up the stage Wednesday night in Bramlage Coliseum. Ansari’s “Modern Romance” performance left the nearly 3,000 in attendance roaring with laughter as the comedian talked about relationships, marriage and even skittles.

The highlight of the night, sponsored by Union Program Council, came near the latter part of the show, when Ansari interacted with the audience. Ansari requested that anyone in the audience, whom had just recently started communicating with someone new, come up to the stage. He then proceeded to take the cell phones of those individuals and read the conversations aloud. Isabel Holden, freshman in political science, was one of those audience members involved and said she did not expect what Ansari would do next.

“I thought it was like a joke at first,” Holden said. “I didn’t expect him to go all the way to the top (of the text conversation). Then I got a little nervous, because I couldn’t remember what had been typed. He was definitely reading all of the messages, message per message.”

Those who Ansari interacted with had fun during the skit, but perhaps not as much fun as the audience.

“It was definitely a surprise for it to be so interactive, for sure, but it definitely made it that much better,” Abby Guenther, senior in food science and industry, said.

The focal point of the performance was relationships, communication and how communication differs when compared with 30 or 40 years ago.

“It was super relatable,” Guenther said. “All the stuff about single people and relationships, it was just hilarious.”

The UPC has brought in many big names to campus, including scientist Bill Nye and Saturday Night Live’s Seth Meyers in the last two years. Hannah Henning, senior in mass communications, works with the UPC and said it’s not easy to arrange these types of performances, but the end result is always worth the hassle.

Her partner in putting on the performance was Daniel Preston, junior in milling science and management, who is in his third year with the UPC.

“You just have to get together and make a list of all the things that you need to have done,” Preston said. “It’s just working as a unit, it was (Preston, Henning) and our adviser Ben Hopper. So it was just following whatever steps we needed to take to get it done especially working with Bramlage.”

Ansari is well known for his current role as Tom Haverford on NBC’s comedy series “Parks and Recreation.” As a big Parks and Rec fan, Henning said she was excited to have Ansari come to K-State. After the show, she said the performance absolutely lived up to the expectations.