In Depth

On the Horizon: Aziz Ansari

Name: Aziz Ansari

Title: Actor/writer/standup comedian, “Parks and Recreation” and “Human Giant”

Last season, actor Aziz Ansaristarted off playing a slacker intern on ABC’s “Scrubs,” but the gig got cut short.

It wasn’t that it was a bad experience.

“I loved doing that show. It was a blast,” Mr. Ansari said.

He was just simply in demand. “Parks & Recreation” co-creators Greg Daniels and Michael Schur snapped up the actor to co-star in the NBC comedy before it had a name or even a premise. Mr. Ansari, 26, credits his background in improv and “Human Giant,” the MTV sketch comedy he starred in and created with Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer and Jason Woliner, with helping him land the attention of Mr. Daniels and Mr. Schur.

“I also sent them a bunch of Edible Arrangements for like three months,” he added. “That probably kind of sealed the deal for me.”

“Parks & Recreation” returns for a second season in the fall, but Mr. Ansari is keeping his name out there in the summer months. He’s got a small part in the Judd Apatow film “Funny People,” a stand-up album, a comedy special in July and, of course, a very active Twitter account (“It’s an outlet to write down jokes. Things I couldn’t annoy my friends with.”).

Mr. Ansari also expressed an interest in writing an episode of “Parks & Recreation” in the future, but said that right now he’s “just trying not to screw up the acting side of it.”

If the acting thing doesn’t work out, he could always pursue his other calling.

“My real passion is real estate. If you’re interested in a one- or two-bedroom home in the Los Angeles area, send me some details on what you’re looking for,” he said. “All the acting and stuff, it’s really just to help my real estate career get off the ground, so hopefully one day I can just quit being on ‘Parks & Recreation’ and writing and all that stuff and really focus on putting people in nice homes.”

—Vlada Gelman

Filed under: Aziz Ansari, Hot List, On the Horizon