Aziz Ansari was born in Columbia, SC. With both parents in the medical field, and an education being geared towards the sciences, acting seemed the furthest thing from Ansari's mind. He attended the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics, a public boarding school in Hartsville that only took in the state's most gifted students. He majored in marketing at New York University's Stern School of Business, only to realize that he was not interested in a corporate career. After graduating in 2004, Ansari hosted a weekly stand-up show called "Crash Test" at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York where he met comics Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel. He eventually took his comedy act across the country, performing at colleges and music festivals, and building up a following large enough that in 2005, Rolling Stone named him "Hot Stand-up."Ansari, in collaboration with Huebel and Scheer, began making hard-hitting and funny short films including "Shutterbugs" (2005), about smooth-talking agents for child stars, and "Illusionators" (2005), which featured Ansari and Scheer as magicians who, because of extremely low self-esteem, only raise the dead to make their other tricks more impressive. The trio gained an even bigger following when they starred on MTV's "Human Giant," which recreated sketches from their previous films and brought back oddball characters like a drug-addicted genie and a carpet salesman who is killed by a monkey. The show made Ansari - with his trademark impish grin - one of television's most exciting new comics.After "Human Giant" wrapped production, Ansari guest-starred on the ABC comedy series "Scrubs" (2001-10) as an intern who spends more time on his cell phone than attending to patients, and on HBO's "Flight of the Conchords" (2007-09) as a racist fruit salesman. In 2009, he played a variety of quirky characters on the big screen as well, including a lotion salesman in "Observe and Report" with Seth Rogen and a hyperactive stand-up comedian in "Funny People" starring Adam Sandler. That same year, Ansari nabbed a lead role on NBC's hit comedy series "Parks and Recreation," which followed the lives of government employees in a small Indiana town. Ansari played a very smug, overachieving employee who regularly insults one of his colleagues (Amy Poehler). The series gave Ansari plenty of chances to improvise - a skill he developed when he performed stand-up comedy - and expose his talent to a mainstream audience. In 2010, Ansari appeared in the film "Get Him to the Greek" starring Jonah Hill as a record industry intern who finds himself in the middle of brawls, lap dances and drug smuggling activities while trying desperately to deliver a crazy British rock star (Russell Brand) on time to a Los Angeles concert. That same year, Ansari hosted the 2010 MTV Movie Awards, the network's annual ode to film, which more than showed the actor had made his mainstream presence known. After a co-starring role in the underperforming action comedy "30 Minutes or Less" (2011), Ansari had a cameo role as himself in Rogen's apocalyptic comedy "This is the End" (2013) and debuted another standup special, "Buried Alive" (Netflix 2013), which introduced a new, more personal comic voice. When "Parks and Recreation" came to an end in 2015, Ansari continued in that direction, publishing a book of essays called Modern Romance: An Investigation (2015), starring in the standup special "Live at Madison Square Garden" (Netflix 2015) and creating and starring in the sitcom "Master of None" (Netflix 2015-), about the personal travails of a young Indian-American actor in New York. Making plain the autobiographical connection, Ansari cast his real parents to play the parents of his character, Dev Shah.