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Aziz Ansari Performs First Public Stand Up Set After Sexual Misconduct Allegations

The "Master of None" creator tested out new material over the weekend at famed New York venue The Comedy Cellar, a favorite haunt of Louis C.K.

Master of None Season 2 Aziz Ansari

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Aziz Ansari made his first stage appearance since being accused of sexual misconduct in January. According Brooklyn Vegan, the comedian performed multiple sets at The Comedy Cellar, a New York club favored by Louis C.K., who was accused of sexual misconduct in November of 2017. While Ansari’s appearance was not advertised, he reportedly performed multiple surprise drop-in sets from Wednesday to Sunday of last week. Topics covered included Starbucks, racism, millennials, as well as some crowd work. The comedian and “Master of None” creator has been keeping a low profile since the allegations initially broke.

On January 13, the website Babe.net published a firsthand account from an anonymous 23-year-old woman who said Ansari behaved inappropriately while on a September 2017 date with her. “I believe that I was taken advantage of by Aziz,” she said. “I was not listened to and ignored. It was by far the worst experience with a man I’ve ever had,” she added. “It took a really long time for me to validate this as sexual assault.”

Three days later, Ansari released a statement denying the allegations. “We went out to dinner, and afterwards we ended up engaging in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual,” he wrote. “I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue.”

Multiple attendees wrote on social media about seeing Ansari perform. “I saw Aziz Anzari at the Comedy Cellar last night and if I told people this a year ago they’d be like ‘cool’ but now they’re like ‘oh,'” wrote one audience member. Another was more enthusiastic: “Finally got into the famous Comedy Cellar tonight in NYC! Tracy Morgan AND Aziz Ansari showed up unannounced to practice material!!! So happy.”

The comedian and DJ Cipha Sounds hosted a Sunday brunch event, and voiced support for Ansari, tweeting a photo and referring to him as “My Aziz.” Other performers on the Mother’s Day show included Gary Vider, Matthew Broussard, Emmy Blotnick, Chris Gethard, and Sean Patton. Tracy Morgan also performed at least once.

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