You have to admire Aziz Ansari's sense of style. He booked his most recent stand-up tour into some of the most august performance venues in the world, including Sydney Opera House and Carnegie Hall.
And he dressed the part, as you can see at the beginning of this Netflix special, taped in April at his Philadelphia stop, the Merriam Theater.
You see him slipping into a designer suit, shooting the cuffs, and fastening his boutonniere.
Then he strolls into the spotlights, and all that dignity goes right out the stage door.
And that's one of the quirky pleasures of Buried Alive: watching this stream of rude, sometimes shocking observations come out of such a genial, bespoke guy.
Though not explicitly stated, the title would seem to sum up Ansari's attitude toward the state of matrimony, which he describes as "the most insane thing you could ever ask anyone to do."
His terror of the institution, which seems quite sincere, informs most of the material in this show. Most of his bugaboos - "things that people do that scare me" - are directly connected to commitment.
He branches off from there to explore online dating, how low women's romantic expectations have fallen, modern ghosts, explicit sexting, and his "favorite racial stereotype."
While most comedy concerts consist of bits stitched thinly together with segues, Ansari, best known for his role on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, favors a more narrative flow.
Ansari is not a classic joke teller. His timing is a little lax, and he often lets the gags float in the air a few beats too long.
He frequently shifts into manic or strangled voices to deliver his punchlines, in a way that recalls Pee-wee Herman. He uses the same kind of manchild impudence as his default comic persona.
Ansari also has a knack for reversing expectations at the end of a story, as when he admonishes the audience at the Merriam: "You know what's weird? I can tell you guys feel sorry for the child molester in that joke. I can see it in your faces."
The funniest bit is primarily improvised, as he solicits a ticketholder in the first row to share the specifics of how he proposed to his wife. Turns out he popped the question over lunch at what the man insists was a five-star restaurant. Ansari makes a meal of their meal.
Be sure to stick around for the encore, during which Ansari amusingly recounts hanging out with President Obama and the Roots.
He's a lively and engaging performer. One caveat: During the last half-hour of the perfomance, he relies with dismaying frequency on musical material, and his singing is kind of painful.
Stick with the stories, Aziz. They suit you as snugly as the soigné three-piece you wore in Philadelphia.
'Aziz Ansari: Buried Alive'
Available for download at 12:01 p.m. Friday on www.netflix.com.EndText