So he used his own parents.
“There are not a ton of old Indian guys that are actors, and I feel my dad is uniquely funny,” he said last summer at the TV Critics Association summer press tour. Besides, his dad, a retired gastroenterologist, was very happy to do it.
His mother? Not so much. So they tried to cast an Indian-American actress for the role but none, he said, “felt like my real mom.”
So he gave her that cheesy son’s ultimatum: “If you love me, you’ll do this.”
Mostly, the new comedy is about navigating a messy life, dating at 30, trying to be an actor (where he is always encouraged to use a broad Indian accent he’s never had). Ansari wrote it with his co-executive producer Alan Yang.
Mike Schur, who helped make Ansari a star by casting him as Tom Haverford in “Parks and Recreation,” is executive producer here as are Dave Becky of “Louie” and David Liner of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”
And the cast includes such reliable comic actors as Eric Wareheim and H. Jon Benjamin as well as Lena Waithe, Noel Wells and Kelvin Yu, with guest starring roles from Claire Danes and Noah Emmerich of “The Americans.”