Greetings from stormy, thundery Arizona! Today’s fanciful podcast is with Asif Ali, stand up comic, actor, and fantastically fun guy out from Los Angeles! Well, he’s originally from here in Phoenix, as you’ll very soon hear in this very fast-paced, laughter-filled conversation.
We first met Asif a week or two before PHX Comicon, when he was mysteriously sent to the Hidden House to do a set. He was incredibly energetic and positive onstage, and we bonded over working at Comicons. We looked forward to him coming back out, and we hoped to get an interview the next time he came to PHX. Good news came when Sean McCarthy reached out to us about some Los Angeles manager that had contacted him about shows at the Icehouse, and was looking for some rooms for his client to do as he was getting ready for a set on the Craig Ferguson show…and that client turned out to be Asif!
We got to sit down and record a nice, long conversation while he was in town; so nice and long of a conversation, in fact, that we wound up recording a two part podcast! It seems like it’s been a long while since we’ve done a two-parter, so you know we were having a lot of fun talking with Asif.
We go all over the place in this one- Asif tells us the story of his Indian immigrant parents arriving here in Phoenix, and how it relates to the American Dream and the failure of global capitalism, how his father’s health was ruined by moving to America, and how he began raising and trading exotic birds for a living. He tells us about how he and his brothers ran small illegal cartels in school, dealing in candy, baseball cards, and low-rider bicycles, and how that entrepreneurialism translated into being able to readily assimilate into the hustle of Hollywood when he moved out there.
In this first half of our interview, you’ll hear about Asif growing up here in Phoenix and trying to do a little stand up, but discovering that the opportunities that we enjoy now just weren’t available at the time. So he packed up and headed out for college and more stages in Chicago, doing the local road and college circuit, before eventually heading out to Los Angeles in 2009.
In the second half of the interview, next week, you’ll get to hear all about the fun and not so fun that comes along with trying to make your way in L.A, especially from the perspective of an Indian actor.
What better way to celebrate Jason Hill’s 16th birthday than by watching him headline Hidden House Comedy?!! Come to Phoenixes’s Longest Running Independent Comedy Show this Wednesday at 9pm and buy Jason a stiff drink from Bartender Brian and stick around for some loose jokes by Ali Musa, Anwar Newton, Charlie Speez, Chris Black, Kon Stamadianos, Michael Palladino, Molly Dean, Rob Maebe, and super special guest host Kirsten Alberts!
This Thursday at Monkey Pants, laughter will rain down like nacho cheese poured over bacon wrapped deep fried hot dogs or like actual precipitation in places where actual rain occurs, as Bill O’Connor stays up past his bedtime with fellow local comics Adam Lark, Charlie Speez, Clayton Perkins, Jim Bambrough, Patrick Bojanowski, Tim Bateman, Tim Lorenzi, and Ethan Watkins! Comedy at 8.30; fish racing at 11, so get your ass in Pants!
Get out to Torch Theatre on Saturday for Jamie in The Neighborhood!
Follow Asif on Facebook to get notifications of his appearances on television shows like Arrested Development, Silicon Valley, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and The Comeback!
Thanks for listening; keep coming out to shows and supporting the Live, Local, Sleepy, Drowsy, Groggy Independent PHX Comedy Scene!