By Yohana Desta. Photos: Courtesy of Netflix.
Aziz Ansari has it made. The comedian has a multi-faceted career as a celebrated performer and a comic’s comic, one who can hop between Madison Square Garden and the Comedy Cellar with ease. He has a critically acclaimed TV show, Netflix’s Master of None, and an Emmy statuette lighting up a mantle somewhere. Still, his career has been marked by a sort of restlessness, a trait that might soon have a permanent effect on his award-winning Netflix series. In an interview with New York magazine, the comedian admits that he’s not sure if the show has a future beyond Season 2.
“I don’t know if we’re going to do a Season 3,” he says. “I wouldn’t be surprised if I needed a looonng break before I could come back to it.”
Season 2 of the series is set to premiere on May 12, and will continue to follow the adventures of Dev (Ansari), a struggling actor who is, otherwise, extremely similar to the very successful actor who created and portrays him. The show hews remarkably closely to Ansari’s own life, exploring modern love (and delicious food) in New York City and abroad. However, that device seems to have become an albatross for the artist—because the show pulls from his own life, the well is starting to dry out, leaving little room for fresh concepts. Ansari’s uncertainty over a third season exposes just how personal the series is.
“I’ve got to become a different guy before I write a third season, is my personal thought,” he tells New York. “I’ve got to get married or have a kid or something. I don’t have anything else to say about being a young guy being single in New York eating food around town all the time.”
Frankly, Master of None: This Time There’s a Baby sounds like it would be a fun show! But if it doesn’t return, Ansari wouldn’t be the first comedian to break up with a show, despite its success. Louis C.K. announced in 2015 that he would be taking an “extended hiatus” from his celebrated FX dramedy Louie, which was poised to enter its sixth season. Like Ansari, the show is a deeply personal project for C.K., mirroring his life in a number of ways. As of this year, he still isn’t sure when he’s going to return to the series.
“I think about it sometimes and I just don’t know,” he said of a future season at last year’s TCA press tour. “It’s such an autobiographical thing that I could do a version of Louie when he’s 60, if anyone gives a shit. . . . By the time I want to, I might say, ‘Hey guys,’ and they’ll be like, ‘Who is this?’ ”
The comedian has instead opted to do new projects, like the tragicomedy Horace and Pete, which recently won a Peabody award.
Dave Chappelle may be the most famous example of a comedian walking away from a series in the height of its success. Prior to filming Season 3 of the wildly success Chappelle’s Show, the comic decided to take a break, vacationing in South Africa—and, subsequently, abruptly ending the series for good in 2006. Though he’s done stand-up performances since taking that hiatus, Chappelle only recently re-entered the mainstream in a more public way, hosting Saturday Night Live and doing a handful of specials for Netflix, with more on the way.
Though Ansari is considering a hiatus of his own, any break he takes is likely not to be indefinite. We’re in an age of revivals and reboots and picking up nostalgic material right where it left off. Larry David, for example, recently announced that Curb Your Enthusiasm, the grandfather of both Louie and Ansari’s show, would return for a ninth season after a five-year hiatus—so all hope for more Master of None is not lost.
And in either case, it doesn’t seem like Ansari fans would be without new material from the comedian for long. In the interview, he mentions a feature-film script he’s currently working on, though Ansari doesn’t provide more details. He’s also a famously prolific comedian who has put out several comedy specials, a book, and more over the course of his career, in addition to bulking up his directing skills. Something tells us he won’t be gone for long.
This story originally appeared on Vanity Fair.
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