But it’s still fun and games for Ansari, who (in my favorite moment) performs a flawless Ja Rule impression and jokes about how bizarre it was that Ja Rule managed to have such a successful string of hits. In a later, especially impressive segment, Ansari’s improv, centered around an audience member’s text-message conversation, is just as solid as his prepared material.
While it’s true that Ansari tends to rely on predictable topics like relationships and people’s attachment to technology, he always manages to find hyper-specific aspects to zero in on. At one point, he accurately names the three VHS tapes that everyone had as kid: Home Alone, Jurassic Park, and Mrs. Doubtfire. It’s these specific observations, combined with Ansari’s larger-than-live stage presence, that best exhibit his comedic talents, making the Live at Madison Square special one that fans will happily devour.