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Aziz Ansari Keeps Up Breakneck Breakout

hollywoodexclusive1It's a hectic time for Aziz Ansari — but the "Parks and Recreation" breakout comedy star isn't complaining.

"There are more people who know who I am thanks to the acting stuff I've been doing so it's a good time to have a special coming out," says the wickedly funny 26-year-old known as Amy Poehler's sarcastic foil Tom Haverford on the NBC series. He's referring to his one-hour Comedy Central special, "Aziz Ansari: Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening," which premiered Sunday (1/17).

"I've been doing stand-up for nine years so I'm excited to have my first special out there," he tells us. "I went on tour last year and it really helped. The more you do it, the better you get at it. They always say once you hit seven years, you're a lot better and once you hit 10 years, you get even better. Next year, that's when my stand-up will actually be good," he adds with a laugh.

Despite an increasingly grueling TV schedule — and three films in development with Judd Apatow — Ansari claims stand-up will always be a big part of his career. "The big difference between doing 'Parks and Recreation' and the work I did on 'Human Giant' is that on 'Parks and Rec,' I'm just an actor so my schedule is a little more flexible. With 'Human Giant,' I was also an executive producer and writer so I was there all the time. Luckily, now I'm able to manage doing stand-up. It's tough sometimes because we'll shoot all day so it's hard to go to stand-up till late at night, but it's something I enjoy and I want to keep it up throughout my career."

As for "Parks and Recreation," they are back filming Season 2 and he hopes more fans will tune in. He even started a friendly Twitter "war" between his show and "Bones." "I started telling people when it comes to Thursday at 8:30, you should watch 'Parks and Recreation,' not 'Bones.' It just kept spinning out of control and, eventually, the 'Bones' show runner Hart Hanson started fighting back so we had a little bit of a friendly rivalry between the two shows."

THE VIDEOLAND VIEW: "Glee's" Lea Michele says her plan is to get a massage and then just relax and enjoy the night Sunday (1/17) — when she'll head to the Golden Globes and find out whether she'll pick up Best Actress honors. The 23-year-old talent has family in town, which adds even more excitement to the event for her.

Fox's super hit is up for four Globes in all — the most of any series — and you can be sure that the Twitter-happy cast will be Tweeting from the Beverly Hilton Hotel throughout the show.

"It's all kind of a whirlwind right now. We have the awards. We just got picked up for Season 2. It's like, 'What's going on?' But it's awesome that we all get to go through it together," notes Kevin McHale, who plays wheelchair-bound Archie. "We just went back to work this week shooting the back nine episodes for this season."

Michele and McHale were among the names who turned out at Fox's star party earlier this week as the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour rolled on.

As for how "Glee" will manage to continue its level of quality when the bar is so high now, McHale notes with a laugh, "Luckily, I have nothing to do with that. It's all in the writers' hands and, fortunately, they do that on their own. It's their baby. We're just happy to be a part of it."

MEANWHILE: "Silly" and "ridiculous" are two terms that J.J. Abrams has for fans of "Lost" who were upset by news that President Obama's State of the Union address might conflict with the final season premiere of the show Feb. 2 — a conflict that has been averted (whew!) with the White House announcing that the SOTU won't be that night.

"I love TV as much as anyone, but at a certain point — priorities, people!" said the Hollywood creative titan who launched "Lost" in 2004. This shows us that, indeed, Abrams has his head screwed on more securely than others who've weighed in on the matter.

The writer-director-producer was swarmed by press to the point of repeatedly being backed almost into an outdoor heater at Fox's party, but he stayed chipper and cordial as he talked about his Fox show, "Fringe" (he'd like to direct an episode), his forthcoming NBC "Undercovers" (it's a romantic comedy-drama about a couple who are spies) and, oh, yeah, "Star Trek 2." Abrams says he doesn't know whether he'll direct it, as there is still no script for the pic Paramount expects to unveil in June 2012.

IT'S A PERSON, NOT A PLACE: With the Billy Bob Thornton-Dwayne Johnson "Faster" feature getting ready for shooting, they've been casting subsidiary parts — and you get the feeling that director George Tillman is going for charactery characters indeed. Among the roles are Vaquero, a "little guy with a striking look"; a skinny African-American; and a "receptionist who looks and feels Bakersfield." We kinda know what they mean, but exactly how does one look and feel like a California agriculture-belt city of 300,000?

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster.

To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2010 MARILYN BECK AND STACY JENEL SMITH

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