Name: Aasif Mandvi
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
Occupation: “Puppet.” His movie Today’s Special is in theaters November 19, but you can catch him Monday, October 4 performing alongside John Oliver, Wyatt Cenac, and more at the Stand Up for Religious Freedom event at Comix, with all proceeds donated to aid flood victims in Pakistan.
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Mr. Yin, the nighttime manager of the former Korean deli on 72nd and Broadway.
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
A nine-course chef’s-table menu at the London.
In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
I try to add my voice to the vast cacophony of sound, hoping that in some small way, I can make a difference or have an impact on the world … Or I just check my e-mails.
What was your first job in New York?
Busboy at Michael’s on West 55th Street.
What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway?
Time Stands Still.
Do you give money to panhandlers?
Yes, but I expect a lap dance.
What’s your drink?
How often do you prepare your own meals?
People prepare their own meals?
What’s your favorite medication?
What’s hanging above your sofa?
Uh-huh … sure. A simple questionnaire, huh? And then bam! Suddenly it’s gotcha journalism. I know my rights.
How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
Eighty-three thousand dollars.
You tell me ;-)
Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?
I liked the old Times Square. The new Times Square is sleazy and morally bankrupt.
What do you think of Donald Trump?
Whenever you think of Donald Trump, most people’s first image is of his hair and what’s the deal with his hair, etc., but for me he is so much more than that. I mean, he is an incredibly accomplished … Oh, fuck it! When I think of Donald Trump, I think of a frozen hair tsunami that’s about to drown a man’s face.
What do you hate most about living in New York?
The lack of country music.
Who is your mortal enemy?
When’s the last time you drove a car?
… You mean on purpose?
How has the Wall Street crash affected you?
The comedy business is booming!
Times, Post, or Daily News?
Whatever I find left in the men’s room at the Daily Show.
Where do you go to be alone?
A place with no other people.
What makes someone a New Yorker?
They think five grand for a studio apartment is a bargain.