NYU Prof and Aziz Ansari Are This Summer’s Unlikeliest Comedy Duo

The pair's look at dating in the Smartphone age is out today from Penguin Press.

Modern Romance, a humorous look at the elastic age of App-driven dating, is out today. And per a Q&A with co-author Eric Klineberg, a professor of sociology at NYU, this book project hit the tracks two summers ago.

From David Zax’s Fast Company convo:

”In August of 2013, I had just finished a four-day sociology convention in Manhattan. My family was in upstate New York, and I’d literally just gone to the grocery store, and I was standing in Penn Station waiting for the train when I got a call from an editor at Penguin. He said, “I have a funny question for you. Have you heard of the comedian Aziz Ansari?” I said, “Aziz Ansari. He’s my hero.”

I knew his comedy really well. I’d been introduced to him by a nanny taking care of my kid who was also a standup comic. So I was one of the few card-carrying members of the American Sociological Association who was really familiar with Ansari’s work. I got permission from my wife to spend another night in Manhattan, dropped off the groceries with the in-laws, and met with Aziz in the Penguin office.”

Following that meeting, Klineberg and Ansari kept the brainstorming going at a nearby bar. And judging by the rest of the Q&A, working with the comedian on the book was just as much fun.

[Jacket cover courtesy: Penguin Press]