How Aziz Ansari's Love of Bacon Inspired a 'Master of None' Episode
Are you all caught up on "Master of None" yet? If you haven't, get on that—Aziz Ansari is delightful. If you have, though, you probably really loved the episode of Master of None, "Religion." In it, Ansari's character Dev Patel butts heads with his family when it's revealed he doesn't adhere to the rules of Islam when it comes to his dining habits—specifically when it comes to eating pork. According to Islamic tradition, much like the rules of Kosher, pork is forbidden. Dev's parents strictly follow this rule, and are shocked and upset when Dev finally reveals at a family dinner that he's eaten pork for years, and doesn't agree with many of their religious practices. That story, it turns out, has it's roots in some very real experiences from Ansari's life. Ansari told the whole story when he won the The Moth Award, at the Moth's 20th Anniversary Gala, earlier this week.
Much like his character, he first tried bacon—the gateway pork, as we know—at a friend's house after a sleepover when he was in grade school. After being told by his mother that bacon was forbidden in Islam, he cooled significantly on the whole religion thing, but out of respect for his parents, he didn't eat pork again until he went to college... And then he ate it a lot.
But, Ansari says, he still kept his pork habit from his family. But here's where the story differs from the episode: One night out to dinner with his parents and his girlfriend—not his cousin—his girlfriend, who "didn't know about [his] family's history with pork," ordered a noodle dish with pork. He couldn't resist digging in. When his mom asked about it, and Ansari admitted to eating pork sometimes, his parents weren't pleased.
The next morning, Ansari insisted on finding a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich for breakfast, even though his girlfriend didn't want to, given his parents' reaction the night before. Of course, they ran into his parents while they were chowing down. It was almost too perfect of a situation—"You see why we couldn't put this in the show," Ansari said, "It doesn't seem like it would ever happen and it did."
Watch the whole video for the rest of the story: