From his interview with NPR this week, Parks and Recreation‘s Ansari plans to release (much like Louis C.K.’s release) his new standup series, Dangerously Delicious, online (non-listeners of strong language, be warned).

Ansari himself grew up in a small town in South Carolina, where he says there was frequently nothing to do.”Nothing cool was going on, and I just wanted to leave,” he says… He remembers playing guitar and losing himself in bands like Led Zeppelin and Metallica during the first part of high school, when he was the only nonwhite student in the entire school. But after 10th grade, Ansari transferred to a different school — a public magnet school for students across the state interested in math and science.

“Even just meeting kids from different parts of South Carolina kind of expanded my exposure to different cultural things,” he says. “So that increased my interest in different things, and then I went to New York and NYU because that of course is where everything is.”

Ansari started performing stand-up while he was still a student at NYU. Rolling Stone named him as a “Hot Stand Up” choice in 2005, and then came an invitation to perform at the 2006 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colo., where he received an award for best stand-up. Much of his humor is self-deprecating.

“I play up the underconfidence … a little bit,” he says. “With stand-up, it’s more interesting to hear about people’s failures than their successes. You don’t want to hear a story, like, ‘I went up to this hot girl and everything worked out fantastic. We’re dating. Everything worked out great. Good night!’ … People would be like, ‘I hate that guy.’ It’s much more endearing to hear someone going through the same struggles we’ve all gone through.”

It’s kind of the flip side of what his rapper friends do with their personas.

“Being a rapper is about being cool, but being a comedian, you’re not supposed to be the coolest guy,” he says. “They understand it’s a different type of thing. And those guys are super funny. They have a great sense of humor. I don’t think they’re like, ‘Aziz isn’t cool.’ There’s just not a self-deprecating rapper; that wouldn’t work. If you’re a rapper and you’re like, ‘I saw this girl, but I was too scared’ — that doesn’t work for a rapper.”