Aziz Ansari Emmys chat: Crafting jokes and playing Madison Square Garden (Exclusive Video)

“If subject matter is making me emotional, there’s something there,” Aziz Ansari tells Gold Derby’s Tom O’Neil about how he goes about crafting jokes for his popular stand-up routines. (Watch their video chat below.) “So whether that’s anger or empathy or whatever it is, if it’s giving you a strong emotion, that’s good to key in on.”

Do you think Ansari could be on his way to an Emmy nomination? Hurry — make your predictions now and you could win our $1,000 prize. You can change them later as often as you like, but it’s important to make your first picks now.

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The “Parks and Recreation” star is way overdue for some Emmy love, having just completed a seven-year run on the NBC comedy as Best Comedy Supporting Actor. And for his new Netflix comedy special, “Aziz Ansari Live at Madison Square Garden,” he’ll also be on the Emmy ballot this year for Best Variety Special.

So, how was Ansari able to pack Madison Square Garden with 12,000 screaming fans? He admits to Gold Derby that it was a risk to book such a large venue, but adds, “You know, I’ve been touring for a while now and I put out multiple specials and I just got to a certain point where I realized, I’m selling this many tickets, I think I can sell out the Garden. And so we did.”

“If you’re a comedian, you’re tapping into a shared experience that people have,” he says about connecting with fans. “You’re just commenting on a way that resonates with them and that’s why people laugh.”

Make your Emmys picks now — click here — or scroll down to predict the Best Comedy Supporting Actor winner using our easy drag-and-drop menu. Best predictions will win $1,000. And the 24 Users with the best scores advance to a team to compete against our Experts and Editors next year. Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Emmys last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar. See contest rules.

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Average Gold Derby users just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. You can change them later as often as you like.

The Top 24 Users did the best at predicting last year’s Emmy nominations (78.55%) when competing against Gold Derby’s Editors (77.68%), all Users (74.78%) and the Experts (74.64%). Which group will come out victorious this year?

We are forecasting everything from the results on TV shows like “The Voice,” “Survivor,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “American Idol” and “The Amazing Race” to the winners of the Emmys (Primetime and Daytime), MTV Awards and Tonys, so start predicting now.

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