Tag Archives: Hari Kondabolu

Friday morning comedy videos: Akilah Hughes and Hari Kondabolu

As Colorlines reported earlier this week, Akilah Hughes’ “Meet Your First Black Girlfriend” has amassed more than a million views on YouTube since being released just over two months ago. It’s a pretty sharp set of takes crunched into less than two minutes. Our favorite? “You can tell me you like Scandal because of the ensemble cast, but I know it’s because you have Olitz fantasies.”

It’s been interesting watching Hari Kondabolu’s visibility increase since we last checked in with him, particularly through his work on the dearly-departed Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. This clip, from his upcoming album Waiting For 2042, explains the album’s title.

“For those of you who don’t know, 2042 — according to census figures — is the year that white people will be the minority in this country,” he says, adding, “I don’t know if there are people in the audience who are upset by this. But don’t worry, white people: you were the minority when you came to this country. Things seem to have worked out for you.”

Race + Comedy: Hari Kondabolu Balances His Conscience With His Craft

By Guest Contributor Caitlin M. Boston

Hari Kondabolu on stage. Courtesy: harikondabolu.com

I’m willing to wager that you don’t laugh at every joke you hear–to each her own fart joke, as it were. An obvious fact, but therein lies the challenge for stand-up comedians: how do you make as many people laugh as possible, while still being true to yourself and what you value?

Take that comedic quandary, bear-trap it to an ongoing graduate-level sociology course, and you are now in the head-space of confounded sui generis comedian, Hari Kondabolu.

A first-generation Indian American with roots in Queens, NY, Kondabolu’s comedy is nothing if not a direct reflection of what he values, a baroque product wrought from a first-generation American perspective, academic privilege, work as an immigrant-rights organizer, and of course, White people. Over the past several years as an internationally featured headliner he’s shared his truth in jokes about encountering the “ethnic section” in the grocery store, being colonized by an English girlfriend, ,and how Superman is an undocumented “alien,” yet no one seems concerned. His stand-up makes you feel like you’re ingesting a chuckle-coated vitamin of current socio-political affairs–something theoretically good for you, if at times difficult to swallow.
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