Ep. #151: Hari Kondabolu

Hari Kondabolu is a very funny and incisive stand-up comedian who hails from Queens, New York. He has written for shows like Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell and appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, Conan, and John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show among others. Earlier this year, Kill Rock Stars released his highly acclaimed and hilarious stand-up album, Waiting for 2042, which is out on vinyl December 2. On Friday December 5, he headlines a show at the Biltmore Cabaret in Vancouver and here, Hari and I discuss Queens New York not Seattle Washington, how Canada’s not so great, cowardly Americans, indigenous eradication and white demonry, fighting not fleeing, agreeable Canadians, how Stephen Harper might be slicker than George W. Bush, the downfall and terrible truth of Jian Ghomeshi, being on Q, knowing Jian and how he used to always call me ‘buddy,’ Jian’s aggressive egotism, comedy and show biz power dynamics, Hari’s mom doesn’t think he listens anymore, people who think I should have a shot at hosting Q, people who think brown people can replace other brown people, Hari’s #vishonQ campaign, accusations of race obsession in observational comedy, Aziz Ansari’s take on mining one’s cultural heritage in their work versus someone like Russell Peters who does accents in his act, how Peters has galvanized South Asian communities, whitewashed accents and losing our parents’ voices, the situation in Ferguson and what it says about our social progress, white demonry, the remorseless Darren Wilson, people who actually listen, the Terry Gross interview might’ve been a little too great, #vishonQ, Back to the Future and the way forward to politely colonizing Mars, CIA seed money, Weezer’s decline and my lapsed membership (#1234) in their fan club, the Pixies have also been a let-down, more empathy for artistic evolution, really obsessing over Weezer’s trajectory, how and why we measure artists’ creative output, Radiohead, Fugazi, Shellac, the Beatles and others who have created an interesting, nearly flawless body of work, Weezer’s time and place post-Kurt Cobain/at the dawn of widespread internet use in the mid-90s, Pinkerton is messed up, “El Scorcho” and “Across the Sea” are both racist, taking online flak, how Hari’s completion of a B.A. in Comparative Politics and a Masters in Human Rights from the London School of Economics somehow led him to comedy, Paul Mooney, following his passion, you have to laugh when you want to cry, addressing the diaspora and telling his parents’ stories, my dad came here with nothing and now I’m an asshole, coming to Canada more, Sled Island, Northwest Canada and Vancouver, Todd Barry’s Crowd Work movie is great, #toddbarryonQ, Waiting for 2042 is on vinyl via Kill Rock Stars, and pandering to white people, not appreciating our parents’ cooking until white people tell us it’s good, “What’s that smell?,” thanks mom and dad, google.com, the comedy bit “Moving to Canada,” and also #vishonQ.

Related links: harikondabolu.com killrockstars.com vishkhanna.com

Hari-Kondabolu-2011

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