April 4th, 2011 | by BEN WATERHOUSE Arts & Books | Posted In: Comedy

Countdown to Bridgetown: Hari Kondabolu

Hari_Kondabolu

The Bridgetown Comedy Fest is just 17 days away! Today we're featuring Hari Kondabolu, in my opinion one of the funniest young comics in America. (Also, his brother, Ashok, is one of our funniest hype men.) Kondabolu's aggressively sarcastic and a little confrontational with his audiences. A lot of comics who deal with race and racism allow white audiences to get away feeling superior to all those dumb racists without questioning their own presumptions. Not Kondabolu, who structures his jokes so that the listener (for "listener," read "Ben Waterhouse") finds himself, mid-laugh, to be the subject of ridicule. It's disconcerting, but the best comedy comes from discomfort.


He's also very good off the cuff:


It's tempting to compare Kondabolu favorably to great nonwhite comics who came before him, but that would be condescending and racist, and probably give him more fodder for making me guffaw at my desk while sending my white guilt into overdrive. And speaking of white guilt:



 
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