Comic Against Racism
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Hari Kondabolu, 25, started doing stand-up comedy in high school, but it wasn’t until after 9/11 that he found his true voice, producing smart, thought-provoking jokes about subjects few comics touch, like racism.
Kondabolu uses comedy to point out hidden assumptions about immigrants. After hearing a xenophobic remark from a fellow comic, “I [responded] by writing material that … gave a fuller picture,” Kondabolu says, “[a] bit about reducing the immigration rate by either making billboards that convince people that America is not as great as they think it is or by ending the exploitation of developing nations.”
A rising star, Kondabolu has appeared on Comedy Central and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Inspired by his second job as an immigrant rights advocate, he recently moved to London to pursue a Master’s degree in human rights, but plans to resume his stand-up act when he returns to the U.S. this fall.
Comedy about racism and other dangerous subjects
|Layla Aslani wrote this article as part of Purple America, the Fall 2008 issue of YES! Magazine. Layla is a YES! editorial intern.|