Very Brief Bio

 

W. Kamau Bell is a critically acclaimed sociopolitical comedian and host of the Emmy Award nominated hit CNN docu-series United Shades of America. Season two premiere in April 2017. Kamau’s first book, The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6' 4", African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama's Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian, is set to come out May 2, 2017. Kamau is the host of three podcasts: Denzel Washington is The Greatest Actor of All Time PeriodPolitically Re-Active, and Kamau Right Now! Kamau Right Now also airs live on NPR radio station KALW. Kamau’s first comedy special, Semi-Prominent Negro, was produced and directed by Morgan Spurlock, and the comedy album for the special was released on Kill Rock StarsThe New York Times called Kamau “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years.” 

Brief Bio

W. Kamau Bell is a sociopolitical comedian and host of the hit Emmy Award nominated CNN docu-series, United Shades of America. In only its first season, USOA was nominated for a Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in News and Information.  Season 2 of USOA premieres Spring 2017.   Before United Shades, Kamau was best known for his critically acclaimed – and criminally short-lived FX comedy series – Totally Biased with W. Kamau BellThe New York Times called Kamau “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years.” Kamau is proud to be the ACLU’s Ambassador of Racial Justice, although he’s also pretty upset that they didn’t give him a badge.

Kamau recently released his third comedy album, Semi-Prominent Negro, which is the audio from his Morgan Spurlock-produced comedy special of the same name. Kamau’s first book, The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6' 4", African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama's Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian, is set to come out in May. Kamau has a monthly public radio talk show, Kamau Right Now!, that airs on KALW in San Francisco. Kamau is quite excited about the two podcasts he co-hosts: Politically Re-Active with his friend and fellow comedian, Hari Kondabolu, and Denzel Washington is The Greatest Actor of All Time Period with his friend and fellow comedian Kevin Avery. 

Kamau has been nominated for multiple NAACP Image Awards, and he was featured on Conde Nast’s ‘Daring 25’ list for 2016 The SF Weekly called Kamau “smart, stylish, and very much in the mold of politically outspoken comedians like Dave Chappelle,” though he was mostly just excited that they called him “handsome."

Very Not Brief Bio

W. Kamau Bell is a sociopolitical comedian based in The People’s Republic of Berkeley, CA. Kamau is the host of the hit CNN docu-series United Shades of America.  In it's first season, United Shades was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program and a Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in News and Information. The second season of United Shades will return to CNN this spring. Before United Shades, Kamau was best known for his critically acclaimed – and criminally short-lived – FX comedy series, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.

Kamau is also proud to be the ACLU’s Ambassador of Racial Justice, although he’s pretty upset that they didn’t give him a badge along with the title. Kamau sits on the advisory board of Race Forward, a racial justice think tank, and Hollaback, a non-profit movement to end street harassment. 

The New York Times called Kamau “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years,” and Salon.com listed Kamau on their “Sexiest Men of 2012” list, calling Totally Biased “surreptitiously revolutionary in its effortless diversity and humanism.” The New Yorker said, “Bell’s gimmick is intersectional progressivism: he treats racial, gay, and women’s issues as inseparable.” The San Francisco Chronicle raved, “it makes The Daily Show seem like something your dad watches.” In its brief time Totally Biased was nominated for both an NAACP Image Award and a GLAAD Award. Totally Biased was executive produced by Chris Rock, who became a fan after seeing a performance of Kamau’s one man show, ‘The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour.’ Kamau still performs The W. Kamau Bell Curve at colleges across the country.

Kamau recently released his third comedy album, Semi-Prominent Negro, which is the audio from his Morgan Spurlock-produced comedy special of the same name. Kamau released two other standup comedy albums: One Night Only and Face Full of Flour. Face Full of Flour was named one of the Top 10 Best Comedy Albums of the year by iTunes and Punchline Magazine. Kamau’s first book, The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6' 4", African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama's Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian, is set to come out in May

Kamau has appeared on various Comedy Central programs including @midnight and John Oliver’s New York Stand-up Show. He has also appeared on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, ChelseaConanWTF with Marc MaronThe Rachel Maddow ShowThe ViewFresh Air with Terry GrossHenry Louis Gates Jr’s Many Rivers To Cross, Bullseye with Jesse ThornThe Treatment with Elvis MitchellThe Nerdist, and This American Life, among others. And yes, he will do your podcast if you ask him nicely and if he has the time.

His writing has appeared in VanityFair.comSalonMSNBC.comBuzzfeed, and The Hollywood Reporter.

These days Kamau might be most excited about his budding podcast empire. Kamau is the host of Kamau Right Now!, a public radio talk show that airs on KALW in San Francisco. Kamau Right Now! is a live – and lively – talk show that Kamau has described as "a three ring circle of relevance".  Kamau is also excited about his political podcast, Politically Re-Active, on which he and his co-host, friend and fellow comedian, Hari Kondabolu try to make sense of the nonsense. Kamau's labor of love is his podcast with his friend, comedian Kevin Avery, entitled Denzel Washington is The Greatest Actor of All Time Period. On the podcast, they are reviewing every Denzel Washington movie in (mostly) alphabetical order in hopes of proving… well, you read the name already. The podcast has featured interviews with guests including Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay, Ryan Coogler, India Arie, and many more. The podcast has been listed on Entertainment Weekly’s ‘Must List, ‘and it has been featured several times in the AV ClubFast Company Magazine put Kevin and Kamau on their list of ‘Innovative Podcasters.’ Essence Magazine included DWITGAOATP on their list of ‘Top Ten Podcasts Every Black Woman Should Hear.’ All three of these shows are available every place that you find podcasts.

Praised by Punchline Magazine as “one of our nation’s most adept racial commentators with a blistering wit,” Kamau was voted San Francisco’s best comedian by the SF Weekly, the SF Bay Guardian, and 7×7 Magazine. Robin Williams called Kamau “ferociously funny,” and The New Yorker said, “Bell’s gimmick is intersectional progressivism: he treats racial, gay, and women’s issues as inseparable.” The SF Weekly called Kamau “smart, stylish, and very much in the mold of politically outspoken comedians like Dave Chappelle,” though he was more excited that they called him “handsome.”