Pretty cool, huh? Especially since I've never met Mr. Cenac.* And while he didn't say I was funny per se, he is including me with himself and Craig "Can I have some booty?" Robinson. And since he doesn't seem to have Twitter or a personal Facebook page or an email address on his Spartan website, I'll just have to throw my thanks out into the Internet. If he Googles himself as much as I do myself, he'll get this in about 32 seconds.
Mr. Cenac just released a Comedy Central hour long special entitled Comedy Person. Check out some here.
HEY LOS ANGELES! The W. Kamau Bell Curve is coming to LA Wed. Sept. 22 8pm & it's ABSOLUTELY FREE! @ Comedy Comedy Central Stage @ The Hudson 6539 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA.
Call to RSVP @ 323.960.5519!
It's a big show. Lots of Hollywood bigwigs coming out. Every normal human being that I can get in there. It will really help. If you aren't from LA but have LA friends, pleeeeeeeeease send them my way. Thank you for your enduring support!
To get the 2FOR1 deal use the promo code “solo241″ when you buy tickets HERE
One part manifesto, one part diatribe, and several parts funny.
WHEN: May 26, 27, 30, June 2, 3, 4 @ terraNOVA Collective’s 7th Annual soloNOVA Arts Festival, New York City, NY
WHERE: P.S. 122 150 1st Ave. @ 9th St. NY, NY
L train to 1st Avenue, F/V train to 2nd Avenue, N/R to 8th Street, 6 to Astor Place
“W. Kamau Bell is the most important guy doing comedy right now. Do yourself a favor and go see him. He’s got the most astute, hilarious and completely righteous material going and he’s going to be a legend in his own lifetime like Richard Pryor and Lenny Bruce. Think Bill Hicks but slightly taller.” — Margaret Cho
7x7 Magazine --- a publication that caters to the elite (umm... rich white folks --- not that there is anything wrong with that... to quote Seinfeld) of San Francisco --- names yours truly the Best Comedian of 2010. Next up, me and Gavin Newsom will be partying like it's our birthdays.
I'm still in NYC, so somebody save me a few copies.
We need W. Kamau Bell to urge people to do educational, evolutionary things like “Make a Black Friend” and to call out the follies and frenzies of so-called post-racial America. The bravest and smartest SF comic and solo performer to tackle race, as well as a stealth educator and director, Bell will go down in history as the first comedian to tell an Obama joke (on the Comedy Channel, circa 2005), toasted by everyone from Time Out New York to Boots Riley of the Coup to Margaret Cho (who describes him as “the most important guy doing comedy right now. ... Think Bill Hicks but slightly taller”). July 14, Punch Line Comedy Club, 444 Battery St., 415-397-7573, punchlinecomedyclub.com, wkamaubell.com
To promote his one-man comedy show The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour, now running as part of the seventh annual soloNOVA Arts Festival at PS 122, stand-up comedian W. Kamau Bell is making a special offer: "Bring a friend of a different race and get in 2 for 1."
Bell hopes that this bring-a-friend-for-free discount will help fill the theater with New York audiences who might not have heard of the San Francisco Bay Area comedian yet. "Although, I have selfish reasons for that, too," Bell says. "It guarantees me a better crowd. You can't end racism unless everyone is in the room at the same time."
Yet to end racism, you have to discuss racism. And to discuss racism, you have to talk about race. And once the conversation turns to race, a lot of (white) people automatically worry about sounding racist. Or, as George Costanza would say, "I really don't think we should be talking about this."
Bell uses comedy, therefore, to broach a subject most people are simply too afraid to talk about. You might be thinking, The election of Barack Obama, our first black president, ushered in the era of "post-racial" America, right? Wrong. Bell utilizes a sharp mix of stand-up comedy, Powerpoint, audio and video clips, and theatrical solo theater to illustrate the ways racism just keeps making a comeback. "This show isn't about post-racial America," Bell says. "It's about racial America."
Even so, the idea of "ending racism in an hour" probably sounds like a joke. That's because it is. Well, sort of.
"Obviously, my claim of ending racism in about an hour is tongue in cheek," Bell admits, "but what I am serious about is using humor to attempt to advance the discussion of racism in this country. I may not always be successful in this, but I am trying. One of my biggest rewards is that people often tell me that they think about my show for a long time afterward, and that it leads to discussions with other people. I believe those talks are how you actually begin to end racism. Even if people disagree with parts of the show, I hope we can at least have civil discussions about it -- discussions that elevate us above many of the comments on my YouTube page."
Would you believe that in South Africa, "Chinese is the new black"; that the 2010 census is the shortest and simplest since the first census in 1790, when questions focused only on the number of "free people" and slaves in each household; or that as recently as 2000, Arab and Polish people alike were listed side-by-side as "White" on census forms? Bell wants audiences to understand that while "post-racial" is meaningless and racism is rampant, race itself remains poorly defined. (He prefers the term "obvious ethnic," rather than other more politically correct terms, to describe any non-white people.)
The show has evolved since its beginnings in 2007, when Bell began writing in response to his frustration with the media and its coverage of "celebrity racism." Remember Michael Richards, Dog the Bounty Hunter, and Don Imus, to name a few? But the 2008 election of Barack Obama, rather than end the debate, only took it to a new level. (Bell is actually credited with telling the very first Obama joke in 2005 -- except he predicted that Barack Obama would never be elected president, because his name is just too black.)
"Over the years, the material of the show has been turned over three or four times," Bell says. "The show has moved past the celebrity racism and now has a very political attack. When I wrote the show initially, Barack Obama was a just a senator who some thought could make a good vice president for Hillary -- if he was lucky. So obviously, the discussion of race and racism has changed significantly since 2007. The show reflects that, and tries to stay ahead of it.
"The show is built on ideas," Bell adds. "Some of those ideas are built on jokes. Jokes are often good truth delivery systems. Check out Malcolm X. He's my hero. He managed to be extremely truthful and hilarious at the same time. I don't feel that comedy has any responsibility to teach or enlighten. The only responsibility comedians have is to be funny, regularly. I choose to use my sense of humor to talk about race."
"We scouted a lot more heavily this year," says soloNOVA artistic director Jennifer Conley Darling. "We saw every solo show in the Fringe Festival, as well as the Frigid Festival... Partnering with other festivals has been key to identifying the best of the best. I knew immediately I wanted Kamau in the festival. His intelligence, humor, and timing far surpass a lot of comics out there. I see racism every day, all over the world, and to be able to talk about it with a humorous lens is key to continuing the fight against it."
soloNOVA, produced by terraNOVA Collective, "celebrates innovative individuals who push the boundaries of what it means to be an artist, aims to redefine the solo form, and uniquely invigorates the audience through the time-honored tradition of storytelling."
'The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour' performs May 14, 16 & 20 at 9 p.m. and May 22 at 4 p.m. at Performance Space 122, 150 First Ave. (at 9th St.), as part of the seventh annual soloNOVA Arts Festival, which runs through May 22. For more info about soloNOVA and to purchase tickets, visit the soloNOVA website.
Bell will also perform as part of the comedy night lineup at soloNOVA's "Ones at Eleven" series on Saturday, May 15 at 11 p.m.
Conan O'Brien visited Google headquarters and then Google and YouTube came together to present a video of the event. The internet is done because it has served its ultimate purpose. [YouTube]
There's a guy going around to TV stations pretending he is a yo-yo master when he is really actually very bad at yo-yo. So this guy is my new comedy hero. [Videogum]
Justin Theroux claims he's working on a Zoolander 2 script, so I guess that project isn't as dead as the internet thought. Either the internet is an idiot or Theroux is a liar, and only one of the two is prone to making up facts about Chuck Norris, so… [Movieline]
W. Kamau Bell is going to end racism in an hour for the soloNOVA Arts Festival. Here's a video interview with him about it. [Comic's Comic]
Some of the cuts made to this week's SNL Betty White episode were pretty strong, which just says how good that episode was on Saturday. [Pop Culture Brain]
Speaking of Saturday Night Live and things the internet really likes, Justin Timberlake is rumored to be returning to the show for another song parody. [NY Post
WTF Podcast with Marc MaronSo a couple weeks ago when I was in LA taping Marc Maron's TV Pilot for Comedy Central, me and Dwayne Kennedy also taped this episode of Marc Maron's WTF podcast. The interview is pretty much 100% focused on racism in alternative comedy... which makes it seem pretty topical considering all the John Mayer nonsense yesterday. This interview was sort of a surreal experience for me. I've been a big fan of Marc's since before I started doing comedy, and I'm a big fan of his podcast. Marc is credited as one of the founders(?) of Alt Comedy, but I've always appreciated him for his honesty, his blistering point of view, and his... I don't know how to put this... his ADULTHOOD. There are very few comics that feel like adults when they are onstage. Most comedians onstage feel like teenagers or college students on a Friday night, but Marc is part of a class of comedians who feel like adults. (including Greg Proops, Jake Johannsen, Bill Burr... and it goes without saying Bill Cosby and Paul Mooney) I've always respected that quality in a comedian and have aspired to be that myself. It doesn't mean they don't talk about or do silly things but they do these things from an adult perspective. It feels like it is a throwback to the 60's and early 70's era of comedy.
The 2nd reason this episode felt surreal is that I was able to tape it with Dwayne Kennedy. Not only is he is one of my best friends but he is also one of my favorite comics of all-time. No exaggeration. He's a comedy legend amongst the people who know these things (Marc sort of goes into this at the beginning --- if they left that part in.) , and there's not enough evidence online for you to know how good Dwayne is. And DEFINITELY getting Dwayne to open up like he did on Marc's podcast AND ON THE RECORD is rare, so enjoy it while it lasts.
I haven't listened yet to this episode, yet --- possibly because I was there. Check it out and let me know what you think. ENjoy this episode of Two Legends and Kamau.