Interview with The Scotsman

I did an interview with The Scotsman's Chitra Ramaswamy. It is one of the most fun interviews I've had in a long time. And it features one of my favorite quotes I've ever said.

"I think there is an element of racism in even listening to the Tea Party - it's like 'these white people are upset! We'd better hear what they have to say!' Meanwhile the Black Panthers had to get guns to be heard."

I think I like this interview so much because she took everything I said and then re-calibrated it make it more British-y, which makes me sound more intelligent to me... because I'm a self-hating American.


My London Debut on 5 April. YIKES! I need your help.

So my UK debut is fast approaching and I'm still kind of confused why my first set EVER in the UK will be an hour long stand-up set in London, but here we go. I could really use the help of YOU, my United States peoples, who have peoples in London who might be interested in some Kamau and my Kamauhour! (Say it put loud. It's fun.)

The details are below and you can download this flier if you wanna ship it to your peoples across the pond. Here is a Facebook invite too if you go that way.

Also, there's a clip below of my stand-up so they can check me out. Thanks.

I've even included a sample letter to help get you started.


Hey Friend (or other synonym here... maybe even their name),

I think you should go see my friend W. Kamau Bell when he comes to London and plays Hen & Chickens Theatre on Tuesday, 5 April. Kamau is hilarious (or other synonym here). He's been named San Francisco's best comedian three times. America's Punchline Magazine declared, One of our country’s most adept racial commentators with a blistering wit and a willingness to say what you quickly realize you’ve always thought." And Robin Williams called him "ferociously funny." This is his first time in the UK, so treat him well. He's a delicate flower. See a clip of him here.

You can also follow him on Twitter and here is the Facebook invite.


(Insert your name here.)

SEATTLE! I'm coming for YOU! Feb. 6th, 8pm!

From The Seattle Weekly...

Sun., Feb. 6, 8 p.m., 2011 Get your tickets HERE! Bring a Friend of a Different Race & Get in 2for1.

Back in 2005, a little-known San Francisco comic made a crack about a little-known Illinois senator, also black. Said W. Kamau Bell, “There will never be a black president named Barack Obama. Because that is too black.” Then the unthinkable happened: Obama actually became president, and Bell focused his comedy into a stand-alone show, The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour. He's been performing and refining the act for years, adapting topics of his ire from George Bush to Michele Bachmann. And while he comes as the subject of race from a Bay Area liberal's perspective, his jokes also range from Star Trek to kung fu movies to Macbeth. (“As a society,” says this Chicago-raised utopian, “let's be the The Matrix part one, not The Matrix II and III.”) And, like the president, Bell has stripped the anger from his smart, genial demeanor—he's like the funniest dude in your Ph.D. program. Though he's a young guy, fluent in blogging, twitter, and Facebook, he's also a bit of a throwback—skipping over the incendiary taunts of Pryor and Murphy back to the early humor of Cosby (before sweaters and sitcoms). Also note the ticket price: two-for-one if “you bring a friend from a different race.” It's a great chance to save some money and meet someone not in your usual online dating profile. BRIAN MILLER


"Chicago-raised utopoian"

"the funniest dude in your Ph.D. program"

"the early humor of Cosby (before sweaters & sitcoms)"

Yup, that's pretty much how I've always described myself.

Seattle, I'll see you February 6th at 8pm.

Episode 7 - N Bombs, Kamau Bombs & Vernon's Smart Bombs

In the tradition of epic filmmaking & epic story telling, Kamau has one doozy of story to tell about his last three weeks. And in classic FNGTAC fashion, Vernon takes the conversation waaaaaaaaay off road in a beautiful way. This episode features several epic battles of Good vs. Evil: Kamau vs. Sacramento, Kevin Avery vs. Hollywood, Vernon vs. Hip Hop, Vernon vs. Quentin Tarantino, and even Vernon vs. Apollo Creed(?). And during this epic tale Vernon & Kamau finally have the N Word conversation, and we're not talking about Zen meditation. It took seven episodes for these two black guys to have that conversation. WOW! Maybe instead, they are actually "Far Afield Negroes". This one also features a surprise ending which portends good things to come, and also we finally get to find out exactly what percentage of Vernon that Kamau is. May the force be with them!

Connect with Vernon on Facebook, Twitter @vurnt22, and www.livingcolour.com

Connect with Kamau on Facebook, Twitter @wkamaubell, and www.wkamaubell.com

And you can connect with the Podcast on Twitter @ThatFNGuide



According to Punchline Magazine, my latest CD, Face Full of Flour is #7 of 2010's 10 Best Comedy Albums!!!! Woooohoooooooooo!

Which begs the question... WHY DON'T YOU HAVE IT YET???

You can get it if you click right next to this blog. Look to the right of where you're reading now.

Don't believe I'm #7? See below OR click here to read the entire list. Many of my friends are on it, like Glenn Wool & Hannibal Buress, and Kyle Kinane.


#7 – W. KAMAU BELL – FACE FULL OF FLOUR W. Kamau BellThough not everyone knows it quite yet, San Francisco-based W. Kamau Bell is one of our country’s most adept racial and political commentators; he’s got a blistering wit and a willingness to say what you quickly realize you’ve always thought. He’s relentlessly intelligent, fusing references to create a rich expression of incredulity in a post-Obama world. Note to working comedians: despite what’s been said time and again, it’s possible make fun of our current president and mean it. Kamau is an Obama supporter but deftly takes the piss out of him when necessary. And all of that is there for us to play – and re-play – on Face Full of Flour, a masterful, thinking man’s album. Buy Face Full of Flour

Some new stand-up!

Enjoy! & Let me know what you think...

And if you like it then pick up a copy of my CD Face Full of Flour for the holidays. They make great Secret Santa presents for that racist at work! Or a great present from Hanukkah Harry. Or for Kujichagulia (That's Kwanzaa!) Or for (next) Ramadan! It's also a prefect to wrap up you early Lohri (Hindu) shopping because it's BLAZING HOT! We got my album in digital OR real-ical.

Getting schooled in post-racial America

Getting schooled in post-racial America

By Rachel Swan, SF Public Press
— Aug 10 2010 - 3:47pm

Any artist who promises to end racism in about an hour will earn his fair share of cynics. Comedian W. Kamau Bell was well aware of that when he launched his solo comedy show, “The W. Kamau Bell Curve,” in fall 2007.

During a run at The Shelton Theater a few months later, Bell watched from the corner of his eye as a middle-aged couple shuffled out of the room. He was roughly 15 minutes into a well-honed comedy set that lampooned the idea of “post-racial” America. He resisted his knee-jerk tendency to heckle the man and woman as they quietly left their seats.

“They weren’t making a huff or anything,” he said. “In my mind, I’m just like, ‘Oh, they gotta go to the bathroom.’ I didn’t think anything of it. They never came back, but I also never noticed.”

After the show, Bell’s producer, Bruce Pachtman, looked somber. “That couple left,” he said. Apparently the man was repelled by Kamau’s material. He was white and characterized himself as a progressive.

“I feel like I’m being blamed,” the man told Pachtman. “I don’t have to listen to this; I’ve done a lot for black people.”

Bell was unruffled.

“If I’m a straight white guy and I go to a show about racism, I would expect to get something on me — that they’d start flinging the s— stick my way,” he said. “I thought, ‘That is hilarious. Absolutely hilarious.’”

In fact, San Francisco progressives – particularly the ones who have “done a lot for black people” – were the impetus for Bell’s show. He began writing the first bits just a few months after the Don Imus flap, when the MSNBC talk show host in April 2007 called the Rutgers University women’s basketball team — made up of eight African- American women and two white women — “nappy-headed hos.”

At that time, America had begun conceiving itself as a “post-racial” society, even though the label seemed unwarranted. Celebrities like Sarah Silverman engaged with race in a way that challenged social norms, but also teetered right over the edge of political correctness. (Kamau says his beef with Silverman was a big inspiration for “The Bell Curve.”) Some, like Michael Richards and Rosie O’Donnell, had already crossed the line.

With the advent of YouTube and an increasingly permissive shock culture, racial outbursts had become a common media event. But somehow, these so-called celebrity meltdowns weren’t cause for major concern or discussion. Imus might have been scorned, but he was still treated as an aberration. Many people thought that if we cast a blind eye to racial inequality, it might disappear on its own. Bell wouldn’t buy it.

“You know after a while, this starts to hurt,” he said. “I felt like Russell Crowe’s character in ‘A Beautiful Mind,’ looking through magazines, making connections and drawing from one magazine article to another. I was really trying to draw these connections and prove that there’s actually this culture of racism that we’re accepting as just being crazy celebrities, when it actually can affect the populace as a whole.”

Bell is not a provocateur per se. Born in Chicago, he launched his comedy career 13 years ago when he moved to San Francisco. Race has always informed his bits and he’s always told jokes in monologue form. Many critics would cite George Carlin and Lord Buckley as his proper antecedents.

“I would transcribe their bits just to see what they looked like on paper,” Bell recalled. “I bolded the punch lines. It just seemed magical.” Bell’s interest in racial themes aligns him with other local performance artists who’ve made it their business to analyze race — both as a construct and a lived experience. He belongs in the same camp as poet Chinaka Hodge, rapper Boots Riley, monologist Jennifer Jajeh, novelist Adam Mansbach and emcee Ise Lyfe.

Among comics, though, Bell stands out because of his format and his intentions. He started off with a one-hour routine that was partly anecdotal and largely about spoofing celebrities. After Barack Obama’s election, the show transformed and became mostly political in nature. Now, it’s a pedagogical tool. He’s trying to prove something to liberals of San Francisco and to do it, he needs visual aids.

“San Francisco is 6 percent black — I’ve heard it reported at 7 percent — and for a city that considers itself one of the most liberal cities in the world, we aren’t even as black as Jasper, Texas,” he said. “That’s impactful enough that the show can be built on that point.”

More than 2-1/2 years in business, Bell has incorporated YouTube clips and PowerPoint presentations into “The Bell Curve.” He’s learned to stay on top of the news cycle, mine Wikipedia for material and try the premise for a new joke on Twitter, right before he presents it onstage. He goes to town every time a big race story hits the media — like Henry Louis Gates getting arrested for breaking into his own house. (Bell’s take: “Now that there’s a black president, they have to invent new crimes for black people.”)

Bell takes a rather imperious approach to comedy, but he does occasionally glean something from audience feedback. Within a week of the walkout incident, he found an answer to the white guy who’d done a lot for black people.

He’s now perfected the bit, which pays homage to “five white guys from history who can say they’ve done a lot for black people.” They are: Abraham Lincoln; Lyndon B. Johnson (for ratifying the Civil Rights Act); abolitionist John Brown; Branch Rickey (who signed Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers); and Olympic silver medalist Peter Norman, who stood by while his fellow medal-winners made Black Power fists at the 1968 Olympic ceremony. According to legend, Norman also was complicit in the act, because he suggested that gold medalist Tommie Smith and bronze medalist John Carlos share Smith’s gloves after Carlos forgot to bring his own.

“You see?” Bell recently asked his audience at Berkeley’s La Peña Cultural Center, after presenting a slide of the famous 1968 photograph. “Peter Norman did that ‘think outside the box’ thing that you white guys are so good at!”

People laughed. A few looked embarrassed. But nobody walked out.

A version of this article was published in the summer 2010 pilot edition of the San Francisco Public Press newspaper. Read select stories online, or buy a copy.

Guess who won The SF Bay Guardian's BEST COMEDIAN!!!

Umm... It was ME! The best part is that it was the READER'S CHOICE! Right between BEST BURLESQUE & BEST MAGICIAN! (Which is kinda what a comedian is. We strip naked and try to make magic happen while people laugh.)

So I that means I owe thanks all to YOU! Or people very much like you...if you, yourself didn't vote.

I assume that some of you coming to my page are trying to get acquainted with whoever this "W. Kamau Bell" person is, so here's quick primer...

Margaret Cho said about me...

“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.”

I'm on Facebook, Twitter, & Youtube. Look to the right side of this page --->

Here's a link to buy my NEW critically acclaimed comedy CD and a clip of my stand-up, followed by a list of upcoming shows!

And here is a list of upcoming shows...

August 13 - The W. Kamau Bell Curve @ UCB in LOS ANGELES 8pm

August 20 - The W. Kamau Bell Curve @ The Comedy Spot in SACRAMENTO BRING A FRIEND OF A DIFFERENT RACE & GET IN 2for1! (Seriously!) 2 shows 8 & 10pm

August 26 - Laughter Against The Machine @ The New Parish in OAKLAND 2 shows 7:30 & 10pm

August 28 - W. Kamau Bell @ Stage Werx in SAN FRANCISCO 8pm

Hope to see you out there soon!

More Pics Mehserle Rally: Blk Guy Promotes Police Brutality

That black guy in the middle is explaining to the supporters of Oscar Grant how police brutality is sometimes a good thing. Seriously. I was there.

Somebody should tell him that there are better ways to pick up white women.

Even More Pics from The Pro Mehserle Rally

She was probably up all night figuring this out. But there's just one problem... AREN'T ACRONYMS SUPPOSED TO MAKE SENSE???


Lusty Lady Review of The W. Kamau Bell Curve (spolier alert)

Review: The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About An Hour

Putting together race and comedy can and sometimes is a recipe for disaster (side note: I think Hitler needs to be retired as comedy fodder, having heard a few too many of them last night), but in The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour, on now at PS 122 as part of the SoloNOVA Festival, W. Kamau Bell not only makes his points funny but uses media clips, storytelling and crowd work to get people thinking about race, and laughing.

I saw it on Sunday at 6, during a gorgeous day, so the theater wasn’t full. I walked in and showing on the screen were Bell’s thoughts on some modern films, like why Jake Gyllenhaal was cast in Prince of Persia. Bell then comes out and shares some thoughts on race and racism, and the difference between the two. Bell is noted for telling the first joke about Barack Obama back in 2005, a clip he shows.

At one point, after seeing some horrific clips where John Stossel and others basically defended the government staying out of racism in the workplace, those of us who are white were led to chant, “Say it loud, I’m white and I’m proud.” Yes, it was funny, but it was also a very surreal and disturbing feeling (speaking for myself) to say that, let alone think it, but I believe Bell’s point was that being proud of who you are doesn’t only belong to the crazy white people, and that white people who don't want to be associated with racist white people need to also recognize that being white in and of itself isn't something to be ashamed of. That was my takeaway, anyway.

Bell also took us through the 2010 census, which by now we’ve probably all seen (even, um, those of us who got a notice on our door because we sent ours in way late), but he also talked us through the very earliest version of the census which made this country’s priorities at the time quite clear.

He talked only briefly about his own life, showing a photo of his parents, one of the few he has, and sharing a story of realizing he was black, and thus different from his white schoolmates, at the age of six. I wish there had been a little more personal detail because Bell is a compelling performer and one who, by his own admission, thinks about race and racism all the time. I’d have loved to hear a little bit more about how those thoughts evolved into the show (which has been running in various venues and evolving for the last few years), but I do realize he only has “about an hour.” He also talked about interracial marriage, the issue and, briefly, his own and the Loving vs. Virginia Supreme Court decision and shared this quote from Mildred Loving, which I hadn't seen before (taken from About.com) and tied it in to Prop 8 - a minor mention but one of many seemingly disparate issues that Bell weaves into the show in a seamless way, so you don't quite realize how much information and how many ideas he packs into the small amount of time.

I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard's and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what Loving, and loving, are all about.

Perhaps the most powerful moments, for me, were when he shared YouTube comments he received on some of his videos. On one level it’s easy to dismiss them, and I would think someone who’s so out there would be immune to that, but he revealed that they gave him pause (I’m not going to repeat them because I didn’t have my notebook out and the visual element is really what made it strong).

I liked the show because while yes it was a one-man show, Bell encouraged some degree of audience participation and truly seemed invested not in having us all think exactly the same way he does about these topics he brings up but in simply thinking about them rather than brushing them aside or pretending that we are, in a phrase he wisely mocks, “post-racial.” He showed a hilarious clip of some news commentator saying that when he looks at President Obama (and I’m paraphrasing) that he forgets that he’s black. “You know who doesn’t forget that Obama is black? Black people!” roars Bell.

To bring this back to, you know, me (jk, kindof), the other day I was having cupcakes with my friend Twanna (aka Funky Brown Chick) and she mentioned something about the blog Angry Asian Man and I said I knew it and then I was like, “Wait, I mean…” and she was like, “Disgracian?” and I said yes and maybe you had to be there but it was this "all Asian blogs look alike" moment that I was thinking about during the show because we can and do laugh about it. There was this other part of the show where Bell reveals two things never to ask a black person (you should see the show for that) but it also reminded me of when I felt like a complete idiot and both Googled and asked Twanna if black people should wear sunscreen, because I honestly wasn’t sure and felt very, for lack of a better word, white, and thus ignorant, about it. And she very kindly assured me I wasn’t an idiot. Both of those examples were moments where we could talk, but also laugh, about race, and I think sometimes that’s something that only happens amongst close friends and, well, I’m sure plenty of people don’t have a chance to actually engage or think or, most importantly, laugh about race and Bell gives people a space to do that while also talking about historical racism and present-day racism and, best of all, laughing, while we do so.

I'm clearly not a theater reviewer or comedy blogger (anymore) and don't aspire to be, so this review is perhaps a little disjointed but I encourage those in NYC to check out the show tonight, tomorrow or Friday.

And I went solo, but there really is a deal that if you bring a person of another race, tickets are 2 for the price of 1! Use the promo code "solo241" when buying tickets here.

Here's a clip from a previous incarnation of the show (from what I know, it's constantly being updated, so Arizona gets some play in this version). See more videos here.

[FREE TICKETS] The W. Kamau Bell Curve – NYC – 5.27.10

Are you in NYC? TWiB! is giving away 1 pair of tickets to see the critically acclaimed “W. Kamau Bell Curve”  with none other than W. Kamau Bell (Comedy Central) as part of the solaNOVA Arts Festival TONIGHT.

“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

HOW TO WIN: Follow @WeekInBlackness on Twitter and tweet  “#TWiB! is the #TRUTH –  http://twib.me” before 6pm and we will draw from all those tweets. The more you enter, the better your chances to win.

The W. Kamau Bell Curve is EXTENDED in NYC!!

Ending Racism in About an Hour HAS BEEN EXTENDED!!! MAY 26, 27 & JUNE 2, 3 @ 8PM

MAY 30 @ 6PM

JUNE 4 @ 6PM


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

You Can't Handle Black with W. Kamau Bell debuts on AfroPunk.com

A new batch of complete WKB ridiculousness from AfroPunk.com...

We found a comedian who claims he can end racism in one hour. That's right. W. Kamau Bell (pronounced KA-MAOW, like KA-POW) says that his one man stand up show can end that nasty little "r" word that we've all got mighty comfortable with. So, we decided to invite this San Francisco comedian to the Afro-punk scene to smack us around a little, get the race conversation stirred up a bit, and to make us a little more uncomfortable about what racism really is.

You Can't Handle Black: A new comedy series about race.

Find more videos like this on AFRO-PUNK

My 1st NYC review of 2010 from Blog Stage Backstage

Ending Racism in an Hour? Yeah, That's Funny.

W kamau bell curve 2 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."

Bell has performed The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour for the past three years, including sold-out shows in San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley. soloNOVA producers saw The W. Kamau Bell Curve last year at the New York International Fringe Festival, and encouraged Bell to apply for the soloNOVA Arts Festival.

"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 banner  logo 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.

Read about the previous soloNOVA opening night performances of Binding, Remission and Monster, and Rootless: La No-Nostaliga at Blog Stage. Back Stage is a sponsor of the soloNOVA Arts Festival.

-- Daniel Lehman

Everyone meet JerkyChid & his excellent YouTube review of ME.

JerkyChid a new fan of mine who I "met" on Twitter put this YouTube video together reviewing my two CD's. AWESOME! I never imagined stuff like this happening when I was a kid and wanted to be a stand-up comic --- maybe mostly because there was no Internet way back then --- so this is really cool. I might need to hire him for his editing skills.  Check it out...

Pretty cool. Actually REEEEEEEEALLY cool!

The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About An Hour in NYC


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 11, 14, 16, 20, 22 @ 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

“W. Kamau Bell is in the vanguard of a new era of American comedy for an unsettling, troubling, and strangely hopeful time. Firmly in the fearless tradition of Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, & Chris Rock. Comedy as common sense purged of the absurd hypocrisy that is Our America.” — Vernon Reid of The Grammy Award winning band, Living Colour.

and remember…


Use the promo code “solo241″ when you buy tickets HERE


JUST LIKE SKINNY JEANS, superhero movies, and frozen yogurt, racism continues to make a comeback. In 2007, The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About An Hour opened big and came out swinging against big targets. Back in 2007, it was celebrity racism that was all the rage. (Imus, Kramer, Rosie O’Donnell, Dog The Bounty Hunter, etc…) But three short years later, amazingly, America has elected the first black president… of the Republican National Committee!!! Oh, and we also elected the first black president of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama. All this MUST mean racism is over. Right? We’re officially in Post-Racial America… Right?… Right?

WRONG! Racism has redoubled — no, re-quadrupled — its efforts. Because now that a black man — or a half black/half white man if we want to split not so nappy hairs — is leading the free world, the stakes just have gotten much, much higher, especially for the really racist racists. And racism hasn’t run this rampant since Martin Luther King, Jr. had that dream. While the economy fails, racism is thriving. Whether it’s Rush Limbaugh’s & Glenn Beck’s daily treason, OR tea parties that look like casual Fridays at Ku Klux Klan rallies, OR Henry Louis Gates getting arrested for having a sticky door, OR the state of Texas deciding that the only good history book is a WHITES ONLY history book, OR the continued broadcast of BET, OR Tyler Perry… being Tyler Perry, OR the one-two-three cinematic punch of The Blindside, Avatar, and Precious. Meanwhile the 2010 Census STILL wants to know how many “negroes” are out there. And all the while black people wonder, “Did we get a black president OR a president who is black?” Well, W. Kamau Bell is here to make (non)sense of all of it all. The Curve is a comedic exploration of the current state of America’s racism, combined with a little (unknown) history, a little Powerpoint, and a whole bunch of Kamau. And because racism is always attacking in new ways and from new angles, Kamau attacks back by constantly adding new material. The Curve is a seamless mix of stand-up comedy, video and audio clips, personal stories and solo theatrical performance.

And once again, don’t forget to…


Use the promo code “solo241″ when you buy tickets HERE

Directed by Paul Stein.