The W. Kamau Bell Curve
For more information on bringing The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour to your college or university, please get in touch with Sean Lawton at Keppler Speakers 703.516.4000 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour is one part manifesto, one part diatribe, and several parts funny. Kamau has taken The Curve to NACA nationals, loads of colleges, and to other cool places like the NY Fringe Festival, the Facing Race Conference, the NY Comedy Festival (critic’s pick in Time Out NY), the soloNOVA Festival, the Moontower Comedy Festival, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (comedy pick in The Guardian).
“W. Kamau Bell brought his slideware-fueled comedy to Stanford’s Hume Writing Center on November 2, 2009. Seventy-five students from the Program in Writing and Rhetoric crammed into the small space to see the performance and to ask Bell questions about his work as a writer and performer. Bell mixes intellectualism and energy, he’s funny about serious issues but serious about comedy, and his hilarious use of a slideshow adds a sly joke about evidence and reasoning to every joke about race and racism (as in the famous “proof” that blacks invented country music, demonstrated on the screen by the equation “country music = the blues – slavery”). For years, law professor Lawrence Lessig was the best powerpoint in town… move over, Larry. Here comes Kamau.”
- Jonathan Hunt, Associate Director of PWR, Stanford University
“Students laughed uproariously and did some deep thinking during the performance and the Q & A session that followed. He used an informative and entertaining power point presentation to highlight facts about race, power and racial history.”
-Katharine E. Harer, Honors Transfer Program Coordinator, Skyline College
“Kamau’s smart and witty humor masterfully challenges every viewer to rethink their perspective of race and American culture. I don’t think that any thinking human being can see Kamau’s show and not be affected.”
-Anthony Delaney, English Professor, DeAnza Community College
“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.”
“W. Kamau Bell is ferociously funny!”
- Robin Williams
“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
“W. Kamau Bell is the definitely one of the most funny and thought provoking comedians I’ve seen in a while. Racism 101 with a twist!”
-Prince Paul, DJ & Producer of 3 Grammy award winning albums
MORE ABOUT “THE W. KAMAU BELL CURVE: ENDING RACISM IN ABOUT AN HOUR”:
Just like skinny jeans, superhero movies, and celebrity weight loss, 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. And since then the targets have only gotten bigger (see The Tea Party) and crazier (see The Tea Party). America has elected its first black president, and in response, racism has redoubled — no, re-quadrupled — its efforts. 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 the state of Arizona saying, “How do you propose that we get rid of all these Mexicans?” OR the continued broadcast of BET, OR Tyler Perry… being Tyler Perry, racism hasn’t run this rampant since Martin Luther King, Jr. had that dream. And meanwhile black people wonder if they elected a black president or a president who is black. And the country is bankrupt. We’re still fighting wars in places where we have no business… or plan… or even a business plan. And Sarah Palin won’t shut up.
Lucky for us, 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.
The Curve has enjoyed a three month run in San Francisco (SF Weekly and 7×7 Magazine named Kamau, “Comedian of the Year!”), and has been all over the country, including Oakland, Berkeley, Los Angeles, The New York International Fringe Theater Festival, and NYC’s terraNOVA Collective’s 7th Annual soloNOVA Festival. It is a favorite at colleges and universities, including Stanford University, Cal State East Bay, Deanza Community College, Menlo College, and Skyline Community College, among others.
Originally Developed with and Directed by Martha Rynberg from 2007-2009
Then Directed by Paul Stein from 2009-2010
Currently Directed by Racism w/ Consultation with Martha Rynberg 2010-Present