Hari the Comic on Kimmel (UPDATE: Kimmel Clip Found!)

A friend emailed me over the weekend, notifying me that desi stand-up comedian Hari Kondabolu was going to appear to on Jimmy Kimmel on Monday, February 19. Unfortunately, I was out of town and didn’t get to check my email in time (drat!) so I missed the whole thing. And I’ve been scouring the internet since then, trying to find the clip for this post but I have yet to find it. (If anyone can point me to it, I’ll upload it here.)

UPDATE: My friend emailed Hari and asked him for the clip, and he was nice enough to send it to her. Here you go. I love it!

I’m usually not a huge fan of stand-up comedy, although there’s a few comedians that I follow. My favorite is Aron Kader (which shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who reads PSID) — mainly because his material is gutsy and clever and yet non-polarizing at the same time. And, he’s a cutie.

In any case, I’d never heard of Hari Kondabolu until I received my friend’s email. According to his website, he’s only 24, which makes his appearance on Kimmel even more impressive. But this line in his bio had me intrigued:

Hari Kondabolu discovers big laughs with material most comics wouldn’t think about exploring: Racism, Privilege, and Power.

Looks like he doesn’t hold back.

His writing is also snarky and witty and much more subtle. This excerpt from his blog had me smirking:

The most common annoyance I have at comedy shows are MCs or hosts (always White comics…I’m in Seattle) introducing me to the stage with a corny joke about me being “Indian.” For some reason, many white comics feel this is new ground and continue to introduce me with jokes like: “Ladies and Gentleman straight off the reservation…” OR “Let’s hear it for our favorite Cherokee comedian!” OR “Our next comedian is Indian…DOTS NOT FEATHERS!” You get the picture. Hack. Straight-up hack. I generally smile and move on with my set. Sometimes, however, I’m just not in the mood for the bullshit. For example, several months ago after an intro similar to the ones listed above, I came on stage and uttered this line: “Thanks Tom for that wonderful introduction. Ladies and Gentleman, let’s give it up for the BISCUIT…oh…I meant, the CRACKER… sorry, I get those two things confused as well.”

His blog is worth a look.

67 thoughts on “Hari the Comic on Kimmel (UPDATE: Kimmel Clip Found!)

  1. Hari seems to be a 3rd rate standup completely lacking in any talent whatsoever – any wonder why he had to make an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel? And youthsolidarity? Looks like another bunch of those herders railing and ranting against reification and forced identity only to band themselves together under that fraudulent South Asian label. Looks like a bunch of talentless hacks. Hari is angry? Big deal! who cares? Get a job!

  2. shiva, I really do hope you are being sarcastic. If you’re not, you’re pathetic.

    I guess it depends on your view of YSS, FOIL, ASATA and similar organizations. Those of us, myself included, who don’t think Marxists have much to offer the subcontinent and reject the notion that the primary obstacle to “S. Asian” bonhomie is Indian Hindus find the YSS crowd to be pathetic. That being said, I think Shiva is being a bit too harsh in his denunciation. Goofing on the Queen, the World’s Biggest Welfare Mother, is always OK in my book.

    Shiva keep up the good fight…but know that it is pretty much the fate of Indian dudes to be hated by their kids. You & I are as likely to require angioplasties at some point as we are to have spawn who do up their hair in dreds and come home from Trinity College spouting all kinds of Vijay Prashadian drivel

  3. Wow shiva and louiecypher, harsh critiques of Youth Solidarity Summer without much backing. Disclaimer: I was a YSS attendee in 2000 and am on the organizing collective now.

    shiva: YSS does create a South Asian space – we recognize the problems with identity politics and actively use YSS as a chance to educate people in thinking about work outside their own identity. The space is organized intentionally to deal with breaking down identity politics. Hopefully that deals with your “fraudulent South Asian label” criticism.

    louiecypher: YSS is not a Marxist organization per se. Progressive maybe, individual alums or collective members who identify as Marxist, maybe, so be careful in how you lump us in. But more importantly YSS does not take the position that Indian Hindus are the primary obstacle to harmony in South Asia, not sure where that is coming from. We do anti-oppression work that stands against communal violence – oppression of people solely for their religion is against everything we as a group stand for.

    Happy to talk about it more. But most importantly, I still think Hari is funny as heck…

  4. Arvind:

    Wow shiva and louiecypher, harsh critiques of Youth Solidarity Summer without much backing. Disclaimer: I was a YSS attendee in 2000 and am on the organizing collective now.

    Apparently you didn’t get the memo from your “comrades”. Check out the speaker line up in the link you sent us. Vijay Prashad self identifies as a Marxist and your host, the Brecht Forum runs the New York Marxist school

    Worried about you bro…sounds like you were Patty Hearsted. Worst thing that ever happened to me at camp was getting a purple nurple…these are less innocent times. Get help for your Stockholm syndrome soon.

  5. YSS’s organizers make no attempt to hide the fact that it is for progressive/radical youth of South Asian descent. That is YSS’s purpose.

    That said, no one at YSS forces his/her thoughts on anyone else. It’s a forum for [relatively] like-minded people to come together, share ideas, and get to know each other. The collective structure of the organization means that people DO disagree with each other and discussions come out of these disagreements. While organizing and facilitating discussion certainly means there is some element of control, discussion is always open.

    In fact from what I understand, in some years participants have challenged various elements of how YSS is structured, and the entire week has ground to a halt to deal with these problems. Feedback is extremely important to the organizing collective, and to their credit, they spend hours after each day looking through feedback forms and deciding how the rest of the week will be structured.

    Can you imagine someone going to an RSS shakha and, after a couple of days of participating, raising his hand and saying he has a problem with how everything is structured?

  6. “Can you imagine someone going to an RSS shakha and, after a couple of days of participating, raising his hand and saying he has a problem with how everything is structured?”

    And this is what is your unique selling proposition? Can I laugh or I need permission for that?

    I am sorry but trying to instinctively label people who do not necessarily agree with your South Asian solidarity views as Hindutva bigots is pretty pathetic. Get out of the bipolar world.

    Regards,

  7. I’m still deciding whether to send my kid to an ABD Marxist-Leninist camp or an ABD Hindutva camp for her further edification on all things desi. Knowing kids these days, I’m sure it will all be a matter of who has the better after-parties.

  8. I’m still deciding whether to send my kid to an ABD Marxist-Leninist camp or an ABD Hindutva camp for her further edification on all things desi. Knowing kids these days, I’m sure it will all be a matter of who has the better after-parties.

    then you have got to go with us left-wing desis. right-wing desis shit a brick when they see people holding hands in public.

  9. HMF and NoHate: You know Yeti was making a joke, right? An extremely sarcastic and extremely funny joke about who has power in the situation and why its ok for Hari to use the word bitch in that situation. You get it, right? Please tell me you get it.

    Thanks Mahesh!

  10. Worried about you bro…

    louiecypher: thanks for your concern, but I’m doing just fine thanks. I was simply trying to say that YSS is not a Marxist organization. Yeah, we rent space from the Brecht and they host the Marxist school, and we have speakers who identify as Marxist. We’ll bring speakers in from any persuasion as long as they can speak to progress in whatever work they do.

    For those Desis around who want to look at things with a critical eye, we’re keeping an alternative space alive. It lets great people like Hari have a stage, one that isn’t easy to come by…

    So no need to pigeonhole us as Marxists, we’d rather we called Rad Desi’s :)

  11. then you have got to go with us left-wing desis. right-wing desis shit a brick when they see people holding hands in public.

    I dont know of that analysis. Most Right leaning people like me have a what do i care what you do attitude. The right and left wing are imported labels and dont apply at all to india. Almost all the Right hindutva wing folks tend to vote democrat in US. But thats most indians, they are strongly in the Left Camp.

  12. Don’t sweat it arvind. It’s a lot easier for people to apply broad, irrelevant labels to people as a means of dismissing them. That’s how polemicists work, they frame debate in impertinent but polarizing terms and then simply ignore critical dialogue on real issues. It makes defending their positions a lot easier (since they basically don’t have to). Anyway, I for one was heartened to see that young like-minded brown folks are organizing in such a fashion.

  13. The Kimmel clip was really good. I have to agree that he’s better than the other north-american desi comedians I’ve seen.

  14. If you enjoy Aziz Azari and live in the Denver area, check out his stand up at Comedy Works downtown November 13th and 14th.