Hari Kondabolu was interviewed by Hari Sreenivasan on PBS newshour…marking the greatest moment in HARI HISTORY. We discuss my album “Waiting for 2042,” my amazing album cover, colonialism, my parents, the changing racial demographics of the US, the role of comedy and our shared name.
I’m happy to announce that I will be the “Artist in Residence” at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University. As someone who considers “standup comedy” an art form, it’s amazing to see NYU recognize this.
In a related legitimizing note, my album “Waiting for 2042" & I were mentioned in the NY Times! I was even called “one of the most exciting political comics in stand-up today.” Glad to see the Times finally catch up with Tumblr! (WINK, WINK)
Comedian Hari Kondabolu (harikondabolu) humorously points out an inconvenient fact about Superman. (Not that you should start rooting for Lex Luthor.)
YouTube comments indicate that a lot of anti-immigrant folks don’t like this. Neither do some nerds. I, however, am still proud of this piece.
Captain America in a turban! I filmed this fun segment with SIKH CAPTAIN AMERICA for “Totally Biased with W, Kamau Bell.”
If people are freaking out about a Black Captain America, how would they deal with a SIKH CAPTAIN AMERICA?
"The Gods Meet." Ashok Kondabolu (aka Dapwell), Aziz Ansari and Hari Kondabolu. Photo by Luke Fontana
When two comedians have their first really long conversation—usually after hours, in the back room of a comedy club—there’s this kind of pleasant squaring-off. The pair sort of kick their frames of references into alignment, marking out likes and dislikes, talking shop. You circle, and size each other up. It’s like wrestling but very gentle.
Hari Kondabolu is a comedian and former organizer genuinely interested in the stuff he talks about onstage: baseball, music, family, social justice. Which was why I decided I wanted to sit down with him and my Windows phone and his iPhone in Brooklyn last May. Our afternoon begins with our getting lost in Park Slope on the way to a meal—Were you following me? never follow me—and continues over omelettes. We skip some things: Kondabolu’s time spent as writer and correspondent on both seasons of the recently cancelled FXX show Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, for instance, and we spend as little time as possible talking about race, a subject that has come up in “literally every interview [he’s] done” about his new album, Waiting for 2042. We don’t talk much about the album either.
I. DIFFERENT KINDS OF SILENCES
HARI KONDABOLU: It should be noted that I’m Hari Kondabolu and I’m using my iPhone to record the interview.
ALEX EDELMAN:It should be noted that I’m Alex Edelman. I’m using my Windows Phone to record this interview. We have competing recordings.
HK: Is this print?
AE: This is print. Some unlucky intern will have to sift through this recording and bang it out. 
HK: Is it a paid intern?
AE: I hope it’s a paid intern. I would never do unpaid internships. That’s tantamount to slavery.
HK: It’s not tantamount to slavery.
AE: Well, “slavery” is a broad word.
HK: It’s not a broad word. It’s very narrowly defined. Internships are some kind of upper-middle class slavery. Which isn’t slavery at all.
AE: Well, then this is the end of the interview, I guess. Me offending you.
AE:I’ve run into you in auspicious places.
HK: Where did we meet?
AE: We did Morgan Venticinque’s show together.He had this show in a basement and there was a beam directly in front of your face and every performer mentioned it.There was a loud group in the corner—
HK: Did I yell at them?
AE: You did yell, but you were in the right. I remember thinking This is a guy who knows what his comedy is worth.
HK: I hope I finished that set and then stormed out.
AE:Ugh, why? There’s no glory in that.
HK: Every now and then you find a little bit of magic when you’re forced to adjust your material to the room, and some gold comes out of it. There’s a difference between offense and defense, to use a sports analogy. That’s defense, to get something out of a tough room. When a crowd loves you, that’s offense. When you have a good crowd, you can push further a little bit because they’re with you for the easiest parts. When you’re on defense, you might not get to any part of the joke, but being pushed against makes you force yourself to push back. And pushing back makes you come up with stuff.
THIS WAS A GREAT INTERVIEW. READ IT!!!
My debut comedy album “Waiting for 2042” is on sale on Bandcamp for $5! TODAY ONLY! http://killrockstars.bandcamp.com/album/waiting-for-2042
Hari Kondabolu’s COMPLETE Conan set from 6/16/14. I talked about colonialism, weed legalization, race, empire, homophobia…and chess in 6 minutes.
Hari Kondabolu does standup on Studio 360 and is then interviewed by host Kurt Andersen. Hari discusses his wasted education, seeing a white supremacist in Maine and the time he met Vice President Joe Biden.
Hari Kondabolu does standup comedy on Conan again! Topics include the usual: Colonialism, Intolerance, and Homophobia. Ends on an ANTI-WAR CHESS JOKE. Here’s the unedited set: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lErgWtodRCU