Comedian and cultural commentator
Jul 6, 2023
Why we’re fascinated: Because Kondabolu is an astute observer on racial politics, a writer and filmmaker, and a very funny stand-up. You may know him from his appearances on Conan or Letterman or Kimmel, his stints on “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me” or his Chris Rock-produced FX show “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.” Maybe you saw his documentary “The Problem with Apu” about the two-dimensional minstrelsy of the “Simpsons” character, or his Netflix special “Warn Your Relatives.” His latest special, “Vacation Baby,” came out in April and includes some of his more personal work to date. In it, he discusses the surreal nature of having a baby in the middle of a global pandemic and raising a kid as a first-generation American child of immigrant parents himself. Filmed days after Roe v. Wade was overturned, though, he pulls no punches in terms of his biting political humor, whether about anti-Asian crimes or “white replacement theory.” Also he hates San Diego, which is a plus.
— Brian Braiker