"Apu, I just can't look at him the same way anymore.". ", So Kondabolu began by describing to the show's audience what Apu looked like to him: "A cartoon character voiced by a white guy. Their latest flavor, Kamala Blossom, is a tribute to the vice president-elect in the form of a … "Talking about this stuff felt kind of corny. © 2021 Condé Nast. Being friends with W. Kamau Bell is inspiring—because he’s done things his own way, and now he’s on his second show (United Shades of America) and he’s got an Emmy nomination. The Queens-born comedian would probably rather discuss anything else, but stays focused on the issue purely out of necessity. It’s pretty evergreen. Comedian Hari Kondabolu's (pictured) new documentary, The Problem With Apu, will reveal why Indian-Americans hate The Simpsons for their portrayal of Apu. That was one of my first gigs as a paid comedian back in 2009. Starring: Hari Kondabolu. Kondabolu, who also is an executive producer of the film, talks with Kal Penn of Harold and Kumar fame (who immediately voices his contempt for Apu); Master of None star Aziz Ansari; and actress Whoopi Goldberg, who maintains a collection of racist depictions of African-Americans from a not-so-distant past and quickly begins to see Apu's place in it. A white guy doing an impression of a white guy making fun of my father.". I’ve got a problem with Hari Kondabolu. He was voiced by Hank Azaria and first appeared in the episode "The Telltale Head".. A 2017 documentary, The Problem with … This oddball musical comedy, set in the drab landscape of suburban North Texas, reluctantly reveals the deep isolation inherent in post-retirement blues. The mainstream media talks about what white people are thinking about around the country. READ MORE: * The Simpsons: Al Jean still flabbergasted the show's 2000 Trump prediction came true * The Simpsons: Al Jean reveals inspiration behind 'I Choo-Choo-Choose You' * The Simpsons mock Donald Trump in spoof on '3am call' * The Simpsons enter the record books with world's first live episode * The Simpsons' best-ever episodes. It’s hard to separate the political and the personal to me, because I’m not thinking, "I’m going to make this salient political point." I think I get that more than comics who aren’t minorities. "They're obviously not going for a human look.". Do you think you get more online ire than other comedians? 7 Hawai‘i-Based Podcasts Worth Listening to Right Now Podcasts make it easy to create your own playlist of content on the go. He does a ton of projects and has a wife and kids. But a lot of those moments are also blanketed by very cheap jokes that come at the expense of South Asian culture and South Asian experiences. He spoke with WIRED about the album, how he uses Twitter, and upcoming television projects. So what I'm doing is in the tradition of The Simpsons as far as I'm concerned.". It makes me want to work harder. Facebook Comedian Hari Kondabolu, a 2004 Bowdoin College graduate, will bring his socially relevant comedy to the Port City Music Hall in Portland on Friday. "Of course, the character has moments of real wit and insight, because the writing team at The Simpsons was great. ... Kondabolu takes off on his frustrations with the stereotypes that surround the Indians in America but also does a hilarious sketch about mangoes and Indians. It's about writing rooms being more diverse, people actually sharing their own stories as opposed to other people sharing it for them.". Hari Kondabolu breaks down identity politics, celebrity encounters, his mango obsession and more in an unpredictable stand-up comedy special. What are they buying, what are they consuming, what’s popular? It doesn’t need to be giant stadiums—I just want people who give a shit about what I give a shit about to come out and watch me do what I do. I was an intern for Hillary Clinton when she was a senator in New York, and I interned for her in DC as a college student. At first, it didn't seem so nefarious to Kondabolu, who is now 35. Conversations happening in Twitter subgroups like those can get retweeted and end up in the timelines of people who would otherwise never see what’s being talked about. So for the rest of us we’ve had to learn about what mainstream white America likes, thinks, and values. It’s not just, “I disagree with you, let me have a discussion and counter your argument with my own.” It’s a certain kind of ugliness and fear mongering, racist and violent response that is very undemocratic. Whites and Their Tans 11. The one worry was the Bobby Jindal stuff. Bowdoin Bike Story 12. The Brooklyn-based stand-up comedian and child of Indian immigrants can't even recall the first time he heard the jeer hurled his way. Kondabolu, 33, has gained a national profile for a stand-up comedy routine that is socially and politically biting, making funny-but-true cracks about race, class and societal ills. No. A biting prime-time satire disguised to look like a Saturday morning cartoon, it appealed to both adults and kids, as if it spoke two languages at once. I feel like you or Larry Wilmore get more anger thrown at them than say, John Oliver, Jim Jeffries, or Samantha Bee. "I also don't think when they were thinking about the voice of Apu, they were thinking too strongly about the South Asian-American communities and how they might react to it.". ... One evening, in 2014, she and Anji were walking in San Francisco after a performance by … Now, Kondabolu has added to his workload: not only are he and Bell co-hosting a new podcast, Politically Reactive, but his second album, Mainstream American Comic, comes out this Friday—perfectly timed between the Republican and Democratic national conventions. My activism around those issues, especially working as an immigrant rights organizer, those are the things that inform my point of view and voice more than anything. Bell saw it differently. The character of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon is reportedly being written out of The Simpsons after a controversy.. One of the longest running animated shows on American TV, The Simpsons came under intense scrutiny after Hari Kondabolu's documentary The Problem with Apu highlighted the stereotypical depiction of Indian immigrants in Hollywood. There’s something to be said for that. It’s a great town, man. Apu didn't appear until a few episodes into the first season of The Simpsons, but from its 1989 debut, the show was a cultural touchstone. Hari Kondabolu: Yeah, I’ve been there before. "So of course he comes to life in the guise of a stereotype," Melamedoff says. " "Kids were looking for some angle to make fun of somebody, and you don't know much about Indian people, so what are your options?" It makes it so much easier to go further with ideas. In standup you cut the fat, and sometimes that’s the juiciest, most informative part, but the goal is jokes and laughter. One that not many people talked about, though, was Hari Kondabolu, a New York standup who in hindsight looks more and more like a perfect fit for the show. That experience as a kid doesn’t really inform me at all. She and her wife, Madhuri Anji, who is Indo-German, co-founded Koolfi Creamery in 2018, drawing from their own mixed-South Indian roots to create a uniquely Bay Area ice cream company. On your new podcast with W. Kamau Bell, Politically Reactive, it’s mostly reasonable discussions with guests. (We listed a bunch of them.) That phrase, made famous by The Simpsons, has haunted Hari Kondabolu for nearly 30 years. In 10 or 15 years I don’t think it’s going to be this way, but it’s still interesting to see people implode when they’re exposed to other communities and things they don’t know about firsthand. I’ve got a problem with Hari Kondabolu. I'm Hungry, Daddy 8. In 2017, Hari Kondabolu described himself as a “comedian going after the biggest comedy of all time” as he took on The Simpsons with his controversial 90-minute TruTV documentary The Problem with Apu. He submitted to a marriage arranged by his parents and became the father of eight squirming brown babies. How has your background working in an around politics before becoming a comedian helped inform what you talk about on stage now? This year, he’s gone all out after everything that’s teeming on the other side of reason in Trump’s America with his Netflix show Warn your Relatives. 42.2k Followers, 268 Following, 1,992 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) "It was a lot of white men. Their latest flavor, Kamala Blossom, is a tribute to the vice president-elect in the form of a delicious, pink lotus seed-rose flavor. Hari Kondabolu says arriving on campus at Bowdoin College in Brunswick in 2000 was the first time he really felt he stuck out because of the way he looked. And that the millions of Americans who have glowing memories of Bart and Co. will bristle at the idea they may have laughed at something racist. What’s with that design?” Where I’d wonder about what’s going to happen in terms of concussions and whether the NFL is going to really give fair deals for healthcare for players. Actually, wait. Ad Choices, Hari Kondabolu Is the Best Political Comedian You Don't Know Yet. Fixing Computers 2. Who My Fans Are 3. That’s a universal truth. Comedian Hari Kondabolu, who wrote the documentary The Problem With Apu about how marginalized groups are represented in pop culture, called Sunday’s scene a “jab” at progress . I’m focused on each project, but the part of me that’s thinking forward is the part of me that’s thinking: Can I fill bigger venues? Apu was on the air more than two decades before Kondabolu decided to call the character out. The Problem With Apu is not only a look at the character of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the owner of the Kwik-E-Mart convenience store from The Simpsons, but it also addresses racial stereotypes and the lack of South Asian American representation in the … 0 Comments. The Biden Administration's First Few Days; Operation Warp Speed and the Chaotic Vaccine Rollout; Ask the Mayor; Hari Kondabolu and W. Kamau Bell Get Politically 'Re-Active' Though "taunted" may be the better word. Kondabolu is bracing for the tidal wave of, "Oh, you're a killjoy, and you hate comedy and you hate The Simpsons because you criticise it. Hari Kondabolu chats with actor Kal Penn in New York in 2016. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Your California Privacy Rights. The hour-long documentary includes interviews with actors and comics of South Asian heritage, who discuss not only the cartoon character, but also how their lives have been affected by the stereotypes of South Asians swimming around in the pop culture pool. ... Hari … Come again.” Apu's catchphrase “That is of great offence to my ancestors and family-but okay.” Apu “Okay, whatever.” Apu, once in response to one of his octuplets “Alright.” The Simpsons Tapped Out “I can't believe you don't … Born and raised in Queens, Kondabolu attended Wesleyan and Bowdoin, earned a Masters in Human Rights from the London School of Economics, and worked as an activist in Seattle before getting into comedy. (Photo by Netflix) 2020 Spring-Summer TV Scorecard. Rappers With Puppies 9. ... After several unsuccessful attempts to reconnect with his mean old wife, Janice, Tond turns to song for solace and consolation. 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The Problem with Apu, says Melamedoff, whose own family emigrated from Argentina, is about "how we succeed and fail representing minority voices, and elevating minority voices so they can represent themselves". I’ve had tunnel vision before, but I’m doing five things at once now, and Kamau does that. The completed version of Hari Kondabolu's "A Feminist Dick Joke" from the 2014 Album "Waiting for 2042." He's taking on the slushee-slinging shopkeeper in The Problem With Apu, debuting on America's TruTV on November 19. — Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) April 9, 2018 “As far as what is going to happen with the character going forward, it’s really not just up to me,” he continued, adding that the show’s producers have also “given it a lot of thought.” “They will definitely address — maybe publicly, but certainly within the context of the show — what they want to do, if anything, with the character,” he added. High Uber Driver 4. The animators designed a universe of people who were banana yellow, with blue hair and exaggerated features. To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. The documentary film The Problem With Apu, written and starring comedian Hari Kondabolu, was released on truTV in November 2017. Your Bobby Jindal bit, which turned into #BobbyJindalIsSoWhite on Twitter, was a combination of comedy and activism that was so successful that the Jindal campaign framed it as “liberal media.”. How do you approach those differently? It’s not like I’m choosing one or the other, it’s just automatic. These fringe thoughts all of a sudden become mainstream. It is the brainchild of Eugene and his wife Nina who met while working together at Caroline’s Comedy Club in the early 90’s. I haven’t done it since the album recording, but my unique relationship with it—both because of me being an Indian-American and that Twitter campaign—made it more than just an election joke. And I honestly think with the Trump campaign, there’s a certain type of maniac who is empowered. a meme before memes existed. THE PROBLEM WITH HARI KONDABOLU. The most important news stories of the day, curated by Post editors and delivered every morning. I knew it would be something for Brown Twitter, or Indian Twitter, or South Asian Twitter, but the fact that it was trending in India certainly wasn’t a goal. Gentrification is No Joke 7. Once You Go Black Mayor 10. ", "Do I think The Simpsons was ignorant or intentionally racist? I wasn’t sure who was going to win the nomination, so I was kind of careful—the only unfortunate thing was I wasn’t really able to drill Trump the way I would now. He wants people to assimilate and I don’t believe in assimilation. Watch all you want. Back when Jon Stewart announced he was leaving The Daily Show, everyone had opinions about who would best fill his chair. And he has been a cheap huckster, selling spoiled goods at the Kwik-E-Mart and shooting at customers with a rifle. There’s a goal in mind to be funny, informative, and not to drag on. Seattle Coffee Shops 5. It meant talking about the biggest Indian character on television up to that point. ... entangled in a twisted mind game when she begins an affair with her psychiatrist boss while bonding with his mysterious wife. Over the past four years, Kondabolu's career has seen a sharp uptick. Step forward an obscure New York comedian, Hari Kondabolu, who has led the campaign to see off Apu. Hari Kondabolu Is the Best Political Comedian You Don't Know Yet The comic has a new album, a new podcast, and no shortage of things he wants to get off his chest. I’m interested in coded messaging and why people say what they say and what the purpose is. One-hundred percent.". And he is never without his accent, which isn't exactly traceable to any actual region of India. It’s really a lot of fun. In 2012, Mindy Kaling had just landed her own show, the first starring a woman of South Asian descent, and Kondabolu, then a writer for W. Kamau Bell's FX show, Totally Biased, set out to explain why her success mattered to others. It meant bringing up Apu. (And probably for the Ganesha statue gracing his Kwik-E-Mart counter.) Hari Kondabolu: Get Hari Kondabolu Latest News, Videos and Photos also find Breaking news, updates, information on Hari Kondabolu. Sometimes you watch a comedian and they get laughs on a joke that they wouldn’t have gotten laughs on a decade ago. Will more people come to watch my standup? For a lot of people who aren’t used to that, it’s frustrating. IMDb's advanced search allows you to run extremely powerful queries over all people and titles in the database. In this hip-hop competition, judges Niska, Shay … Are all of those projects aimed at different niches? Do those conversations help awareness or does it inspire more hatred? ... Nikki Glaser, Chris Gethard, Mark Normand, Sean Patton, … I don’t like what he stands for, and as an Indian American I don’t like the story that he’s sharing with the world. The WIRED conversation illuminates how technology is changing every aspect of our lives—from culture to business, science to design. Hari Kondabolu's New Material Night Volume 2 by Hari Kondabolu, released 18 August 2020 1. So somebody says, “What’s the deal with stickers on football helmets? No. I was at the Majestic a few years back and I performed at the University. My favorite comedian in the world, Stuart Lee, said “there’s nothing funnier than a fart” on his first special. 2 on the Billboard comedy charts last year, is examining whether the chattering cartoon immigrant did more harm than good as a representation of Indian-Americans. All rights reserved. Updated August 5, 2020. he muses. The sitcom recently addressed the criticism … And it’s a good thing he found his way into that world: he’s the best political standup comedian working today, with pop culture tastes that see him blend bits about Weezer and Back to the Future with discussions of healthcare, police violence, and the changing racial makeup of the United States. Most roasters chose to pick on Carlson’s expired habit of wearing bow ties, but comedian Hari Kondabolu instead targeted Carlson’s name: Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson. And it’s not that the joke isn’t funny, it’s that there’s a context there now, and you don’t need to set everything up. "It's already been 30 years," and the impact has already been made," he says. ... Narayanasamy Naidu has completely deviated himself … Hari Kondabolu: Warn Your Relatives 2018 16+ 1h 7m Stand-Up Comedy Hari Kondabolu breaks down identity politics, celebrity encounters, his mango obsession and more in … The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Explore more on Hari Kondabolu at Dnaindia.com. And if you’re a women or LGBTQ, that multiplies the reaction. So between the movie, the show, the podcasts, and this album, it’s a lot of things. But mostly, Apu imprinted himself on the viewer's psyche with his accent, a clucking singsong that made "Thank you, come again!" Apu has been mistaken for a terrorist at the border, he has revealed that he's an illegal immigrant and has faced the threat of deportation. "Thank you, come again!" Is the material still timely to you after six months, or will it seem like a time capsule after this year? I’m glad I’m coming in the spring and not the winter. Your standup contains much more of your frustration with the slow progress of the world. Find exactly what you're looking for! But Hari Kondabolu has a problem with Apu. The record is a mix of social topics that make him particularly angry (eroding access to healthcare for women), turns of phrase that don’t make sense (“Boys will be boys”), and for the first time, topical political humor—including bits about Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and even Bobby Jindal. The original writing room was "very reflective of late '80s-early '90s writing rooms", says Ortved. I’m learning things whenever something trends on Black Twitter—it’s not a discussion happening in my circles. “(Referring to Homer) He slept, he stole, he was rude to the customers. Still, there goes the best-damned employee a convenience store ever had.” Apu Nahasapeemapetilon[src] “Thank you! We’ve tracked the best (and worst) TV and streaming offerings since mid-March, gathering a list of all the premieres this season — series, miniseries, and TV movies across cable, broadcast, and streaming — and ranked them by Tomatometer. The breakthroughs and innovations that we uncover lead to new ways of thinking, new connections, and new industries. [Laughs.] WIRED is where tomorrow is realized. The TV shows of the era didn't "look anything like where I grew up", he says. And somebody made it into a meme and it got passed around. The rest of the country doesn't notice it, doesn't think it's a thing. Also, some of the greatest acting I … Hari Karthikeya Kondabolu (Telugu: హరి కొండబోలు; born October 21, 1982) is an American stand-up comic, actor, filmmaker, and podcast host.His comedy covers subjects such as race, inequity, and Indian stereotypes.He was a writer for Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell and the creator of the 2017 documentary film The Problem with Apu ... Karnataka Union … Hari Kondabolu talks about an Indian man who made a shirt made of gold in 2013. The show may not have looked like the real world, but its storylines and themes smacked of it. "These aren't people who represent humanity, who represent the culture," Ortved says. And that, it turns out, was a good thing. That one has a personal investment. Sometimes I wonder, “Am I just a funny professor who has found a way to scam the American public into thinking I’m a comedian?” I’ve found a way to talk about the things I want to talk about—with some depth, given the limitations of standup. "I spent a lot of time revisiting Apu episodes," he says. "For me it's about getting more diverse roles. No," he says. You've got a lot of irons in the fire right now—in addition to the podcast an album, you have a pilot for TruTV, and this fall they're also airing documentary you made about Apu from The Simpsons. JOIN NOW. 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