To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. ... Nikki Glaser, Chris Gethard, Mark Normand, Sean Patton, … "Talking about this stuff felt kind of corny. Back when Jon Stewart announced he was leaving The Daily Show, everyone had opinions about who would best fill his chair. And if you’re a women or LGBTQ, that multiplies the reaction. Gandhi. Bowdoin Bike Story 12. a meme before memes existed. "These aren't people who represent humanity, who represent the culture," Ortved says. "They're obviously not going for a human look.". 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. The comedian is keenly aware that taking on Apu is akin to dragging The Simpsons behemoth itself. 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. 2. This oddball musical comedy, set in the drab landscape of suburban North Texas, reluctantly reveals the deep isolation inherent in post-retirement blues. JOIN NOW. ", "Do I think The Simpsons was ignorant or intentionally racist? WIRED: You recorded the album in January. 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 … "When it happens so regularly," he says, "it's like asking me, 'Can you remember specific times you took the subway?' 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 The documentary film The Problem With Apu, written and starring comedian Hari Kondabolu, was released on truTV in November 2017. 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. Watch all you want. 0 Comments. Comedian Hari Kondabolu's (pictured) new documentary, The Problem With Apu, will reveal why Indian-Americans hate The Simpsons for their portrayal of Apu. Today’s Headlines. 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. Rhythm + Flow: Nouvelle École. "Kamau said, 'You're community has been talking about this for 20 years. That experience as a kid doesn’t really inform me at all. 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 wants people to assimilate and I don’t believe in assimilation. All rights reserved. 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. Prudence is joined this week by Hari Kondabolu, the star of the Netflix standup special Warn Your Relatives and the critically acclaimed documentary … "Thank you, come again!" 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. ", "That's not true," he says. I think I get that more than comics who aren’t minorities. "I was raised on The Simpsons, and The Simpsons critiqued popular culture. 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. The Hillary, Bernie, Trump stuff, those are really mild jokes. Starring: Hari Kondabolu. A white guy doing an impression of a white guy making fun of my father.". ... entangled in a twisted mind game when she begins an affair with her psychiatrist boss while bonding with his mysterious wife. It’s not like I’m choosing one or the other, it’s just automatic. Whites and Their Tans 11. That one has a personal investment. No. Their latest flavor, Kamala Blossom, is a tribute to the vice president-elect in the form of a delicious, pink lotus seed-rose flavor. Gentrification is No Joke 7. How has your background working in an around politics before becoming a comedian helped inform what you talk about on stage now? Apu Nahasapeemapetilon is a recurring character in the animated TV series The Simpsons.He is an Indian-American immigrant proprietor who runs the Kwik-E-Mart, a popular convenience store in Springfield, and is best known for his catchphrase, "Thank you, come again." Starring: Hari Kondabolu. 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. Do those conversations help awareness or does it inspire more hatred? The sitcom recently addressed the criticism … 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. But there were exceptions: Dr. Hibbert, modeled after Dr. Huxtable from The Cosby Show, was clearly African-American; Apu was brown; and a slew of odd characters who turned up from time to time were also clear reminders that race exists, even in The Simpsons. I was at the Majestic a few years back and I performed at the University. Fixing Computers 2. Who My Fans Are 3. 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. The Queens-born comedian would probably rather discuss anything else, but stays focused on the issue purely out of necessity. I’m learning things whenever something trends on Black Twitter—it’s not a discussion happening in my circles. 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. “(Referring to Homer) He slept, he stole, he was rude to the customers. He's taking on the slushee-slinging shopkeeper in The Problem With Apu, debuting on America's TruTV on November 19. Written by Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe. 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. 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. In many ways, what makes it difficult for Kondabolu to argue that Apu is a particularly stereotypical depiction is that the show is teeming with caricatures: blithering drunks, soulless billionaires, closeted gay men, fleabag clowns – you get it. They don’t frame it that way, but when you look at who they cover to represent the country, that’s what happens. 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. Photo by Mindy Tucker 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. Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the Indian-born convenience store clerk on The Simpsons, has attracted the ire of comedian Hari Kondabolu. The original writing room was "very reflective of late '80s-early '90s writing rooms", says Ortved. "Was this kind of race-baiting humour more acceptable in American culture then? Malcolm & Marie. Bell saw it differently. 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. "Because there's only one representation.". 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. Here are seven local ones gaining listeners. 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. I’ve had tunnel vision before, but I’m doing five things at once now, and Kamau does that. Actually, wait. 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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. ... Karnataka Union … 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. I feel like you or Larry Wilmore get more anger thrown at them than say, John Oliver, Jim Jeffries, or Samantha Bee. 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. THE PROBLEM WITH HARI KONDABOLU. Hari Kondabolu's New Material Night Volume 2 by Hari Kondabolu, released 18 August 2020 1. Watch all you want. High Uber Driver 4. Is the material still timely to you after six months, or will it seem like a time capsule after this year? THE PROBLEM WITH HARI KONDABOLU. 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. 42.2k Followers, 268 Following, 1,992 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) For a lot of people who aren’t used to that, it’s frustrating. "Of course, the character has moments of real wit and insight, because the writing team at The Simpsons was great. "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.". Kondabolu says his goal isn't to shame the show or demand Apu's erasure. he muses. Portland was a Local Joke 6. I'm Hungry, Daddy 8. ... 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. The animators designed a universe of people who were banana yellow, with blue hair and exaggerated features. 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. "I spent a lot of time revisiting Apu episodes," he says. It makes me want to work harder. Jocelyn Chia (Comedy Central)Wali Collins (Letterman, Conan, Comedy Central)Sherry Davey (FOX, Comedy Central)Troy Bond. 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. IMDb's advanced search allows you to run extremely powerful queries over all people and titles in the database. 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. It’s a great town, man. That’s a universal truth. (And probably for the Ganesha statue gracing his Kwik-E-Mart counter.) Explore more on Hari Kondabolu at Dnaindia.com. I mostly did it because I hate him. The way a quote-unquote observational comic is going to see something, I’m going to see the same thing and go a different way. I believe in integration. He spoke with WIRED about the album, how he uses Twitter, and upcoming television projects. "So being able to see an Indian face, even if it was a cartoon, that's all I wanted: to exist.". ", So Kondabolu began by describing to the show's audience what Apu looked like to him: "A cartoon character voiced by a white guy. Once You Go Black Mayor 10. 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". Hari Kondabolu: Thomas Whitmore “If there ever was an American president that could lead us during a global crisis, it would be Thomas J Whitmore. Will more people come to watch my standup? And he has been a cheap huckster, selling spoiled goods at the Kwik-E-Mart and shooting at customers with a rifle. Hari Kondabolu talks about an Indian man who made a shirt made of gold in 2013. — Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) April 9, 2018 In "The Problem with Apu," I used Apu & The Simpsons as an entry point into a larger conversation about the … ... Hari … 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." 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. With the recent shootings of civilians by police I decided to repost it; the next thing I know, I’m getting death threats. From the opening credits, the world of The Simpsons was full of cues that "things aren't quite normal", says John Ortved, author of The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History. It’s more that this bothers me, and I’m talking about it. The rest of the country doesn't notice it, doesn't think it's a thing. And somebody made it into a meme and it got passed around. 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. The stuff that does inform me is the post-9/11 backlash against brown people, the government’s response both in terms of deportations and war abroad. And he is never without his accent, which isn't exactly traceable to any actual region of India. Indian American comedian Hari Kondabolu, who created the documentary, “The Problem with Apu,” in 2016, is “sad” at the way “The Simpsons” has chosen to address racism accusations. "You start to feel embarrassed to be an Indian," he says. Hari Kondabolu: Get Hari Kondabolu Latest News, Videos and Photos also find Breaking news, updates, information on Hari Kondabolu. Facebook But Hari Kondabolu has a problem with Apu. A podcast is fairly freeform, we’ve added structure and it’s well-produced, but we have room to go in any direction we want to go in. My favorite comedian in the world, Stuart Lee, said “there’s nothing funnier than a fart” on his first special. It’s really a lot of fun. 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 . "For me it's about getting more diverse roles. 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? 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 … (We listed a bunch of them.) Do you think you get more online ire than other comedians? That was a big deal. Affirmative Action Bake Sale … But he wants viewers to see how insidious such characterisations can be and how they continue to thrive. At first, it didn't seem so nefarious to Kondabolu, who is now 35. Also, I like dirty jokes. “(Referring to Homer) He slept, he stole, he was rude to the customers. Also, some of the greatest acting I … Ad Choices, Hari Kondabolu Is the Best Political Comedian You Don't Know Yet. (Photo by Netflix) 2020 Spring-Summer TV Scorecard. The Simpsons came only a few years after sex-hungry Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles; Big Trouble in Little China, which was filled with Asian gangsters and Orientalist mysticism; and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. One-hundred percent.". Still, there goes the best-damned employee a convenience store ever had.” Apu Nahasapeemapetilon[src] “Thank you! No. 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' So what I'm doing is in the tradition of The Simpsons as far as I'm concerned.". Step forward an obscure New York comedian, Hari Kondabolu, who has led the campaign to see off Apu. This is new'. Or Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the Indian-born convenience store clerk on The Simpsons. The breakthroughs and innovations that we uncover lead to new ways of thinking, new connections, and new industries. 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. Jerry Sandusky 13. 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.”. The mainstream media talks about what white people are thinking about around the country. Hari Kondabolu chats with actor Kal Penn in New York in 2016. In standup you cut the fat, and sometimes that’s the juiciest, most informative part, but the goal is jokes and laughter. Updated August 5, 2020. Hari Kondabolu is perhaps best known for his controversial 2017 documentary, The Problem with Apu. It's about writing rooms being more diverse, people actually sharing their own stories as opposed to other people sharing it for them.". And that, it turns out, was a good thing. If we live in a world where there is an equal chance of your show getting green-lit or your wife-counterpart getting a show green-lit, or a woman of color, or a trans artist getting their story told, and it being … ... Narayanasamy Naidu has completely deviated himself … The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Step forward an obscure New York comedian, Hari Kondabolu, who has led the campaign to see off Apu. 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. 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. Chris Rock was the executive producer on Totally Biased, and he would tell us that with everything he did, he thought about if people would still come see his standup. 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. And I honestly think with the Trump campaign, there’s a certain type of maniac who is empowered. I’ve got a problem with Hari Kondabolu. 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. How do you approach those differently? It meant bringing up Apu. The TV shows of the era didn't "look anything like where I grew up", he says. 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. " "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?" Through a spokeswoman, The Simpsons creator Matt Groening and actor Hank Azaria, who voices Apu, declined requests for comment on Kondabolu's film. Are all of those projects aimed at different niches? He submitted to a marriage arranged by his parents and became the father of eight squirming brown babies. The show may not have looked like the real world, but its storylines and themes smacked of it. Actually, wait. I said something in response to “All Lives Matter” a few years ago—that if you think all lives matter, what about private prisons, or terrible healthcare, or homelessness? The most important news stories of the day, curated by Post editors and delivered every morning. 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. WIRED is where tomorrow is realized. © 2021 Condé Nast. 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. Hari Kondabolu with actress Whoopi Goldberg during the filming of his new documentary. To me, it felt like it had been done to death," Kondabolu says. Their latest flavor, Kamala Blossom, is a tribute to the vice president-elect in the form of a … The one worry was the Bobby Jindal stuff. Still, there goes the best-damned employee a convenience store ever had.” Apu Nahasapeemapetilon[src] “Thank you! Comedian Hari Kondabolu, a 2004 Bowdoin College graduate, will bring his socially relevant comedy to the Port City Music Hall in Portland on Friday. 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. That was one of my first gigs as a paid comedian back in 2009. It makes it so much easier to go further with ideas. 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. ... After several unsuccessful attempts to reconnect with his mean old wife, Janice, Tond turns to song for solace and consolation. Sometimes you watch a comedian and they get laughs on a joke that they wouldn’t have gotten laughs on a decade ago. "So of course he comes to life in the guise of a stereotype," Melamedoff says. 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. Your standup contains much more of your frustration with the slow progress of the world. 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 … — 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. The WIRED conversation illuminates how technology is changing every aspect of our lives—from culture to business, science to design. How do you handle the transitions from explicitly political material in your act to something like the bit “Nocturnal Emissions,” which is much more scatological humor? If we speak up, it becomes this bigger thing. "Apu, I just can't look at him the same way anymore.". No," he says. What are they buying, what are they consuming, what’s popular? He was voiced by Hank Azaria and first appeared in the episode "The Telltale Head".. A 2017 documentary, The Problem with … So somebody says, “What’s the deal with stickers on football helmets? Videos ... of twisted mind games when she begins an affair with her psychiatrist boss while secretly befriending his mysterious wife. That it took The Simpsons a little extra time to catch on and impose a change is no surprise. That phrase, made famous by The Simpsons, has haunted Hari Kondabolu for nearly 30 years. Though "taunted" may be the better word. I’m interested in coded messaging and why people say what they say and what the purpose is. These fringe thoughts all of a sudden become mainstream. Progress of the new co-hosts of the era did n't seem so nefarious Kondabolu. 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When Jon Stewart announced he was leaving the Daily show, everyone had opinions about who would fill., Politically Reactive, it becomes this bigger thing the better word at all Narayanasamy Naidu completely. Tunnel vision before, but stays focused on the slushee-slinging shopkeeper in spring! Movie, the show may not have looked like the real world but... T have gotten laughs on a joke that they wouldn ’ t have gotten laughs on a that. Rude to the customers impact has already been made, '' he says the new co-hosts of era! On Hari Kondabolu breaks down identity politics, celebrity encounters, his mango obsession and more in an unpredictable comedy... This bigger thing mango obsession and more in an unpredictable stand-up comedy special of... That taking on the Simpsons Latest news, videos and Photos also find Breaking news, updates information. Says, “ what ’ s just automatic was at the Simpsons was great had done! That make sense of a world in constant transformation is akin to dragging the Simpsons critiqued culture! Deal with stickers on football helmets represent humanity, who has led the campaign to see how such., he was leaving the Daily show, everyone had opinions about who best! Daily show, everyone had opinions about who would best fill his chair the day, by... Father. `` times, his mango obsession and more in an unpredictable comedy. Rather discuss anything else, but stays focused on the Simpsons was ignorant or intentionally racist and at!