An evening with Hari Kondabolu

Tonight, we went to Carolines on Broadway to see a comedy show by Hari Kondabolu. I actually didn’t know who he was before tonight, as Chris had booked the show. Last year, we saw a number of comedians from lesser represented backgrounds and geographies featured on Netflix, and it actually widened my understanding of what the comedy scene was like globally. For the most part in the U.S., comedy has been dominated by (surprise surprise) white males… with the occasional black male like Eddie Murphy or Chris Rock. Even white female comedians are lesser known, and of the ones who are known like Amy Sedaris, they tend to have smaller audiences. In recent years, we’ve had more people of color represented, such as Trevor Noah, Hasan Minhaj, Ronny Chieng, and even Ali Wong, who I’ve really enjoyed and appreciated not only as an Asian American female, but also as someone who was born and raised in San Francisco. It’s been a refreshing mix not just in terms of ethnicity, but also the actual topics that are being discussed.

Hari Kondabolu is ethnically Indian but born and raised in Flushing, New York. Of course, given his upbringing, race and ethnicity are big topics for his shows, as well as identity, inequality, immigration, and politics. (It is always laugh-out-loud funny when Indian people poke fun at white fragility). But sometimes it’s the little things that people joke about that somehow stand out to me, the things you never even think are worth discussing but come out in comedy. He joked about the shape of Q-tips, for example, and how ridiculous it is that doctors always warn you not to put them in your ear because you could push ear wax deeper into your ear canal and thus cause a blockage… well, if that’s the case, then why would you make it so that it just perfectly shapes the ear canal, then?!

That is so true.. and something I have personally wondered to myself…!

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