Hari Kondabolu

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Hari Kondabolu
Born (1982-10-21) October 21, 1982 (age 33)
Queens, New York, United States
Medium Stand-up
Nationality American
Years active 2000s–present
Website HariKondabolu.com

Hari Kondabolu (Telugu: హరి కొండబోలు; born 1982)[1] is an American stand-up comic. He is best known for his politically and socially charged comedy involving jokes about race and class. He has appeared on television on many occasions, and was a writer for Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.

Early life and Education[edit]

Kondabolu was born in Queens, New York in 1982, to parents who had immigrated from Andhra Pradesh, India.[2] He attended Townsend Harris High School in Flushing, New York and graduated in 2000.[3] He is the older brother of Ashok Kondabolu, who is a former member of the group Das Racist.[4]

He began performing standup when he then attended both Bowdoin College and Wesleyan University, graduating from the former with a B.A. in Comparative Politics in 2004. Kondabolu continues to spend part of every year in Maine.[3] On February 23, 2007, The Bowdoin Orient reported: "While spending his junior year at Wesleyan University developed Kondabolu as a 'scholar and an artist' because of the campus's politics and a thriving art scene, Bowdoin provided Kondabolu with the audience to hear that art. Kondabolu left for Wesleyan as a sophomore, but word of mouth made his audience even larger when he returned to Bowdoin as a senior."[5]

After graduating from Bowdoin, Kondabolu worked as an immigrant rights organizer in Seattle for the organization Hate Free Zone (later renamed as OneAmerica) from 2005 to 2007.[6] While in Seattle, he began participating in the alternative comedy scene.[7][2] He also earned a Masters in Human Rights from the London School of Economics in 2008.[8]


Kondabolu has since made several television appearances as a stand-up comic. He made his first notable television appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2007, when he also began to appear on a variety of national comedy festivals, including the 2007 HBO US Comedy Arts Festival.[9] In October 2012, he performed stand-up on an episode of Conan and, in March 2014, he performed stand-up on The Late Show with David Letterman. Additionally, he has made several appearances on Comedy Central. Among these, he was featured in the July 18th, 2008 episode of Live at Gotham and later on the January 15, 2010, July 20, 2012, and August 17, 2012 episodes of John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show. Most prominently, his own episode of Comedy Central Presents aired in 2011. He has also appeared a number of times on British television, including on Russell Howard's Good News in 2011 and 8 out of 10 Cats in 2012 and has appeared in various comedic short films online. In 2012, he had a recurring sketch as part of BBC Three's Live at the Electric hosted by Russell Kane.[10] He has also performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival[11] and was a featured comedian for the US State Department-sponsored "Make Chai Not War" comedy showcase in India in 2012.

Kondabolu's humor often centers on social issues such as poverty, racism, and a rejection of Indian stereotypes seen in media. For example, his 2007 short film Manoj, which has played in comedy and film festivals around the world, including the Just for Laughs Festivals in Montreal and Chicago, mocks comedians who broadly exploit their ethnic backgrounds for their material.[12] In May 2016, Deadline Hollywood announced that he was working on a documentary about Apu from The Simpsons for TruTV.[13]

From 2012 to 2013, he was on the writing staff for the FX comedy series Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, produced by Chris Rock and hosted by W. Kamau Bell, on which he often appeared as a correspondent. In 2014, he appeared on Ken Reid's TV Guidance Counselor Podcast. In 2016, he appeared as a fictionalized version of himself in the Comedy Central webseries White Flight.[14]

His first stand-up comedy album, Waiting for 2042, was released in March 2014 on Kill Rock Stars.[15]

He and younger brother Ashok Kondabolu do a monthly, mostly improvised talk show together in New York City called Untitled Kondabolu Brothers Project. Past guests have included Ajay Naidu, Aasif Mandvi, W. Kamau Bell, Leo Allen, Victor Vazquez (Kool AD of Das Racist), Charles Mudede and Blue Scholars. In January 2013, they started Untitled Kondabolu Brothers Podcast, with new episodes premiering every two weeks.[16]

He is a co-host of the podcast Politically Re-Active with W. Kamau Bell, which debuted in June 2016.[17] He is also set to appear as a rotating host on The Bugle alongside Andy Zaltzman in the fall of 2016 after the departure of John Oliver.[18][19]

His second comedy album, Mainstream American Comic, was released on July 22, 2016 on Kill Rock Stars.[20][21] It debuted at #1 on the iTunes US comedy charts.[22]



  1. ^ Hari Kondabolu on Twitter
  2. ^ a b "Bklynr | Hari Kondabolu Walks Into a Bar". bklynr.com. Retrieved 2016-04-22. 
  3. ^ a b Hari Kondabolu. SFstandup.com, 15 October 2008. By Nato Green. Retrieved 27 Dec. 2011.
  4. ^ Neha Sharma (April 20, 2012). "The Small Town South Indian Boys Of New York". Rolling Stone India. Retrieved 2012-10-30. 
  5. ^ Hari Kondabolu '04 - Live. The Bowdoin Orient. By Kelsey Abbruzzese. 23 Feb. 2007. Retrieved 27 Dec. 2011.
  6. ^ "Pramila Jayapal Sees the Big Picture | News & City Life | Seattle Met". www.seattlemet.com. Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  7. ^ "Bio — Hari Kondabolu". www.harikondabolu.com. Retrieved 2016-04-22. 
  8. ^ Blair, Elizabeth (July 18, 2013). "Comedian Hari Kondabolu On Diversity, Race And Burger King". NPR. 
  9. ^ Scanlon, T. "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to a Human Rights Master's Degree", Seattle Times, July 24, 2007
  10. ^ "Hari Kondabolu". BBC. 
  11. ^ Hari Kondabolu (October 17, 2011). "Das Racist Cover Story: These Colors Don't Run". Spin. Retrieved 2011-10-17. 
  12. ^ "MANOJ KRISHNAMURTHY IS DEAD — Hari Kondabolu". www.harikondabolu.com. Retrieved 2016-04-22. 
  13. ^ Lisa de Moraes (May 10, 2016). "TruTV Greenlights Three New Series & Six Pilots; ‘Fameless’, ‘Hack My Life’ Renewed". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2016-05-15. 
  14. ^ "Matt Braunger launches new webseries "White Flight" and tour dates - The Laugh Button". The Laugh Button. Retrieved 2016-04-22. 
  15. ^ "Comedy Listings for March 14-20". The New York Times. March 13, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Kondabolu Brothers". www.kondabolubrothers.com. Retrieved 2016-04-22. 
  17. ^ "Politically Re-Active with W. Kamau Bell & Hari Kondabolu". www.stitcher.com. Retrieved 2016-06-21. 
  18. ^ "Hari Kondabolu on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-06-21. 
  19. ^ "VIB - Very Important Bugle". Soundcloud. The Bugle podcast. Retrieved 2016-06-21. 
  20. ^ "Hari Kondabolu’s New Album ‘Mainstream American Comic’ Is Out Next Month". 2016-06-06. Retrieved 2016-07-24. 
  21. ^ Marah Eakin (June 6, 2016). "Exclusive: Hari Kondabolu announces new record, premieres first track". AV Club. Retrieved 2016-06-17. 
  22. ^ "Hari Kondabolu on Twitter". Retrieved 2016-07-24. 

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