“I’ve had a strange career,” W. Kamau Bell says a few moments after hauling himself onto the stage at Caroline’s Comedy Club in late April. “I had to get a TV show to break into comedy clubs.”
That stirs a warm laugh from his people, a 150-strong New York crowd of races so well and truly mixed it could be on the cover of a college admissions packet.
In conversation, his words galumph along as happily as they do on stage, even when he’s discussing topics that tend to make Americans squeamish. “I’m used to moving around between the lines of cultures,” he says, “and I know when to shut the fuck up and listen. My act started to reflect that. Coming from the Bay Area, where I lived for 15 years, I would be sitting with my feminist lesbian East Bay friends with the adopted black kids while they all explained that I’m sexist. You learn to listen around people like that.”
HIS BLOG: http://www.wkamaubell.com/the-blog/
HIS SHOW: The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour