Here's something you don't know about the Bay Area comedy scene: You don't have to live here long to be forever labeled "an SF comic." Patton Oswalt, Marc Maron, Janeane Garofalo, & other comics who didn't live here for that long are forever covered in SF mojo, and you don't have to be Robin Williams, Will Durst, or Margaret Cho to get your SF Comic Badge. You just have to be a comic with a strong voice, smart jokes, and a willingness to be occasionally accused of being "too smart for the room."
Some comics like Doug Benson, Maria Bamford, and Zach Galifinakis have never lived in the Bay, but are still considered to be an integral part of our scene. Yup, stand-up comics who live in other cities LOVE to be adopted by us. In fact another comic who in recent years has also become identified with the Bay was recently --- and still may be --- in town doing shows. Here's a hint about who it is: His name rhymes with Bave Bappelle.
The latest out-of-stater paying in-state tuition is my current favorite comic, Hari Kondabolu
. Hari first started regularly performing in the Bay in October 2008. As a part of (SF Weekly's 2010 Best Comedian) Nato Green's Laugh Out The Vote Tour, I know this, because I was also on these shows. Me, Nato, and Hari loved performing together so much that we created Laughter Against The Machine, a socio-political stand-up comedy tour. Hari is a singular voice in stand-up. He's like a professor at a small East Coast liberal arts college who was recently given tenure so he's decided to teach his students exactly what he wants. And what he wants them to know is that their parents lied to them and that they are personally responsible for the mess that the world is in ... except he makes it funny. He operates from the top of his intelligence and rarely raises his voice as he eviscerates his targets. Targets like imperialism, colonialism, Vitamin Water, Portland, and the Queen of England get their ears pinned back on a nightly basis.
And this week is a big week for Hari, because 1) His half-hour special is premiering on Comedy Central on Friday, Feb. 11, at 8 p.m. (repeating at 11 p.m.) He will be returning to the Bay Area on Tuesday, Feb. 8 and Wednesday, Feb. 9, at The New Parish in Oakland to perform as a member of Laughter Against The Machine. Now I know this sounds suspiciously like a plug for a show I'm on, but it's really a plug for one of my favorite comedians --- a comedian who you would be an absolute fool to not see when he's here. And if you can't stomach the plug, then stay in on Friday and watch him twice on Comedy Central. The word on the street is that he did so well that he got something that rhymes with "banding bovation."
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