Late night comedy has a new name. Comedian Kamau Bell has gone from standup to TV thanks to Chris Rock. The veteran comic who had his own Emmy-winning HBO show in 1997, is backing Bell and his new show “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell” which debuts on FX tonight at 11 p.m. Rock attended one of Bell’s standup shows in San Francisco and decided that he would make a good TV host. FX, who has also green-lit a show featuring English comedian and Katy Perry ex Russell Brand, says they signed on after a presentation FX executives described as “terrific.”
“I think Kamau is one of the funniest guys out there and I can’t wait to work with the good people at FX,” Rock said when the show was first announced. FX will air six episodes of “Totally Biased” which will focus on his comic take on the week’s current events in a “Daily Show” kind of way.
The San Francisco based comic has relocated to Brooklyn, where the show will be taped. Bell had already released two comedy albums “One Night Only” and “Face Full of Flour” and his one man show “The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About An Hour,” was critically acclaimed and sold out thorough it’s run at the NY International Fringe Festival.
The comedy collective Bell founded, “Laughter Against the Machine” was partially funded by Kickstarter, the website where fans can support artistic projects from a variety of disciplines. The collective shot a documentary in and around the Occupy movement with a theme of how comedy factors into social change. Given that background, Bell was surprised that Rock was serious about getting a show produced with him and he still seems a little shell-shocked by how fast it happened.