If you haven’t yet heard of Kamau Bell, you need to check your hipster status. He’s the up and quickly coming lead of his own F/X show “Totally Biased with Kamau Bell” and although still in his first season, he’s already getting positive press. He was deemed one of 2012’s sexiest men by Salon.com, The New York Timescalled him “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years,” and The New Yorker said his show was “fairly revolutionary.” So what’s all the buzz about?
Bell, a San Francisco native, is not your typical African-American comic. He’s more in the vein of fellow Black comedians Key and Peele, offering an alternate take on Black issues through a slightly different lens. Gone are the jokes about big butts and white people, unless those white people are the ones that feel like a Black man with a white wife, like Bell, is part of the post-racial society that the Obama presidency supposedly ushered in.
“Nobody considered my act political until America got a black president,” Bell told NPR.org. “I talked about race a lot. It just became that, once Barack started running for president, I started to care a lot about the presidency in a way that I hadn’t cared before. Because everyday on TV, I saw this black guy who was under a microscope, and I felt like there was some percentage of me in that guy that I didn’t see in, say, George W. Bush or even Bill Clinton … and so my act — really, I got labeled a political comedian; that wasn’t the thing I was trying to do.”
Check out a clip of “Totally Biased” – “President of Black America.”