Hari Kondabolu is pee-in-your pants hilarious. But he’s more than just a very funny guy. His deftly constructed jokes peel back racism and other identity oppressions to reveal important, sometimes uncomfortable truths.
Kondabolu has a talent for making you laugh and making you think about the reality behind the joke. At his recent run of shows at Theatre Off Jackson, where he was tuning up to record his second album, he had the sold out crowd gasping for air – literally laughing till it hurt.
For people of color in the audience, his jokes were rallying points around shared experience, the laughter a healing balm. As a white cisgender male who has benefited all my life from unearned privilege, I laughed right through punchlines to the sometimes painful recognition of the part I play in systems of oppression just by being white…and male… and cis.
So Kondabolu’s jokes both support oppressed people and unmask the oppressor. White allies in the audience felt uncomfortable at times. And, of course, that’s the point – to have humor help us rattle the shackles of dominant culture.
Early in his career, the Seattle Times said Hari was “a young man reaching for the hand-scalding torch of confrontational comics like Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor.”
The heat illuminates our growing edge of awareness and understanding. And understanding is a requirement for breaking down racist, classist, genderist (etc.) business as usual and building a just, equitable community.
Solid Ground is bringing Hari to serve as the keynote speaker of our 16th Building Community Luncheon (Thursday April 7, 2016, this year at Sheraton Seattle) because in the midst of fighting poverty, racism and other oppressions, we all need a good laugh. Humor supports us through trauma, sheds light on the work before us and helps us truly heal each other and our community.
Come join us for a unique opportunity to not just hear Hari perform, but learn how he approaches his art, and what he believes about the power of laughter, even painful laughter, to transform us.
The Luncheon is Solid Ground’s major annual fundraising event. While there is no ticket price, we ask guests to make a donation of $150 or more to support our work.
Table Hosts get the unique opportunity to meet Hari at a special VIP reception before the main event.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206.694.6857.