Hari Kondabolu's latest digital album, Mainstream American Comic, is out now on the Kill Rock Stars label.
Kondabolu is perhaps best known for his political and social comedy on shows such as the now cancelled Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. If that is the type of comedy you are looking for, you will certainly find plenty of it on Mainstream American Comic.
But, what Kondabolu knows very well (and unfortunately what many political and social comics seem to miss) is that comedy must be the focus, with the underlying political or social commentary taking backstage. There are so many comics out there today that bill themselves as political or social comics, but that simply are not funny. They might make passionate arguments, and I might agree with most if not all of what they say, but they are not funny. Why? Because they put their message ahead of the laughs.
Not so with Kondabolu. While Kondabolu weaves political and social issues throughout most of this album, he never loses sight of what's important – making the audience laugh. Indeed, he even makes this comment himself, when he highlights that while political and social commentary is important, dick jokes pay the bills.
Another thing Kondabolu does on this album quite well is deconstruction of the English language. This is one of the things I loved the most about the late, great George Carlin. For instance, Kondabolu completely breaks down the term “Devil’s Advocate” and the phrase “Boys Will Be Boys” -- both to brilliant results.
In terms of substance, Kondabolu takes on the 2016 crop of American Presidential candidates, including an extended bit on Bobby Jindal, the Black Lives Matter movement, his love of the Surgeon General, and even some hate mail he has received.
This is a solid follow-up to Kondabolu's first album "Waiting for 2042" (which is a reference to the date by which white people will be the minority in America), and well worth a purchase. It clocks in at about 1 hour 6 minutes.