The Audacity of Hari Kondabolu

Who gave the Queens native permission to ruin the joke and make things uncomfortable? And how do we create more of him?

Hari Kondabolu
Hari Kondabolu

Meghna Rao


February 19, 2019

Hari Kondabolu has never felt bad being that guy, bringing up that thing. The comedian achieved more recent fame with his documentary, “The Problem with Apu,” which criticized the reductive portrayal of the only Indian character in “The Simpsons.” But Kondabolu was questioning race long before that. In 2015, Kondabolu lambasted Louisiana governor and presidential hopeful Bobby Jindal for his aspirational whiteness, tweeting: “Bobby Jindal is so white, he beat himself up after 9/11.” And, in 2016: “Halloween is a day when white people finally get asked: ‘what are you?’

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