Opening Session

Friday, January 20, 2017 - 4:00pm to 5:15pm
W Kamau Bell

Described by the New York Times as “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years,” acclaimed comedian and hit podcast host W. Kamau Bell describes himself as a “Socio-Political Comedian & Dad.” He has been voted San Francisco’s best comedian by the SF Weekly, the SF Bay Guardian, and 7×7 Magazine, and praised by Punchline Magazine as “one of our nation’s most adept racial commentators with a blistering wit.”

“Bell’s gimmick is intersectional progressivism: he treats racial, gay, and women’s issues as inseparable,” according to The New Yorker. His many roles include hosting the docu-series “United Shades of America,” the public radio show “Kamau Right Now!” and co-hosting the podcasts: “Politically Re-Active” and “Denzel Washington is The Greatest Actor of All Time Period.” He performs his one-man show, “The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour” at colleges across the country, has appeared on various Comedy Central programs, and his writing has been published in, Salon,, Buzzfeed, and The Hollywood Reporter.

His memoir and manifesto, titled The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6’4”, African-American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Black, Proud, and Asthmatic Blerd, Mama’s Boy, B-Student, and Stand-up Comedian, will be released in May, 2017. The book will be a humorous, well-informed take on the world today, tackling issues such as race relations, fatherhood, the state of law enforcement, superheroes, politics, and many other issues. 

Bell is the ACLU’s Ambassador of Racial Justice and serves on the advisory boards of Race Forward, a racial justice think tank, and Hollaback, a non-profit movement to end street harassment. 

Photo Credit: John Novak/ © Cable News Network, Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.

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Penguin Random House