February 4, 2013

Comedian Walter Kamau Bell to Perform at Cornell University

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Walter Kamau Bell, a San Francisco-based comedian and community activist, will be performing at the Statler Auditorium on March 6, according to Cornell University Program Board.

Bell has established himself as a comedian who centers his acts on social and political commentary. He is a founding member of the comedy collective “Laughter Against the Machine” and perhaps is best known for his weekly stand up comedy series,  Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell.

Student response to CUPB’s announcement of Bell ranged from excitement to curiosity.

“I’ve never heard of this guy before … But I feel like what he has to say is pretty interesting because it’s more than just comedy,” Paul Maier ’13 said.

Richmond Wong ’14, executive chairperson of CUPB, said Bell will discuss social and political issues throughout his act.

“We think that he is really a rising talent. It’s a really good opportunity to bring him to campus,” he said. “We think he will be very topical, and he will be able to discuss class, race, sex and politics through both commentary and comedy.”

Though the message of Bell’s work is controversial –– as it deals with sensitive social issues –– the show will be “interesting,” according to Sarah Reitman ’15, a member of CUPB.

“We are very excited to have him. We are really looking forward to his comedic message,” she said.

Bell has been praised as “one of our nation’s most adept racial commentators with a blistering wit” by Punchline Magazine and as “the most promising new talent in political comedy in years” by The New York Times. He was voted as San Francisco’s best comedian by the S.F. Weekly and the San Francisco Bay Guardian, according to Bell’s official website.

Tickets to the event will be available free of charge at the Willard Straight Hall resource center next week, according to CUPB’s website.

Original Author: Erica Augenstein