Laughter Against The Machine – Tour Documentary

First, you have to know about W. Kamau Bell.

W. KAMAU BELL is one of the fastest-rising socio-political comics in the United States, best known for his critically acclaimed solo show “The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour.” Praised by Punchline Magazine as “one of our nation’s most adept racial commentators with a blistering wit,” Kamau has been voted San Francisco’s best comedian by three different publications. His new stand up album, Face Full of Flour, made the 10 Best Comedy Albums of 2010 list at iTunes and Punchline Magazine. Kamau recently performed at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, where his set was filmed for HBO Canada. He also performed at the New York Comedy Festival, where he was a critic’s pick in Time Out NY, who gave his solo show “FOUR STARS” and offered that, “Bell finds comic gold in the wide range of material he mines, offering provocative insights into an ugly reality.” The SF Weekly has called Kamau “smart, stylish, and very much in the mold of politically outspoken comedians like Dave Chappelle and Margaret Cho.”

I regularly recommend his Face Full of Flour album to my students because it’s such a great example of speaking intelligently about difficult issues in a language that everyone understands: comedy.

Here’s a SF Public Television segment on him:

Now Bell, Nato Green, and Janine Brito are heading out to perform in some of the most most contentious areas of the United States.

The list of locations (so far) is as follows:

We’re hitting six hot spots (with potentially more to be added):

Madison, Wisconsin
Republican Governor Scott Walker’s attempts to eliminate union rights for public workers have galvanized a student-labor movement to save the state. Governor Walker’s hubris may turn Wisconsin into the Waterloo of the Tea Party. But first the Tea Party will have to look up the word “Waterloo”.

Phoenix, Arizona
From Sheriff Joe Arpaio, to banning ethnic studies, to the fact that it’s now so illegal to be Mexican that people are putting ketchup on their tacos, Arizona is now the heavyweight champion of crazy. Arizona has gotten too weird for people from Florida. Even Alabama is keeping its distance.

New Orleans, Louisiana
Remember how New Orleans was destroyed by a hurricane and everybody said it would be rebuilt so college kids could keep getting drunk for Mardi Gras? And then remember how Kanye West called George W. out on TV? And then we got a black president? Everything must be back to normal down there now right? Hey, what’s that black spot in the ocean?

Dearborn/Detroit twofer, Michigan
Dearborn is home to America’s largest Muslim community. LATM will prove once and for all that Islam is no scarier than Christianity…OK, good point. It’s probably way less scary. Meanwhile, is Detroit a decaying carcass of a rusty metropolis, or is something being born here more exciting than Eminem’s kids?

Washington, DC
We’ll visit the people who live in the seat of our democracy, the denizens of the capital of the world’s last superpower…ok most recent superpower, until China decides to collect. DC is where even baristas have lobbyists. PS – Let’s see if we can get that President guy to show up. He’s supposed to have such a good sense of humor…

Check out the project and lend it your support. The Kamau Bell album makes it worth it alone!

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