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Hari Kondabolu's post-pandemic tour

Comedian performs in Bloomington this weekend
Hari Kondabolu
Posted at 12:17 PM, Apr 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-15 12:17:34-04

BLOOMINGTON — Hari Kondabolu didn't know it, but he will always be a significant historical figure for WRTV. The comedian was the last in-studio guest we had on our News at Noon before the pandemic changed the way we do on air news — we wouldn't see another in studio guest until 2022. He did remember that last trip to Central Indiana, however, for the same reason.

"It was the next to last show I did before the world ended for two years," Kondabolu said ahead of his appearance this weekend at The Comedy Attic in Bloomington. "I remember it fondly. I thought about the show I did in Indianapolis and the show I did the next night in Cincinnati for two years. I was like 'those were good shows, and if those are the last shows I ever do, then I ended it on a bang.'"

Thankfully, Kondabolu survived the pandemic, tough as it was for him and just about every other artist and entertainer. "The growth of Zoom during the pandemic, the fact I was able to do shows for money via Zoom was surreal. Doing this show where you're getting paid, and the audience doesn't know whether you're wearing pants or not is very bizarre." (Hari was wearing pants, in case you're wondering)

You probably best know Kondabolu for a film he wrote and starred in that's still generating controversy five years after its release. "The Problem With Apu" was a TruTV documentary chronicling the Indian convenience store owner character on The Simpsons, voiced for decades by a white actor. Hari is also a regular on the NPR game show "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," and he has done two successful projects with fellow comedian and friend W. Kamau Bell; the former FX show "Totally Biased" and the podcast "Politically Reactive."

Politics has always been part of Kondabolu's comedy, but given the current polarized climate — and the recent incident at the Oscars between Will Smith and Chris Rock, he says something happening to him on stage is in the back of his mind. "As much as I understand Will Smith's anger, I hate to see audience members get on stage and attack a comedian. I certainly say things that some people love and some people absolutely hate, and I would hate for that to happen to me."

There's more than politics and social topics to Kondabolu and his act, particularly since he became a parent during the pandemic. "He's not a pandemic baby. That's what happens when a baby is conceived during a pandemic. He's a Honolulu Ritz-Carlton baby, which is another kind of baby altogether — a vacation baby."

Hari Kondabolu is at The Comedy Attic in Bloomington for two shows per night through Saturday night, 7:00pm and 9:15pm. Click here for ticket information.