According to the Seattle Times, Hari Kondabolu is “a young man reaching for the hand-scalding torch of confrontational comics like Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor.” Like his comedic heroes, Hari Kondabolu wants to speak truth to power with confrontational and personal material. Unlike them, he does not want to die of a morphine overdose or set himself on fire.
Hari has performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham and John Oliver’s New York Standup Show and the 2007 HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. His Comedy Central Presents half-hour television special debuted on the network in February 2011.
In addition to standup at colleges, clubs and fundraisers around the country, Hari also co-hosts the mostly improvised, monthly talk show The Untitled Kondabolu Brothers Project with his younger brother Ashok (“Dap” from hip hop group Das Racist) in New York City.
Hari is also a former video blogger for WORLD COMPASS, a joint initiative between WGBH Boston, PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
In 2009, he made his major motion picture acting debut in the 20th Century Fox Film All About Steve, which the Boston Globe’s Ty Burr said was “to comedy what leprosy once was to the island of Molokai: a plague best contemplated from many miles away.” (It should be noted that he had a very small part. It was tiny. He’s practically not even in the movie.)
Of more consequence, Hari’s short film MANOJ, which he wrote, starred in, and co-produced with director Zia Mohajerjasbi, was selected to play at the 2009 Just for Laughs Festival in Chicago, 2008 Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal and was a Finalist in the 2007-2008 Boston Motion Picture Awards. Unbelievably, the film was also licensed by “Showtime Arabia” in Dubai.
Hari was born and raised in Queens, NY. He went to Townsend Harris High School and the school’s mascot, “Hari the Hawk,” was named after him during his senior year. (He sometimes fears that his greatest achievement was accomplished at 17.) He also attended both Bowdoin College and Wesleyan University, graduating from the former institution with a B.A. in Comparative Politics in 2004. A former immigrant rights organizer in Seattle, Hari also earned a Masters in Human Rights from the London School of Economics in 2008, writing a merit- earning dissertation entitled “Mexican Returnees as Internally Displaced People: An Argument for the Protection of Economic Migrants Under the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.” This is, by far, the least funny thing he’s ever written.