When Hari Kondabolu visited The Wilbur Theatre last year, less than a week after the election of Donald Trump, his fans were left reeling. A lot has happened in the world, of course, since that post-election show, and to help his fans process the events that have transpired since his last performance, the Politically Reactive podcast co-host takes the Wilbur stage once again this Friday night (November 3).
While he understands where people might get the idea that he is a political comic, Kondabolu is hesitant to accept that label, as his career is more than just a product of political strife to him.
“My material doesn’t really come from a political standpoint. It comes from me and how I see things going on around me,” Kondabolu tells Vanyaland. “There’s no special political lens that I put on, because it’s more like ‘I can’t help but think this way,’ and that’s where everything goes through this process of me wondering if something is fair or just, and trying to figure out how to make something painful come out as something funny.”
The Bowdoin College alum feels confident about this new hour of stand-up he has to offer, which is packed with a bit more of a balanced mix of heavy political and social material, while seeing Kondabolu delve into a bit into more personal territory and light-hearted material — or as he puts it, “the silly stuff.”
“I feel like it’s always good to mix it up with that, and I’m proud of this hour I’m presenting,” says Kondabolu. “It has some stuff I’ve never delved into before, so I think it will be a pretty complete hour for people to enjoy.”
And it comes at the perfect time, as Kondabolu’s new full-length comedic documentary, The Problem with Apu, about The Simpsons’ stereotypical Indian character, premieres November 19 on truTV. Kondabolu sold out the Wilbur last November, and given the support he has received in Boston, he’s hoping to repeat that on Friday night, along with a renewed level of understanding between him and his fans that he has seen grow since last year’s election.
“This is a really rich time in terms of talking about where we are in the world,” he adds, “and while my approach hasn’t really changed fundamentally, I think there are people who are understanding about what I am talking about a little bit better than they had a year ago.”