Hari-Kondabolu
Hari Kondabolu | Biography

Quick Wiki

  • Full Name Hari Karthikeya Kondabolu
  • Occupation Stand-up comedian, Podcast host, and Actor
  • Nationality Indian-American
  • Birthplace Queens, New York, USA
  • Birth Date Oct 21, 1982
  • Age 39 Years, 11 Months
  • Net Worth Undisclosed
Indian-American Stand-up Comedian

Hari Kondabolu | Biography

Host of 'Kondabolu Brothers Podcast'

Kondabolu arranged and made his stand-up debut at a Townsend Harris Comedy Night. He booked the acts, wrote sketches, and performed based on his limited experiences as a high school student. His comedy also included a lot of impressions of his parents' accents. He then attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, after finishing high school. While there, he performed stand-up comedy at poetry and folk open mics and on-campus television.


Hari Kondabolu is a comedian best known for his comedic creations on Indian stereotypes, social equity, racial issues, and political correctness.

Who is Hari Kondabolu?

Hari Karthikeya Kondabolu is an Indian-American stand-up comedian, podcast host, and actor. He began his comedy career after watching Margaret Cho on Comedy Central in the early 1990s.

Besides his stand-up career, he also started a podcast, Untitled Kondabolu Brothers Project, along with his younger brother Ashok in January 2013. After a brief hiatus from 2015 onwards, the podcast relaunched in 2018 on the Earwolf label as the Kondabolu Brothers Podcast. In addition, Kondabolu has also appeared in other podcasts as co-host in Politically Re-Active and rotating host on The Bugle.

Kondabolu has also written and starred in credits like Manoj (short 2007), Comedy Central Presents (TV series documentary 2011), New York Stand-Up Show (TV series 2010-2012), Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell (TV series 2012-2013), and Hari Kondabolu: Warn Your Relatives (TV special 2018).

Besides that, Kondabolu is also an actor and has been featured in The Food (TV series short 2009), All About Steve (movie 2009), Dumb Professor (TV series short 2010), Thin Skin (movie 2020). He also recently voiced as Mr. Walia / Mr. Sawani in the short TV series Mira, Royal Detective, from 2020 to 2021.

Indian American Origin & Parents

Hari Kondabolu was born in Queens, New York, on 21 October 1982. His parents, Uma and Ravi Kondabolu hail from the state of Andhra Pradesh in southeastern India. His mother, Uma, is a former doctor, and his father, Ravi, has a master's degree in botany.

When his father first came to New York, he worked stocking shelves at the original downtown Duane Reade. Then, the family moved into an apartment in Jackson Heights, where a sizable immigrant population covered them.

Kondabolu's father later worked as an echocardiography technician at Flushing Hospital Medical Center in New York. On the other hand, his mother started working in the catheterization lab at Long Island Jewish Medical Center when he was nine years old.

Kondabolu recently realized that his mother's view on life was the source of his comedy. According to him, his "dark sense of humor" and ability to turn terrible situations into good ones come from his mother. 

Comedy and Advocacy

Hari Kondabolu became interested in stand-up comedy after watching Comedy Central with his brother Ashok. He mentioned he used to watch comedians' specials such as Chris Rock, Margaret Cho, and Janeane Garofalo on repeat. 

Kondabolu arranged and made his stand-up debut at a Townsend Harris Comedy Night. He booked the acts, wrote sketches, and performed based on his limited experiences as a high school student. His comedy also included a lot of impressions of his parents' accents.

He attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, after finishing high school. While there, he performed stand-up comedy at poetry and folk open mics and on-campus television. He described his time there as "very formative," and he still spends part of every year in Maine. Later, he spent his third year at Wesleyan University, focusing on identity and race, globalization, and "the effect of popular culture on society."

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During his time off from school, Kondabolu tried professional comedy, but he found the Manhattan open-mic scene adverse. However, he had better luck in Brooklyn and performed at Park Slope's Blah Blah Lounge.

After the summer breaks, Kondabolu returned to Bowdoin to perform longer shows with a supportive audience.

Even though his stand-up comedy career was getting steam in 2007, he was accepted into the London School of Economics' Masters in human rights program and consequently took a year off from stand-up to pursue his MSc.

In 2007, he made his first notable television appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! That year, he also appeared at HBO US Comedy Arts Festival. Subsequently, he did stand-up on Conan in October 2012, and he did stand-up on The Late Show with David Letterman in March 2014.

He was also featured in other shows like John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show (2010-2012), Comedy Central Presents (2011), and more. 

In March 2014, his first stand-up comedy album, Waiting for 2042, was released on Kill Rock Stars. After two years, he released his second comedy album, Mainstream American Comic, on 22 July 2016.

White Audience Reactions To His Jokes

According to Kondabolu, many white individuals don't like it when it comes to race. He says it's not even always about the substance; sometimes, it's just referring to them as "white people." He explained that many white individuals are not accustomed to being referred to as white. 

"White fragility is the idea of when you question white people about race, or privilege, or things like that; they fold because they're fragile because they're not used to those discussions. We've had to get used to constantly answering those questions. We've been required to stand up for ourselves and to force ourselves into the spotlight because no one's going to give it to us," Kondabolu said in a 2016 interview with NPR.

He says, "Comedy isn't Activism"

According to Kondabolu, comedy isn't activism. He said when people consider art as activism, there is a risk of focusing on its activism aspect rather than the quality of the work.

"I think that art that has messages is most effective when it's good. When people don't know there's medicine in it. I've seen enough art that is political where after I leave it I think: That is so righteous, and I agree with everything, but I was bored to death," he said in a 2016 interaction with NPR.

Wife

Kondabolu is married to his wife Jocelyn, with whom he has one child, a son. However, there is not much information about the couple's relationship.

Kondabolu shared a post on Twitter when his wife, Jocelyn, was pregnant. He wrote, "My partner Jocelyn & I are getting a new roommate."

On 9 May 2021, he posted a photo of his wife, son, and mother on the occasion of mother's day on Instagram and wrote, "Happy Mother's & Grandmother's Day. Blessed to have these two women & this wonderful little fellow in my life."

Hari Kondabolu's Wife, Son and Mother in 2021
Hari Kondabolu's Wife, Son, and Mother in 2021 (Photo: Instagram)

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