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10 of the Best Moments in Political Comedy This Year

December 16, 2014 in Blogs

By Kali Holloway, AlterNet

In a year filled with upheaval and tragedy, we were all in need of a good laugh.

This was a rough year for comedy. As Chris Rock put it, “We lost Robin, we lost Joan, and we kind of lost Cosby.” But, we gained some, too. Breakout stars like Hari Kondabolu and John Oliver made keen, quotable observations that resonated with ever-widening audiences. Young Americans cited comedy news shows as increasingly more relevant than “traditional” news sources. And in a year when there was so much tumult, unrest and tragedy, nearly all comedy seemed political – quite possibly because we were all in such desperate need of a laugh. Not every notable high (or low) point necessarily came from those easily identified as political comedians. Sure, Stewart and Oliver take up expected slots on this list — but they sit alongside some less expected candidates. In times of political crisis, comedy is often where the most revealing, telling and above all, honestinsights are made. In 2014, these were 10 of the best political comedy examples of all three. (Eds. Note:Don’t worry that your favorites haven’t made this list. This is part one of a two-part series.)

1) Hari Kondabolu’s “2042 and the White Minority”:

Hari Kondabolu was one of, if not the, undisputed star of political comedy this year. A former immigrant-rights organizer, writer for the funny-but-canceled “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell,” and one of the most thoughtful — and truth-telling — voices on Twitter, Kondabolu has long been a provocative and perceptive voice on race. This year, with the release of his stand-up album “Waiting for 2042” — a reference to the year that white people will become a minority in the United States — Kondabolu’s audience and influence grew vastly with critics, comedy fans and activists alike. “Saying I’m obsessed with racism in America is like saying I’m obsessed with swimming when I’m drowning,” Kondabolu says in the clip below, a sentence that has recently found a home on signs carried in protests around the country.


2) Jon Stewart: “You Really Do Have No …read more


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