W. Kamau Bell blends comedy and social commentary with new TV show

August 15, 2012

Maureen Mackie

With all the late-night comedy shows on TV these days, it can be hard to get noticed. It can be even harder when you're the only African-American amongst a sea of white comedians. Somehow W. Kamau Bell has broken through, with his new show Totally Biased with WKB on FX. (It helps that Chris Rock discovered him.)

Bell got his start as a founding member of Laughter Against the Machine, which - with a little help from Kickstarter - toured some of the most politically charged areas of the country to create a documentary on the role of comedy in the revolution. His 2010 comedy album Full Face of Flour reached the Top 10 on iTunes. He's also been a guest on WTF with Marc Maron and is a regular correspondent on Current TV's The War Room.

Called "ferociously funny" by Robin Williams and drawing comparisons to Dave Chapelle, W. Kamau Bell joins Afternoon Shift Wednesday to discuss being the only African-American comedian currently with his own show, his observational comedy, and his take on the media landscape in the country today.