The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6'4", African-American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black, and Proud Blerd, Mama’s Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian

W. Kamau Bell. Dutton, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-1-101-98587-8
With insight and aplomb, stand-up comedian Bell recounts his career arc, including numerous asides on personal and political topics such as why most black superheroes are boring, the casual racism that African-Americans have to contend with every day, and the ramifications of Trump being elected president. Bell grew up in Chicago in the 1980s, an unathletic and asthmatic kid who was way more interested in superheroes and Bruce Lee than football or baseball. He floundered until he found his calling: stand-up comedy. Though his career went moderately well, he didn’t find his footing until he created The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour, a solo show that was a mix of social commentary and stand-up. It not only refined his point of view but eventually led to his current stint hosting CNN’s United Shades of America. Those unfamiliar with Bell’s work or expecting a lighthearted read from a popular comedian will be surprised by the book’s breadth and depth as he details the Machiavellian machinations (and general ineptitude) of agents and media moguls and offers prescient social commentary. This informative read will be illuminating and worthwhile for aspiring comedians and general readers. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2017
Release date: 05/02/2017
Compact Disc - 978-1-5247-3376-6
Ebook - 978-1-101-98589-2
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio

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