With the recent opening of Chuckles Comedy House
in Cordova and the emergence of the local comedians guild Memphis Roast Club
(which promotes Memphis-area comics and stages the annual Memphis Comedy Festival event in Midtown, bringing in comedians from around the country), the comedy scene in Memphis has never been stronger or more vibrant. That said, Memphis still misses out on most big-time touring comedians due to a perceived lack of audience and/or venues.
This Friday, however, will be an exception to that rule as Memphis plays host to San Francisco-based socio-political comic W. Kamau Bell
at Minglewood Hall’s 1884 Lounge. Bell is perhaps best known as the former host of Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell on the FX and FXX cable networks, both subsidiaries of Fox. The show received rave critical reviews and developed a considerable following, but was ultimately cancelled after two seasons.
In addition to hosting Totally Biased, Bell has made numerous high-profile television, radio and podcast appearances, including Conan, Real Time with Bill Maher, WTF with Marc Maron, and NPR’s Fresh Air – just to name a few. He also co-hosts the semi-regular podcast The Field Negro Guide to Arts & Culture with Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid.
Here’s a clip of Bell performing stand-up at the prestigious Just For Laughs comedy festival in Chicago in 2012:
And here he is discussing his “mixed-race baby” on Conan:
Also appearing Friday night will be Boston’s Zach Sherwin, a comic/rapper who sometimes performs under the name “M.C. Mr. Napkins,
” and local Joshua McLane.
Tickets are $15 (plus a $3 service fee) and showtime is 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.wkamaubell.com