The quality of American comedy is complex, interesting, and intelligent, with a swell dose of stupid. And of course, comedy is a well-documented cultural element with an important history, reflecting the social fabric in many ways, as via the mirror held up by The Aristocrats. Although the accomplishments of Anglo- and African-American comedians take up most of our comedy headspace, The Next Generation: Asian-American Stand-Up Comics Panel Discussion explores the realm of Asian-American comedy. How has the superstardom of comedians like Aziz Ansari, Mindy Kaling, and Margaret Cho affected the way Asian-Americans are perceived, both as a culture and as comedians? How do these comedians play with the publics and their own notions of ethnicity? Tina Kim, Samson Koletkar, Edwin Li, and Darby Li Po Price bandy about some theories, moderated by KQEDs Oanh Ha. While you could reasonably look forward to a day when these conversations are unnecessary, its fascinating to consider how were evolving as a society notions about race and cultural inheritance expanded with Barack Obamas election (jokes to be made there), and contracted with the passage of Arizonas SB 1070 (too soon).
Thu., May 13, 6 p.m., 2010