Best Comedian - 2008
W. Kamau Bell
Comedian W. Kamau Bell finds himself buffeted, even more than most of us, by those great fartlike gusts of technological wind, aka anonymous Internet comments. After he popped a short version of his great show, The W. Kamau Bell Curve, on YouTube, Bell found himself the target of some confused people. One: "White on black racism essentially no longer exists in America." Another: "I liked it better when coloreds were well groomed and polite like Flip Wilson and Sammy Davis. This negro seems very uppity." The one Bell immediately worked into his show, though, was "FUCK N****RS WHITE POWER!!!" Through a series of grammar and punctuation jokes, the comedian managed to make this imperative sentence very, very funny. "Maybe it's a question," he mused, "or maybe this person is just in need of a comma." (We're paraphrasing. He was funnier.) He stopped short of actually diagramming the statement, although we're here to tell you that, along with the rest of the show and its going-there examination of racial politics, some actual sentence diagramming may have taken place. The man wants to be called an "Americanized African," and he likes his punctuation: Confused people have no chance against real comedy and real awesomeness.