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In Conversation: Scott Saul and W. Kamau Bell On Culture, Comedy, and Richard Pryor

Date: Tuesday, May 5, 2015Time: 8:00 pm
Location:  Show map Berkeley Branch 1414 Walnut Street, Berkeley, CA 94709
Contact: Elizheva HurvichPhone: 510-848-0237 x148Email:

$10 general admission / $8 JCC members, seniors, students

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Join Scott Saul, author of the recent biography Becoming Richard Pryor, as he and W. Kamau Bell discuss comedy, race, and culture. A rare chance to spend an evening with some of the East Bay’s greatest talent and to reflect on the evolution of comedy in response to struggle.

From an interview with Scott Saul: “Pryor invented, more than anyone else, the art form of stand-up comedy. Before Pryor, comedians told jokes; after Pryor, they told their story—and, if they followed Pryor’s lead more fully (as have comedians from Roseanne Barr and Dave Chappelle to Sarah Silverman and Louis CK), they felt free to lean on those parts of their story that made their audience squirm as well as roar. He was the master artist who rewrote the rules.”

About W. Kamau Bell: “The personable, quick comic skewers racism, stereotypes and an assortment of iconic taboos with provocative wit. FOUR STARS!”— The San Francisco Chronicle Scott Saul’s recent biography Becoming Richard Pryor was named on the 2015 PEN Literary Award longlist. A UC Berkeley Associate Professor, Saul is a historian and critic who has written for The New York Times, Harper's Magazine, The Nation, Bookforum, and other publications. Learn more...

W. Kamau Bell is a Berkeley-based socio-political comedian who is best known for his critically acclaimed, but criminally short-lived FX comedy series, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. The New York Times called Kamau “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years.” Kamau is also the ACLU’s Ambassador of Racial Justice. Learn more...