“I believe in the power of awkward conversation to initiate change. If people shut up and listen to other people talk and go, ‘This is making me uncomfortable, but I’ll keep listening,’ you start to learn things.” – W. Kamau Bell
Politically Reactive is hosted by comedians W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu. Both have major stand up cred with careers that put them on the national stage (WTF with Marc Maron, Citizen Radio, Comedy Central, and late shows). But don’t expect this podcast to be a nonstop laugh-a-thon. There are jokes and plenty of humor, but for the most part, they take a thoughtful stance with interviews and analysis of our sociopolitical culture. Even prior to the 2016 election, season one topics covered social issues like private prisons, third wave feminism, and minimum wage.
Season two doesn’t even waste much time stewing in frustration. Kamau and Hari, along with their guests, “answer questions, separate fact from fake news […] how to be an active part of the resistance, and how to stay joyful in the face of the unknown.” All kinds of artists, activists, writers, journalists and political thinkers join them in their discussions (like Kathleen Hanna, Lindy West, Rachel Maddow, Shaun King, Robert Reich), and the listener is invited in through asides called “hold up, wait a minute,” which pause the conversation to briefly explain terminology or references. The tone is one of collaboration, understanding that we’re learning together to gain more perspective.
Episodes of Politically Reactive are available for streaming online, or on any podcast app like Stitcher, Google Play, iTunes, or Podbean.