W Kamau Bell Biography
W Kamau Bell, is an American stand-up comic, producer, writer, and television host. He is prominent within the San Francisco stand-up comedy scene and best known as the host of the CNN original series United Shades of America and of Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell a former FXX television series.
Kamau is the host of the live radio show and podcast Kamau Right Now on KALW. He also co-hosts the podcasts Denzel Washington Is The Greatest Actor Of All Time Period with Kevin Avery and Politically Re-Active with Hari Kondabolu.
W Kamau Bell Age
Walter Kamau Bell was born on January 26, 1973 in Palo Alto, California, U.S. He is 45 years old as of 2018. His name Kamau is Kenyan Kikuyu name meaning quiet warrior. Bell is from the white people who owned his family.
W Kamau Bell Nationality
Kamau bears an American nationality.
W Kamau Bell
W Kamau Bell Family – W Kamau Bell Father – W Kamau Bell Parents
He was born to Walter Bell and Janet Cheatham Bell. His father served as Alabama’s Insurance Commissioner and Chairman of Swiss Re America Holding Corporation. His mother Janet is an author and has founded a self-publishing firm.
Bell lived in Boston, Massachusetts in the Mattapan Neighbourhood of the city between the ages five and 12.
W Kamau Bell Parents Kenyan
Kamau bears his ancestry from Kenya.
W Kamau Bell Wife
Kamau has been married to Melissa Hudson Bell since 2009. Melissa is a teacher, choreographer and a performer based in Berkeley, California.
W Kamau Bell Kids – W Kamau Bell Daughters
Kamau has two daughters with his lovely wife, Sami Bell and Juno Bell.
W Kamau Bell Education
Walter graduated from the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and later attended the University of Pennsylvania before dropping out. Bell later began to pursue a career in comedy.
W Kamau Bell Comedian
Walter bacame a founding member of the comedy collective Laughter Against The Machine after establishing himself as a sociopolitical comedian and community activist based in San Francisco.
Bell has been featured in prominent podcasts and publications such as WTF with Marc Maron, Citizen Radio, and Current TV’s The War Room with Jennifer Granholm, on which he was a regular correspondent.
He released his first comedy album, One Night Only in 2007. In 2007, he also developed a one-man show entitled The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About An Hour. It is a comedic exploration of the current state of America’s racism”, which he periodically performs in updated versions.
In 2010, he released his follow-up album, Face Full of Flour which was named one of the Top 10 Best Comedy Albums of the year by iTunes and Punchine Magazine. He wrote “Kamau’s Komedy Korner” for the San Francisco Weekly. Walter was voted San Francisco’s best comedian by the SF Weekly, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and 7×7 Magazine in 2012.
W Kamau Bell Special
Walter’s first stand-up comedy Tv special, Semi-Prominent Negro, premiered on Showtime on April 29, 2016. He released his third full-length album, also titled Semi-Prominent Negro, was released on Kill Rock Stars on September 30, 2016.
He became the Frank Sinatra Artist-in-Residence of Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California.
W Kamau Bell Show
- Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell
- United Shades of America
Totally Biased With W Kamau Bell
From 2012 to 2013, He hosted a weekly stand up comedy television series, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, first on FX and later on FXX. The show which was produced by Chris Rock, provided observational comedy and commentary on social and political issues in addition to celebrity interviews. Walter moved back to California from New York after the show was cancelled in November 2013.
W Kamau Bell Cnn
Walter is currently the host of the CNN documentary series United Shades of America, which premiered on April 24, 2016. It was renewed for a third season in 2017.
In the show, Bell is an Executive Producer, and was awarded the creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program in 2017.
The show United Shades of America was renewed for season 3 in 2018. The first episode of the show was aired on the 29th of April 2018. It lasted for 8 episodes in total. Its last episode titled “Native Hawaii” aired on July 1, 2018. He was nominated for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality Program for his hosting in United Shades of America later in July 2018.
W Kamau Bell Podcast
Kamau co-hosted the podcast The Field Negro Guide to Arts & Culture with Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid from 2010 to 2014.
Since November 2014, Bell has co-hosted the Earwolf-produced podcast Denzel Washington Is The Greatest Actor Of All Time Period with comedian and writer Kevin Avery. The podcast has also featured interviews with prominent actors, filmmakers, musicians, and comedians including Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay, Jesse Williams, Issa Rae, and Ryan Coogler in addition to reviewing the films of Denzel Washington one by one.
He has hosted Kamau Right Now, a live radio show and podcast produced by KALW since January 2016.
He has also co-hosted the Panoply/First Look Media-produced podcast Politically Re-Active with comedian Hari Kondabolu since June 2016. The podcast explores American politics and elections with a comedic approach. It includes interviews with activists, journalists, and scholars such as Ian Haney-López, Robert Reich, and Pramila Jayapal.
W Kamau Bell Book
The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6’4, African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama’s Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian.
W Kamau Bell Tour
- Wednesday, October 17, 2018
6:00 PM 9:00 PM
Oakland Museum of California
- Sunday, October 14, 2018
5:30 PM 9:30 PM
- Wednesday, September 26, 2018
7:00 PM 8:00 PM
- Saturday, September 22, 2018
7:30 PM 9:30 PM
W Kamau Bell Height
Kamau stands at a height of 1.93m.
W Kamau Bell Twitter
W Kamau Bell Instagram
W Kamau Bell On Finding His Ancestry
W Kamau Bell Interview
Comic W. Kamau Bell On The ‘Shades Of America’ And Not Feeling ‘Black Enough’
GROSS: So getting back to your Ancestry search, your father and his family had made an assumption about a white man within the family tree. And this man was your father’s great-grandfather, your great-great-grandfather. So he was a white man who fathered children with your great-great-grandmother. And the assumption was he was a slave owner – that he probably owned your great-great-grandmother and that’s why she bore his children. But what did you actually…
BELL: What we found out was that according to Ancestry, there’s no records of him ever owning anybody. He was listed at various points as a carpenter or as a farmer. He was also many years older than my great-great-grandmother and that they – all we know is that they had 13 kids together. They lived together at one point. But he was never – he never owned her, and their first kid was born while she was still enslaved. Like, there were still two more years before slavery ended. And so it’s a very – we don’t know any of the details, but all of my life, it’s been like this slave owner had sex with his slave who’s your – who was your great-great-grandmother. And that’s where the Bell family tree starts.
And his last name is Dockery, and her last name was Bell. And I was like, why are their names different? And so now we’re finding out that, like, she was probably owned by the Bell plantation, but he’s just this dude Dockery who somehow comes across Francis and has a kid who is during slavery but then has 12 more kids after that. So they clearly had a relationship. They lived together at one point. And then at one point, they weren’t living together, but they were apparently, according to Ancestry, living on adjacent plots of land, so maybe they were still technically living together. But after – but once, like, slavery ends and for a while things get a little bit better weirdly in the South, but then it gets worse that maybe they felt like they couldn’t stay in the same house.
GROSS: And they certainly couldn’t have been married because it wouldn’t have been legal.
BELL: No, no, no, no.
GROSS: And so what was it like for you to see that document?
BELL: The documents that really hit me were the ones where members of our family were being counted as property. And they were sort of tick marks on a piece of paper – not with their names attached, but like we know through the records that this person owned your family members. And this tick mark here accounts for one of your – like your great, great grandmother. That’s the stuff that really shook me because they call it the African-American brick wall because you can’t really get much further past slavery because nobody’s names are attached to them. They’re just, again, they’re just property.
And so for me, that’s the stuff that really just sort of sickened my stomach. It’s like, you know, my wife, who is white – and as I’ve talked about a lot – you know, can trace her heritage back as far to like the old countries like Italy and Portugal and, you know, Ireland and England. Whereas mine, for the most part, is going to end in the South. You know, we’re not going to be able to get much further back than that other than the DNA telling you where your DNA comes from.
GROSS: What about the DNA? Did you find out your DNA and was it meaningful for you?
BELL: Yeah. For me, it’s weird. For my dad and my mom, finding out the family stories was the stuff that they were really interested in because these are names they’ve had their whole lives and ideas of how people lived that have been formed in their head for a long time. But for me, the DNA was the fascinating stuff because it’s just sort of like, on one level, I was always sort of weirdly afraid of finding out about the DNA because I feel like I’d seen so many black people like flip out when they found out they were more European than they expected they were, like, you know, what does that mean?
And so for me, I was just like, I know I’m black. You know, the DNA can say I’m 100 percent Chinese, but it’s not going to change my lived experience. But once I sat there and saw it and you see like a map of Africa and you see all the different places that your DNA pops up and then you also see something that says that 1 percent Scandinavian, you’re like, what? Who? Like, where did that come from?
I just – it just feels – it’s super interesting to me and, you know, also funny to me because apparently, most black people in the country are 75 percent, you know, from Africa. And according to my DNA, I’m like 73 percent from Africa. And it’s funny to me because all my life I’ve been – I have felt like I wasn’t black enough and been told by other black people that I wasn’t black enough. And I’m like, I’m literally not black enough. I’m less black than most black people. So to me, that felt a little bit like, oh, that makes sense.
GROSS: No. I’m going to say it’s the margin of error.
BELL: Yeah (laughter). I want to go with my not-black-enough theory. It sort of supports my whole narrative of life at this point.
GROSS: So on your mother’s side, there was something I thought was really interesting which is that your great, great uncle enlisted when he was 18 in 1864 to fight for the U.S. Colored Troops in the Civil War to fight to end slavery. That’s an interesting fact.
BELL: Yeah. And this is something that there was no knowledge on my mom’s side of the family about that. And so that was really interesting because, you know, we went to this church that my mom’s mom had gone to as a kid. And it’s in Kentucky. And we went to this church. And in the church, they had all these family records. And you could sort of see that the church for the African-American community is where basically the census records are kept because there we were always people, you know.
There was like a piece of paper on the wall that sort of listed all the original members of the church. And we could see how many of those people were our family members. And so it really sort of struck me that like the black church has been basically the government for black people in this country because that’s where you were a person. But we didn’t know what these people did or what their jobs were. And so when Ancestry found this record that, you know, that he had enlisted to fight for the Union, you know, it makes you feel proud, you know.
I mean, you know, we like to think of ourselves and my family – especially my mom’s side of the family – as people who are actively in the world trying to make the world a better place. And at that point in history, as an enslaved black man, that’s how you were going to actively make the world a better place. And it just feels like, you know, again, that’s not in your DNA but it feels like that’s, again, part of our family DNA.
Adopted from; https://www.npr.org