Hari Kondabolu, a New Yorker and first-generation American of Indian descent, is an awarded comedian who has a problem with the negative stereotypes of southeast Asians and Indian people in the media. He explores that frustration in his new documentary “The Problem with Apu,” which highlights the effect of the character on his life growing up.
"It wasn't like the most clever stuff, it was using an accent, it was 'Thank you, come again!' which was his catchphrase. It was talking about the Kwik-E-Mart, it wasn't clever," Kondabolu says. "But it was that idea of 'You are goofy. You are not somebody to be considered in any real way.' You were seen as absurd and silly."
During this Talk of Iowa interview, Kondabolu talks with Charity Nebbe about his new documentary, his life, and his forthcoming visit to Iowa City as a part of this year’s Witching Hour Festival.
He will be performing at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City on Friday, Oct. 20 at 9 p.m., and "The Problem with Apu" premieres on Sunday, November 19 on TruTV.