In this week’s cover story, about W. Kamau Bell and his hilarious progressive talk show’s leap to a four-nights-a-week broadcast schedule, we found excuses to throw in lots of videos of Totally Biased highlights– but not as many as we wanted.
Here, then, are seven more great clips from a promising, often-great talk/comedy show that in its first year on the air has combined Daily Show-style timeliness and wit with a friendly, aggressive activist’s spirit. Bell and Totally Biased aren’t just in the business of pointing out how awful this world can be– they’re engaged in improving it.
1. The Tracy Off
Janine Britto, the stand-up and writer, attempts to out-Tracy Tracy Morgan.
2. No More Mr. Nice Gay
From that same episode, the second since the show went daily last week, here’s Totally Biased writer Guy Branum’s wickedly sharp takedown of the purportedly comic homophobia resorted to by Seth Rogen and company at the roast of James Franco. He roasts the roast with such right-on fury that this clip should kill gay jokes in mainstream comedy for good– let’s hope Jay Leno and Craig Ferguson, both of whom still rely on ’em, get the message.
3. Sikhs vs. Sheiks
In the wake of the Glen Cove, Wisconsin, shooting in a Sikh Temple, W. Kamau Bell explains the differences between Sikhs and Sheiks, just after demonstrating how often the media screws this up.
4. Unlocking the Truth
Bell interviews Flatbush pre-teen black metal band Unlocking the Truth– and introduces them to Living Colour’s Vernon Reid, who teaches them to be a little less cool.
Bonus: Here’s the band’s performance in the Totally Biased studio.
5. Anything to Say to a White Guy?
Bell visits Harlem and asks “Anything you want to say to a white guy?” True to his word, he brings along a white guy.
6. Hari Vs. Rand Paul
Totally Biased writer Hari Kondabolu stands up to an attack leveled by Senator Rand Paul during the Bhenghazi hearings– like, seriously, an attack that directly targets Kondabolu.
Hashing over that bit before broadcast, Kondabolu and Bell back-and-forthed for a while over which American city would be the funniest equivalent of Putna. Fresno? Too West Coast, too much of a Tonight Show joke. Newark? “No,” Bell said, “Cory Booker means Newark’s not funny anymore.” They settled on Buffalo.
7. The End of Racism!
It’s the end of racism, everybody! Mississippi finally got around to ratifying the thirteenth amendment, the one that abolished slavery. Cure dance party, “End of Racism” T-shirts, and– inevitably– disappointment.
Totally Biased airs Monday through Thursday at 11 p.m. on Fox’s new FXX channel. A highlights roundup runs each Sunday.
More:Film and TV