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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pandora Launches Comedy Stations, Letting W. Kamau Bell Find Out Who He's Like

Posted By on Wed, May 11, 2011 at 3:04 PM


Pandora is doing comedy now!!! With Pandora doing comedy, we have almost created a Utopia on earth. We've got iPad 2s, electric cars being made by American car companies, and Cee-lo is on TV every week. No wonder the world is coming to an end on May 21. Humanity has got nothing left to do.

Full disclosure: I briefly worked at Pandora on this project, and I can't legally tell you exactly what I did there, but it was somewhere between the areas of "Hey, guys! Pandora should do comedy!" and "Ooooh, shiny!"

But I can tell you that I had very little to do with the space magic that makes this awesome. Comedy on Pandora works just like music on Pandora. You type in the name of your favorite comic or comedy track name, and Pandora creates a station based on the qualities it says define that comedian or track.


Since I have two CDs out (ONE NIGht ONLY and Face Full of Flour), as an experiment, I am going to enter, HORROR OF HORRORS, my own name. I'm going to listen to five tracks, and we're going to see what happens when I find out who I am like and why I am like them. Can you even create your own Pandora station based on your own name? Will that create a rip in the space-time continuum? Well, I'm doing it anyway. My only rule is no thumbing up or down. I just gotta take what I get.

Okay, apparently W. Kamau Bell is similar comedically to Mr. Paul Mooney, Godfrey, Aries Spears, Eddie Griffin, and Alonzo Bodden. One out of five ain't bad. Oh, wait. Yes it is. Nothing against the dudes on that list, I guess I was just hoping to find I was similar to Mr. Paul Mooney, Bill Hicks, Lenny Bruce, young Malcolm X, and the unreleased Bill Cosby CD that he recorded a couple of years ago when he went on that tour chastising single moms.

1. Artist -- W. Kamau Bell, Track Name -- "Where's Chicago? & Californ-YO!"

This is a track from my first CD which was really just a bootleg that I recorded and released as a CD. These two jokes were a STAPLE of my act. It's a bit like looking at baby pictures of myself, except the pictures talk and for some reason I thought the word "titties" was funny.

When I ask Pandora why it played this track, it says, "Based on what you've told us so far, we're playing this track because it features hostile comedy, subject explorations, a sarcastic delivery, location/situation jokes, and satirical observations." Yeah, that's me. Except recently I've taken out the "location/situation" parts of my jokes so I can focus more on the "hostile comedy" parts.*

2. Artist -- Dan Cummins, Track Name -- "Establish the Alpha Male"

Me and Dan met at the Just for Laughs Festival. And people were always confusing us for each other.** When I ask Pandora why they played this track it says that we both have a "self-satisfied delivery." HEY, PANDORA, BE NICE! You're right, though.

3. Artist -- Hal Sparks, Track Name - "Held a Lot of Hair"

Hal Sparks? Okay, now you're confusing me, Pandora. Hal Sparks is one of the most adorable human beings on the planet. How am I like him? Oh, wait. This joke has a "legalize pot" reference. I definitely have jokes about that, and much like him I don't smoke it either. WE ARE TWINS! You are correct, Pandora. Sorry to question your authority.

4. Artist -- Aries Spears, Track Name -- "Edmonton, Canada"

YAY! A JOKE ABOUT RACISM! I DO JOKES ABOUT RACISM!! Oops. I hit the "I'm tired of this track" button. I swear it was an accident. Although maybe it was because Pandora said Mr. Spears is similar to Greg Proops.***

5. Artist -- W. Kamau Bell, Track Name -- "Tyra Banks TV Show?/Oprah w/ a Side of Eva Longoria & Angelina Jolie"

Dang! I know Pandora knows that I have a new CD that was professionally recorded by Rooftop Comedy. DAMN YOU, RANDOMIZER! Although I used to be quite proud of this Tyra Banks joke. ... Whoops! I just said "titties" again. Never mind.

But seriously, Pandora Comedy is like a magical water slide of hilarity. It just happens to play into my comedy egomania. This is seriously going to affect how I write jokes. Don't be surprised when my next CD features '50s-era jazz slang (Bruce), screaming rage (Hicks), simmering rage (Malcolm X), pound cake (Cosby), and my good old-fashioned hostile comedy (Mr. Mooney).*****

* There goes my sarcastic delivery again.

** Not really. Me and Dan are so different that we would make a good pair in a buddy cop movie.

*** I love Greg Proops. He's like no one.

**** PANDORA JUST PLAYED REDD FOXX ON W. KAMAU BELL RADIO!!! They really do know what they're doing!

Kamau's Komedy Korner is a weekly blog column about San Francisco comedy by W. Kamau Bell. Check back next Wednesday for more.

Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF

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