Comedian W. Kamau Bell stops by the Samsung Blogger Lounge at SXSW 2013 to talk about his “Totally Biased” FX series, being discovered from YouTube, working with Chris Rock, and using social media to connect with fans.
After discovering the young artist at the UCB theater in New York, executive producer Chris Rock helped Bell channel his penchant for hitting the hot button issues in standup comedy and transition that content into a more traditional, televised format.
Bell reveals the process of creating his weekly show and keeping it topical: “Monday we all come in […] and we rip apart the headlines and you try to chase the big story […] and then you watch the ‘Daily Show’ every night to figure out which jokes they already did that you can’t do.” And then on Thursday, it’s show time!
“We’re trying to find a space they don’t take up,” he says of the comparison to Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show.” “We’re more cultural than political,” he says. “We tend to take a broader look at things.”
He also uses social media to source stories that fans and viewers may submit via Twitter and other online platforms.
“The story of ‘Totally Biased’ is kind of the story of how the landscape has changed,” he says. “I didn’t have to wait for a network to find me. I was doing my thing and I was on YouTube and Facebook.” He ended up on television, but he didn’t break in through any traditional method, since Chris Rock first saw Bell’s content on the Internet.
Finally, we challenge Bell to explain the sequester to us in 60 seconds or less. Here’s what he had to say: “The sequester is proof that the government is run by the same people who played Dungeons & Dragons as kids…and they’re just making it up as they go along.”
We’re streaming LIVE all week at the Samsung Blogger Lounge on YouTube.com/WhatsTrending, bringing you the hottest interviews and updates from SXSW 2013!