Politically Re-Active

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Politically Re-Active with W. Kamau Bell & Hari Kondabolu
Politically Re-Active Season 2.jpeg
Hosted byW. Kamau Bell & Hari Kondabolu
Original release2016 – present
ProviderPanoply Media

Politically Re-Active is a political comedy podcast from First Look Media and Panoply hosted by comedians W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu.


Bell and Kondabolu previously worked together on Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell,[1] with Bell hosting and Kondabolu serving as writer and correspondent.[2]

Politically Re-Active was First Look Media's first podcast, produced in collaboration with Slate's podcasting division, Panoply.[3] The show grew out of conversations the two hosts were having by telephone and backstage at shows over the course of their careers as stand-up comedians.[4]


The podcast debuted in June 2016.[2] Early episodes focused on the U.S. presidential campaign of 2016, with weekly episodes from June through the election in November. Politically Re-Active aired two post-election episodes in November 2016, then went on hiatus.[5] Season 2 began on March 15, 2017 and ended on October 5, 2017.[6] As of December 2018, the show remains on hiatus.


The show consists of interviews and political comedy. Bell and Kondabolu "host (typically left-leaning) guests each week to try to understand the different ideologies that are shaping this election."[7] Wired described Politically Reactive as "mostly reasonable discussions with guests."[8] Topics of discussion have included dog-whistling, private prisons, presidential debates[9] and the Olympics.[10] Interviews are edited to insert occasional explanations from Bell and Kondabolu (introduced by Kondabolu saying, "Hold up, wait a minute!") to give additional context.[9]


ColorLines called it a "hilarious new politics podcast"[11] and The Guardian said of the debut, "Bell and Kondabolu are two of the sharpest, funniest political minds around, and based on the first episode, Politically Re-Active will be a great addition to the podcast roster."[12] In July The A.V. Club said the series had "start[ed] off strong," particularly praising the interview with Kathleen Hanna: "an altogether enjoyable episode that’s also a nice primer on both feminism and mansplaining. If the first three episodes are any indication, Bell and Kondabolu are going to be a podcasting force to be reckoned with."[13] AlterNet called it "a seriously great podcast series...easily one of the most binge-worthy things I’ve listened to in recent memory, and already a runaway hit."[14]

In the first six episodes, Politically Re-Active made iTunes' top 15 chart.[15]


Season 1

Season 2


  1. ^ Kumar, Rashmee (3 August 2016). "Hari Kondabolu: 'People want to laugh to deal with frustrations about the world'". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  2. ^ a b Dry, Jude (27 June 2016). "Hari Kondabolu and W. Kamau Bell Get Political In New Comedy Podcast". Indie Wire. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  3. ^ Kulwin, Noah (27 June 2016). "Pierre Omidyar's First Look Media and Slate are teaming up on podcasts, starting with W. Kamau Bell". Recode. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  4. ^ Sarah, Lakshmi (July 14, 2016). "Race, Identity and the (Digital) Airwaves: The Renaissance of POC-Hosted Podcasts". KQED Pop. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  5. ^ Acker, Mike (November 23, 2016). "Political comedian Hari Kondabolu brings tour to Portland: 'I don't hold back'". The Oregonian. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  6. ^ "Politically Re-Active post". Retrieved 2018-12-28.
  7. ^ Mausser, Grace (7 November 2016). "In the Public Ear: Time to Pod-Cast Your Ballot". MediaFile. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  8. ^ McFarland, K.M. (July 21, 2016). "Hari Kondabolu Is the Best Political Comedian You Don't Know Yet". Wired. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  9. ^ a b Jagannathan, Meera (October 19, 2016). "7 podcasts that will make your life better — especially if you like improv comedy, Lifetime movies or politics". New York Daily News. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  10. ^ Ober, Lauren (December 20, 2016). "Here Are Some Of Our Favorite Podcast Episodes Of 2016". NPR. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  11. ^ Rao, Sameer (29 June 2016). "W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu Launch Election-Focused Podcast". ColorLines. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  12. ^ Locker, Melissa (5 July 2016). "This week's best podcasts: Serial's impact, Vox Tablet ends, FOUND begins". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  13. ^ Browning, Laura M. (11 July 2016). "W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu's Politically Re-Active begins with a bang". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  14. ^ Holloway, Kali (21 July 2016). "Hari Kondabolu: America's Smartest and Funniest 'Mainstream Comic'". AlterNet. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  15. ^ Tseng, Ada (July 25, 2016). "Mainstream comic? Hari Kondabolu is changing the definition". PRI. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
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