Stand-up star Hari Kondabolu’s late-night debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live made waves last week (Sepia, The Stranger , NerdNYC).

But the comedian’s day job is actually far from being “funny.”

Kondabolu, a Bowdoin College graduate, recently spoke to his alumni magazine about working in Seattle for Hate Free Zone, a non-profit, founded after 9/11, to help immigrant communities cope with intolerance and backlash. Kondabolu describes the work as “depressing and tiring, but inspiring when it works out.”

Kondabolu’s routines are often based on what it means to be desi in America. Check out his take on speaking Telugu:

February 26, 2007
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  1. February 26, 2007, 5:06 pm Pavani

    Ha. The incident he describes rings true. But (and I wonder if this is what some of the YouTube comments were about), I’m not used to hearing the word Telugu pronounced with a sharp T (more of a soft T/th sound), even if Merriam Webster goes with his way. Either way, he’s quite funny.