Comedy Camping: Alonzo Bodden

“I’ve had a few other comics, including Dave Chappelle, who have called me an NPR nerd, which I take as a compliment,” he says. 

Like a lot of people, comedian Alonzo Bodden decided to get a pandemic puppy. Two years later, and he now has a full-grown Great Dane named Hulk. 

“He’s all grown up and just looks at me like, ‘Hey man, let’s just hang out and not work today,’” he laughs. 

Unfortunately for Hulk, Bodden will be working this weekend as he comes to Camp Bar in St. Paul for four very special shows this Friday and Saturday.

Bodden is probably best known either for winning season three of Last Comic Standing, or his regular appearances on NPR’s Peabody award-winning quiz show, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! The latter of which has earned him a new-found reputation.

“I’ve had a few other comics, including Dave Chappelle, who have called me an NPR nerd, which I take as a compliment,” he says. 

Despite performing on-stages for nearly three decades, and building a dedicated fan base that specifically show up to hear his hilarious and honest observations of the world, Bodden says that he still tends to catch a little backlash when he talks politics. 

“Right after Last Comic Standing I realized that I was having more fun talking about the world than talking about myself,” he explains. “I became more topical and some might say political. You know, they tell you not to be a political comic when they don’t agree with you. If they agree, it’s fine, but if they don’t then you shouldn’t do politics.” 

Politics and current events aside, some of Bodden’s best moments are when he gives you a glimpse into his personal life. Whether it’s sharing the incredible true story of donating a kidney to his brother or reflecting on his childhood, Bodden effortlessly weaves together his reflections of race and pop culture with his own memories and experiences in a way most NPR personalities wish they could copy. 

Beyond the shows at Camp Bar this weekend – which will be his first in Minnesota in roughly seven years – Bodden was just announced as the host of the Just for the Culture showcase at this year’s Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal later this summer, and also plans to hit the road with some of his fellow comics and collaborators from Wait Wait later this year as well. 

Though he’s happy to be back on stage and doing what he loves in a new-normal kind of world, Bodden admits that he still has his sights set on a much more foolproof (and COVID-proof) plan for his career. 

“I keep hoping someone in my inner circle will do something horrible, so I can comment on it and become famous and ride on their crime,” he laughs. “I don’t want to commit the crime myself; I just want to be close enough where they’ll talk to me and think, ‘wow, this guy is really interesting.’”

Laugh Camp at Camp Bar, 490 Robert St. N., St. Paul
March 25-26, 7 & 9 PM. $20. TICKETS >>

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