Episode for December 11, 2020
247 Wajahat Ali and Christian Finnegan
25:32 Wajahat Ali is a New York Times Contributing Op-Ed writer, public speaker, recovering attorney and tired dad of two cute kids. He believes in sharing stories that are by us, for everyone: universal narratives told through a culturally specific lens to entertain, educate and bridge the global divides.
He frequently appears on television and podcasts for his brilliant, incisive, and witty political commentary. (That’s what his mom says anyway). Born in the Bay Area, California to Pakistani immigrant parents, Ali went to school wearing Husky pants and knowing only three words of English. He graduated from UC Berkeley with an English major and became a licensed attorney. He knows what it feels like to be the token minority in the classroom and the darkest person in a boardroom. Like Spiderman, he’s often had the power and responsibility of being the cultural ambassador of an entire group of people, those who are often marginalized, silenced, or reduced to stereotypes. His essays, interviews, and reporting have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and New York Review of Books. Ali has spoken at many organizations, from Google to Walmart-Jet to the Princeton University to the United Nations to the Chandni Indian-Pakistani Restaurant in Newark, California, and his living room in front of his two kids.
Additional television appearances as himself or performing stand up have included “Conan”, “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”, “Would You Rather…with Graham Norton”, “Good Afternoon America” and multiple times on The Today Show and Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and on History‘s I Love the 1880s. He hosted TV Land’s game show “Game Time”. As an actor, Finnegan portrayed the supporting role of “Carl” in the film Eden Court, a ticket agent in “Knight and Day” and several guest roles including a talk show host on “The Good Wife“. In October 2006, Finnegan’s debut stand up comedy CD titled Two For Flinching was released by Comedy Central Records, with a follow-up national tour of college campuses from January to April 2007. “Au Contraire!” was released by Warner Bros. Records in 2009. His third special “The Fun Part” was filmed at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston on April 4, 2013 and debuted on Netflix on April 15, 2014.
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