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Laughter Against the Machine : A Tour Documentary's video poster

Laughter Against the Machine; a tour-doc following comics W. Kamau Bell, Nato Green, & Janine Brito to the nation's political hotspots. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on September 9, 2011.

Laughter Against the Machine; a tour-doc following comics W. Kamau Bell, Nato Green, & Janine Brito to the nation's political hotspots.

About this project


We only have a few hours left! Even though it looks like we have hit our goal, we still heartily encourage you to donate to this project. Our budget was very bare bones and anything we get on top of our goal will only go into making this documentary even more awesome!

You still have time to be a part of this and get your name in this film. Thank you. All of you!

For a couple years now we Laughter Against The Machinists (W. Kamau Bell, Nato Green, and Janine Brito) have been doing shows in Northern California with a few toe dips into the Pacific Northwest. Warm, familiar, liberal places (except Sacramento) where we were pretty sure most of the audience would welcome us with open arms (except Marin). But the time has come for us to leave our creature comforts. It’s time for us to step away from the land of organic quinoa, gourmet coffee made by bespectacled hipsters, latex-free butt plugs sold by androgynous feminists, and venture into less familiar territory. The time has come for us to put our money where our mouth is and wade into the most polarized quagmires in the US, the flashpoints of American ignorance and upheaval. Like Doctors Without Borders, but with jokes instead of penicillin, LATM roams the country bringing humor to the people who need it the most.

AND we’ve got Mike Paunovich and Evan Donn, some amazing filmmakers, to follow our journey, but we can’t do it alone and absolutely need your help. Filming this documentary won’t be easy or cheap. There are multiple plane tickets, hotel accommodations, safe houses, camera crews, best boys, riot gear, and bail bonds to be bought! The tour is planned, but we can’t afford to set foot out the door without your support up front. We’re hitting seven hot spots (with potentially more to be added)!


Sept 10       Phoenix, AZ             Space 55
Sept 14       Chicago, IL               Greenhouse Theater
Sept 16       Dearborn, MI            Henry Ford Comm. College/ Adray Auditorium
Sept 17       Madison, WI             Bartell Theatre
Nov 9-10     Washington, DC       DC Arts Center
Nov 11-12   New Orleans, LA      La Nuit Comedy Theater
Nov 14-15   Oakland, CA             New Parish Theater



W. KAMAU BELL is one of the fastest-rising socio-political comics in the United States. Praised by Punchline Magazine as “one of our nation’s most adept racial commentators with a blistering wit,” Kamau has been voted San Francisco's best comedian by three publications. His stand-up album, Face Full of Flour, was named one of the Top 10 Best Comedy Albums of 2010 by both iTunes and Punchline Magazine. Kamau is best known for his critically-acclaimed solo show "The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour," which he performs across the country and will take to the Edinbugh Fringe Festival. He recently performed at the Facing Race Conference, the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, and the New York Comedy Festival, where he was a critic’s pick in Time Out NY (“FOUR STARS: Bell finds comic gold in the wide range of material he mines, offering provocative insights into an ugly reality"). The SF Weekly has called Kamau “smart, stylish, and very much in the mold of politically outspoken comedians like Dave Chappelle and Margaret Cho,” though he was more excited that they called him “handsome.” Visit him online at

NATO GREEN, a San Francisco native, was named The SF Weekly's Best Comedian of 2010 for putting on "legendary" shows that keep audiences "doubled over." He continues the tradition of hard-hitting brainy Jewish comedians like Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, and Joe Lieberman. Nato is the creator of Iron Comic, the Iron Chef-spoofing hit comedy game show that packed houses at SF Sketchfest four years in a row and the Bridgetown Comedy Festival 2010 and 2011. The East Bay Express reported that onstage Nato "has a knack for pushing boundaries," the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that Nato "had the hordes howling." Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket said, “Righteous and hilarious, bracing and a hoot, Nato Green is like finding a shot of bourbon at your co-worker's stupid vegan potluck.” His website is

JANINE BRITO started doing standup comedy in St. Louis and has performed at clubs and theaters throughout the US and Hong Kong. A rising star on the San Francisco scene, she is a regular at the Punch Line, winner of the 2009 SF Women's Comedy Competition, recipient of Rooftop Comedy's 2010 Silver Nail Award, and was just named the 2011 “Best Comedian with a Message” by the East Bay Express.  A sarcastic, snarky smart bomb of comedy funk straight from the 80's, Janine has been praised by 7x7 Magazine as "one of SF's more daring voices" and one of "the 7 funniest people in town.” The SF Weekly also called her “a mean lesbian,” but she’s pretty sure that they meant it in a good way.


Phoenix, AZ

From Sheriff Joe Arpaio, to banning ethnic studies, to the fact that it’s now so illegal to be Mexican that people are putting ketchup on their tacos, Arizona is now the heavyweight champion of crazy. Arizona has gotten too weird for people from Florida. Even Alabama is keeping its distance.

Chicago, IL

Chicago isn't normally thought of as a political hotspot, but it's the City that elevated improv, blues, community organizing, machine politics, anthropology, and the inspiring (and successful) Republic Windows & Doors factory occupation in 2008. And we all have family connections here.

Dearborn/Detroit, MI

Dearborn is home to America’s largest Muslim community. LATM will prove once and for all that Islam is no scarier than Christianity...OK, good point. It’s probably way less scary. Meanwhile, is Detroit a decaying carcass of a rusty metropolis, or is something being born here more exciting than Eminem’s kids?

Madison, WI

Republican Governor Scott Walker’s attempts to eliminate union rights for public workers have galvanized a student-labor movement to save the state. Governor Walker’s hubris may turn Wisconsin into the Waterloo of the Tea Party. But first the Tea Party will have to look up the word “Waterloo.”

Washington, DC

We’ll visit the people who live in the seat of our democracy, the denizens of the capital of the world’s last superpower...ok most recent superpower, until China decides to collect. DC is where even baristas have lobbyists. PS – Let’s see if we can get that President guy to show up. He’s supposed to have such a good sense of humor...

New Orleans, LA

Remember how New Orleans was destroyed by a hurricane and everybody said it would be rebuilt so college kids could keep getting drunk for Mardi Gras? And then remember how Kanye West called George W. out on TV? And then we got a black president? Everything must be back to normal down there now right? Hey, what’s that black spot in the ocean?

Oakland, CA

Here we’ll perform for people who have a nice view of the most liberal city in the country, while experiencing crushing poverty, crime, and that rapid displacement of black people known as gentrification. LATM comes home to Oakland, bringing back the wisdom of our travels and lessons from the American heartland.


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  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    110 backers

    a warm fuzzy feeling for helping us make a great movie + exclusive updates about the film and tour + your name in the “special thanks” of our movie and website!

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    82 backers

    all of the above + an autographed copy of W. Kamau Bell’s “Face Full of Flour” (named one of the Top 10 Best Comedy Albums of 2010 by iTunes and Punchline Magazine).

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    89 backers

    all of the above + a special edition DVD of the film, autographed by Kamau, Nato & Janine + we will send you a personalized postcard from the road!

  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    17 backers

    all the above + a special edition Laughter Against the Machine poster (pictured here:, from acclaimed designer Dimitri Drjuchin, autographed by the artist and by Kamau, Nato and Janine and special tour guests!

  • You selected
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    30 backers

    all of the above + LATM friend Boots Riley (frontman for The Coup and Streetsweeper Social Club) will help us record a song that includes your name, which we will put on YouTube.

  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    6 backers

    all the above + Janine will write and record a personalized cat-themed ditty for your beloved feline pet, or a personalized “hate poem” for the ridiculous/entitled group of your choice and post it on YouTube + Nato will send you a photo of his "package."

  • You selected
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    7 backers

    all of the above + 2 tickets to a LATM show of your choice (travel costs not included) and a shout out at that show proving to everyone else in the room how down you are with LATM!

  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    2 backers

    all of the above + LATM will take you and a guest out for a fancy cocktail after the show (Location chosen by LATM gourmand, Nato Green. Pre-requisite: Must be in same town as the group.)

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers

    all of the above + Kamau will read and post a 500 word review of a book written by the reality star of your choice (Snooki, The Situation, one of the Khardashians, Tila Tequila, etc.) + an autographed copy of an album or other memorabilia from LATM friend Vernon Reid (2 time Grammy Award winner and founder of the seminal rock band Living Colour)

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    1 backer

    all of the above + one or more members of LATM will cook dinner for you and up to 7 more people on a mutually agreeable date and location. Some of us are really really good cooks. It’ll be like a nineteenth-century salon.

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    0 backers

    all of the above + two tickets and meet & greet passes to a Margaret Cho (friend of LATM!) show of your choice (excluding festival appearances) + artist and LATM friend Dimitri Drjuchin will design a one of a kind illustration of you based on a submitted photograph. Come on people - this is priceless! Check out his work here:

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    all of the above + Associate Producer credit in our film, and isn’t credit for our good works all any of us really wants?

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    0 backers

    all of the above + we will get ourselves on a plane and come to your house or workplace or school (as long as it is in the 50 United States) and do a private show for you and your friends/family/colleagues/animal companions. PLEASE BE FROM HAWAII OR SOME PLACE TROPICAL IF POSSIBLE.

Funding period

- (60 days)