In The Know

Comedian Kondabolu clears the air with Ocasio-Cortez over 2017 snub

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)
Greg Nash
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is seen during a House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing to discuss fraud and waste in federal pandemic spending on Wednesday, February 1, 2023.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is accepting a comedian’s apology for snubbing her during her first House run and mistakenly calling her “Alexis.”

Standup comic Hari Kondabolu recounted his snafu in his YouTube special “Vacation Baby,” which premiered last week. 

The New York City-born performer and “The Problem with Apu” writer said back in 2017 he received a message on Twitter from Ocasio-Cortez, who complimented his comedy, saying it likely “[resonated] with a lot of people.”

“If you’d ever like to collaborate, let me know. My door is open, ” Ocasio-Cortez told him.

“And I replied, ‘I’m pretty busy right now. Why don’t you get back to me next year?’” Kondabolu responded, before adding to the future lawmaker, “Thanks for doing what you do, Alexis.”

Kondabolu said that Ocasio-Cortez followed up again with him, but he failed to reply to her.

Three months later, Kondabolu recalled watching the news and seeing the Democratic primary election returns starting to come in.

“I’m reading a scroll on the bottom of the screen. It says Alexandria Ocasio — Oh, shit. Was that the lady?” Kondabolu said to laughs. 

Ocasio-Cortez defeated former 10-time incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) in the 2018 primary race.

“Shamelessly the night she won, I finally wrote back, ‘Oh my God, you did it! I knew you’d win,” Kondabolu said he finally told Ocasio-Cortez.

But Ocasio-Cortez appeared to have no hard feelings about the initial brush-off from the comedian.

“I completely and totally understand,” the congresswoman wrote to Kodabolu on Twitter in a post last week, after he said he was issuing a “formal apology” to her. “This is hilarious,” Ocasio-Cortez said of Kondabolu’s comedy set.

“Oh, thank God,” Kondabolu replied. “You know, we should totally collaborate some time,” he said.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Joseph Crowley

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