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Baratunde Thurston

Futurist Comedian, Writer & Cultural Critic

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 Baratunde Thurston Biography

Baratunde Thurston holds space for hard and complex conversations with his blend of humor, wisdom, and compassion. He is an Emmy-nominated host who has worked for The Onion, produced for The Daily Show, advised the Obama White House, and wrote the New York Times bestseller How To Be Black. He’s the executive producer and host of How To Citizen with Baratunde, which Apple named one of its favorite podcasts of 2020, and in 2019, he delivered what MSNBC’s Brian Williams called “one of the greatest TED talks of all time.” Thurston is unique in his ability to integrate and synthesize themes of race, culture, politics, and technology to explain where our nation is and where we can take it.

Thurston’s mind, forged by his mother’s lessons and polished by a philosophy degree from Harvard, has found expression in the pages of Fast Company and the New York Times, the screens of HBO, Comedy Central, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, the sound waves of NPR and podcasts such as Pivot, WTF, and Hello, Monday.

He has hosted shows and stories on NatGeo and Discovery’s Science Channel and earned a Daytime Emmy nomination for hosting the Spotify/Mic series, Clarify. Thurston is also an in-demand public speaker and live events host for organizations ranging from Google to criminal justice reform non-profits such as JustLeadershipUSA.

Far from simply appearing in media, Thurston has also helped define its future. In 2006 he co-founded Jack & Jill Politics, a black political blog whose coverage of the 2008 Democratic National Convention has been archived by the Library of Congress. From 2007 to 2012, he helped bring one of America’s finest journalistic institutions into the future, serving as Director of Digital for The Onion then did something similar as Supervising Producer for digital expansion at The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. He has served as an advisor to the Data & Society Research Institute and a director’s fellow at the MIT Media Lab.

Thurston is a rare leader who sits at the intersection of race, technology, and democracy and seamlessly integrates past, present and future. He serves on the boards of BUILD and the Brooklyn Public Library and lives in Los Angeles, California.

Videos
Books
How to Be Black

How to Be Black

Better Than Crying: Poking Fun at Politics, the Press & Pop Culture

Better Than Crying: Poking Fun at Politics, the Press & Pop Culture

Speaking Topics
  • Creative Digital Strategy That Works

    Comedian and Former Onion Director of Digital Baratunde Thurston pushes the envelope on the latest web platforms. Whether personifying The Swine Flu on Twitter, treating a Foursquare mayor battle as legitimate politics or live-blogging his experience clearing an exit ramp on Lakeshore Drive during Chicago's epic blizzard of 2011, he's found ways to do more than post photos and beg for followers. Far beyond delivering comedy and shock value, Baratunde has also delivered results and proven an ability to engage communities. Tune in for an entertaining and insightful journey that explores the limits of your favorite digital platforms and gets at the very heart of what it is to be human. Ideal for audiences with an interest in: marketing, social media, digital strategy, the future of media, future of news

  • Correspondent From The Future

    In this technology and future-oriented talk, Baratunde goes behind the scenes of his television show as well as his past digital strategy work at The Onion and other companies to give a deeper analysis of the issues raised in his exploration of the future. From self-driving cars to creepy Japanese robots to a real, functioning orgasmatron, Baratunde will share anecdotes, images and a thoughtful, provocative and humorous analysis of what the future might hold. Ideal for audiences with an interest in: technology, science, the future, television, TV production, media

  • The Role of Satire / Comedy in Politics

    Generally, and democracy specifically. He is also regularly invited to speak on The Future of News / Media and to discuss race, politics, comedy/satire and the media.

  • Digital Future & Storytelling

News
FAQs
  • HOW TO BOOK Baratunde Thurston?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Baratunde Thurston for both live and virtual events for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment. Fill out a booking request form for Baratunde Thurston, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Baratunde Thurston or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Baratunde Thurston?

    Booking fees for Baratunde Thurston, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies between live and virtual events. Other factors that can affect speaker fees include the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. The live and virtual event speaking fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Baratunde Thurston, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Baratunde Thurston?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Baratunde Thurston for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Baratunde Thurston for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Baratunde Thurston or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Baratunde Thurston or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
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This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

Baratunde Thurston

Futurist Comedian, Writer & Cultural Critic

Travels From:
Brooklyn, NY, USA
Speaking Fee:
Live Event: $20,000 - $30,000  
Virtual Event: $10,000 - $20,000

Baratunde Thurston Biography

Baratunde Thurston holds space for hard and complex conversations with his blend of humor, wisdom, and compassion. He is an Emmy-nominated host who has worked for The Onion, produced for The Daily Show, advised the Obama White House, and wrote the New York Times bestseller How To Be Black. He’s the executive producer and host of How To Citizen with Baratunde, which Apple named one of its favorite podcasts of 2020, and in 2019, he delivered what MSNBC’s Brian Williams called “one of the greatest TED talks of all time.” Thurston is unique in his ability to integrate and synthesize themes of race, culture, politics, and technology to explain where our nation is and where we can take it.

Thurston’s mind, forged by his mother’s lessons and polished by a philosophy degree from Harvard, has found expression in the pages of Fast Company and the New York Times, the screens of HBO, Comedy Central, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, the sound waves of NPR and podcasts such as Pivot, WTF, and Hello, Monday.

He has hosted shows and stories on NatGeo and Discovery’s Science Channel and earned a Daytime Emmy nomination for hosting the Spotify/Mic series, Clarify. Thurston is also an in-demand public speaker and live events host for organizations ranging from Google to criminal justice reform non-profits such as JustLeadershipUSA.

Far from simply appearing in media, Thurston has also helped define its future. In 2006 he co-founded Jack & Jill Politics, a black political blog whose coverage of the 2008 Democratic National Convention has been archived by the Library of Congress. From 2007 to 2012, he helped bring one of America’s finest journalistic institutions into the future, serving as Director of Digital for The Onion then did something similar as Supervising Producer for digital expansion at The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. He has served as an advisor to the Data & Society Research Institute and a director’s fellow at the MIT Media Lab.

Thurston is a rare leader who sits at the intersection of race, technology, and democracy and seamlessly integrates past, present and future. He serves on the boards of BUILD and the Brooklyn Public Library and lives in Los Angeles, California.

Baratunde Thurston Videos

  • How to deconstruct racism, one headline at a time | Baratunde Thurston
    Baratunde Thurston explores the phenomenon of white Americans calling the police on black Americans who have committed the crimes of ... eating,...
  • What Happens When Neighborhoods Gentrify? | The Business of Life
    Baratunde Thurston, Lance Freeman, & John Tierney discuss the money behind gentrification—what happens when neighborhoods are transformed, &...
  • Baratunde Thurston Describes the Mood in America | Unspun with Matt Forde
    This week on Unspun, Matt Forde was joined by American correspondent, Baratunde Thurston! The new series of the political comedy continues...

Baratunde Thurston Books

Speaker Lists Featuring Baratunde Thurston

Baratunde Thurston Speaking Topics

  • Creative Digital Strategy That Works

    Comedian and Former Onion Director of Digital Baratunde Thurston pushes the envelope on the latest web platforms. Whether personifying The Swine Flu on Twitter, treating a Foursquare mayor battle as legitimate politics or live-blogging his experience clearing an exit ramp on Lakeshore Drive during Chicago's epic blizzard of 2011, he's found ways to do more than post photos and beg for followers. Far beyond delivering comedy and shock value, Baratunde has also delivered results and proven an ability to engage communities. Tune in for an entertaining and insightful journey that explores the limits of your favorite digital platforms and gets at the very heart of what it is to be human. Ideal for audiences with an interest in: marketing, social media, digital strategy, the future of media, future of news

  • Correspondent From The Future

    In this technology and future-oriented talk, Baratunde goes behind the scenes of his television show as well as his past digital strategy work at The Onion and other companies to give a deeper analysis of the issues raised in his exploration of the future. From self-driving cars to creepy Japanese robots to a real, functioning orgasmatron, Baratunde will share anecdotes, images and a thoughtful, provocative and humorous analysis of what the future might hold. Ideal for audiences with an interest in: technology, science, the future, television, TV production, media

  • The Role of Satire / Comedy in Politics

    Generally, and democracy specifically. He is also regularly invited to speak on The Future of News / Media and to discuss race, politics, comedy/satire and the media.

  • Digital Future & Storytelling

FAQs on booking Baratunde Thurston

  • How to book Baratunde Thurston?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Baratunde Thurston for both live and virtual events for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment. Fill out a booking request form for Baratunde Thurston, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Baratunde Thurston or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Baratunde Thurston?

    Booking fees for Baratunde Thurston, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies between live and virtual events. Other factors that can affect speaker fees include the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. The live and virtual event speaking fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Baratunde Thurston, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Baratunde Thurston?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Baratunde Thurston for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Baratunde Thurston for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Baratunde Thurston or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Baratunde Thurston or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Baratunde Thurston is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Baratunde Thurston for your event is $20,000 - $30,000. Baratunde Thurston generally travels from Brooklyn, NY, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Bakari Sellers, Daymond John, Hill Harper, Nikki Giovanni and J.R. Martinez. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Baratunde Thurston for an upcoming live or virtual event.

Baratunde Thurston Speaker Videos

  • How to deconstruct racism, one headline at a time | Baratunde Thurston
    Baratunde Thurston explores the phenomenon of white Americans calling the police on black Americans who have committed the crimes of ... eating, walking or generally "living while black." In this...
    What Happens When Neighborhoods Gentrify? | The Business of Life
    Baratunde Thurston, Lance Freeman, & John Tierney discuss the money behind gentrification—what happens when neighborhoods are transformed, & whether you can afford to live there.
  • Baratunde Thurston Describes the Mood in America | Unspun with Matt Forde
    This week on Unspun, Matt Forde was joined by American correspondent, Baratunde Thurston! The new series of the political comedy continues Wednesdays at 10pm on Dave. One of the most exciting...
    Hacking comedy | Baratunde Thurston | TEDxKC
    This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Often introduced as a technology-loving comedian from the future — Baratunde Thurston cares enough to...
  • How to Be Black | Baratunde Thurston | Talks at Google
    Talks at Google and The Black Googler Network hosted Baratunde Thurston, Digital Editor of The Onion, Co-Founder of Jack & Jill Politics, and author of the recently released "How to Be Black", for an...

Baratunde Thurston Speaking Topics

  • Creative Digital Strategy That Works

    Comedian and Former Onion Director of Digital Baratunde Thurston pushes the envelope on the latest web platforms. Whether personifying The Swine Flu on Twitter, treating a Foursquare mayor battle as legitimate politics or live-blogging his experience clearing an exit ramp on Lakeshore Drive during Chicago's epic blizzard of 2011, he's found ways to do more than post photos and beg for followers. Far beyond delivering comedy and shock value, Baratunde has also delivered results and proven an ability to engage communities. Tune in for an entertaining and insightful journey that explores the limits of your favorite digital platforms and gets at the very heart of what it is to be human. Ideal for audiences with an interest in: marketing, social media, digital strategy, the future of media, future of news

  • Correspondent From The Future

    In this technology and future-oriented talk, Baratunde goes behind the scenes of his television show as well as his past digital strategy work at The Onion and other companies to give a deeper analysis of the issues raised in his exploration of the future. From self-driving cars to creepy Japanese robots to a real, functioning orgasmatron, Baratunde will share anecdotes, images and a thoughtful, provocative and humorous analysis of what the future might hold. Ideal for audiences with an interest in: technology, science, the future, television, TV production, media

  • The Role of Satire / Comedy in Politics

    Generally, and democracy specifically. He is also regularly invited to speak on The Future of News / Media and to discuss race, politics, comedy/satire and the media.

  • Digital Future & Storytelling

Baratunde Thurston News

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During normal business hours, we respond to most inquiries within 4 hours.

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Speakers Similar to Baratunde Thurston

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

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