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Krish Mohan: Comedy Can Anger People More Than Any Other Art Form

Seth Farrington
Courtesy of Krish Mohan
Krish Mohan has been performing stand-up comedy since he was a teenager. He uses storytelling to confront difficult topics like racism, immigration, and war.

Racism, sexism and immigration can be difficult to talk about, especially when engaging people across the political aisle. Pittsburgh stand-up comedian Krish Mohan says he's up to the task and finds that comedy is an effective vehicle to bring folks together. 

That sentiment might be hard to embrace, though, after a handful of controversies have rocked the comedy world in the #MeToo era. While some comedy today can be quick to anger and offend, Mohan says it can also level the playing field and encourage togetherness. Mohan's new comedy special "Empathy on Sale," seeks to do just that. 

"A lot of the material that I'm doing comes from the reaction that I saw people having to each other [after the 2016 election]," Mohan said. In his new routine, he pokes fun at that reaction and gets people to laugh at each other instead of scream.

Credit Rachel McDevitt / WITF
Hemp displayed at the 2019 Pennsylvania Farm Show.

You can see Mohan's new show "Empathy on Sale," at The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls in Millvale on Feb. 1.

Later in the show, industrial hemp used to be grown across the commonwealth and used for things like clothing, rope and animal feed. Congress outlawed it in the 1930s because of its similarities to marijuana. The two plants are related, but hemp doesn't contain THC, the chemical that produces a high. WITF's Rachel McDevitt reports that last year's federal farm bill removed hemp from the list of controlled substances, opening the door to an industrial hemp market revival. 

In the latest edition of WESA's Still Working podcast, we take a look at street work. Hear from a hot dog vendor, a bus driver and a street sign maker about their work — all which take place on the streets.

And, more than 100 people showed up to a hearing at the City-County building Thursday night for a proposed ordinance that would effectively ban a range of weapons and ammunition types. WESA's Ariel Worthy reports that emotions ran high during speeches from both sides of the issue. 

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators join veteran journalist Kevin Gavin, taking an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Kiley Koscinski covers city government, policy and how Pittsburghers engage with city services. She also works as a fill-in host for All Things Considered. Kiley has previously served as a producer on The Confluence and Morning Edition.
Megan Harris is a writer, editor, photographer and curator for Pittsburgh's NPR News station. She leads editorial coverage for The Confluence, 90.5 WESA's live, one-hour, daily morning news show.
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