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Cool Dad Job: Comedian, Activist, and Writer

Latest Cool Dad Achievement: Scoring an Emmy for his acclaimed CNN docu-series, United Shades of America.

Coming up in Oakland, Bell honed his comedy skills and worked out his activism muscles with Laughter Against the Machine, a guerrilla stand-up group associated with heavy hitters like Hari Kandabolu and Nato Green. He hasn’t strayed far from those rabble-rousing roots. As a thoughtful commentator and an even more thoughtful comedian, he explores issues of race in the U.S. and what they mean to both him and his family. The results are often profound and personal, like the story he tells about being harassed at an Oakland cafe by an employee assuming he was behaving inappropriately towards a white woman (that would be his wife). Despite the seriousness and sadness of the stories he tells, Bell retains his sense of humor. Good thing, too: He’s raising three daughters.