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Get to Know the Host – Hoodo Hersi

Over the past 10 years, TEDxToronto has been proud to host some of the most innovative, intellectual and inspiring individuals, all sharing their expertise on a wide range of topics. With this year’s theme, IDENTITY, we decided to give everyone an inside look into some of the upcoming TEDxToronto 2018 speakers.


What inspired you to become a stand-up comedian?

I just remember watching The Chappelle Show with my older brother and loving it. You were genuinely laughing and learning at the same damn time. Also, it was the first time I ever thought “Wow, comedy can be your job!”


Are there any comedians you look up to? Who and why?

Well, Dave Chappelle because he’s my earliest influence and has a great balance of being funny and thoughtful. Chris Rock for the same reason. My mom since she has always been funny and whatever wit I have has come from her. Joan Rivers for her insane work ethic. Sarah Silverman for how hilariously dark she can be.


Do you have any tips that help you work the crowd?

I have a friend who once told me “just relax into yourself” and so that’s what I’ll do. I have been preparing like crazy. Honestly, the audience is there to learn and be exposed to new ideas, so that open-mindedness doesn’t make me feel like I have to “work” the crowd per se.


Name one TEDx talk that had a big impact on you. What made it compelling?

Rupi Kaur’s talk gave me goosebumps for obvious reasons. I loved her cadence, how brave she was to talk about such a dark period in her life and considering the current climate, it is something more people need to be exposed to!


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