Method Man

W. Kamau Bell returns to CNN to throw 'Shades'

W. Kamau Bell returns to CNN to throw 'Shades'

The flash of faces across the CNN promo spot is instantly recognizable, a swirl of anchors and reporters ubiquitous in these news-obsessed times.

The last one, however, is not the like the others. It belongs to W. Kamau Bell, a stand-up comic whose previous cable foray was a short-lived late-night show on FX.

"No comedian grows up thinking, 'I hope one day to have a show on CNN,'" Bell said with affable wryness. "Blitzer, Lemon, Amanpour, Bell. It seems wholly ridiculous, and yet wholly like my career."

The series, "The United Shades of America," appears absurd only at first glance. What felt to some like a novelty when it launched last year...

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