Baratunde Thurston Biography

Baratunde Thurston is a futurist comedian, writer, and cultural critic who helped re-launch "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah", co-founded "Cultivated Wit and the About Race" podcast, and wrote the New York Times bestseller "How To Be Black". Thurston is a highly sought-after public speaker, television personality, and thought leader who has been part of noteworthy institutions such as Fast Company, TED, the MIT Media Lab, The Onion, and the gentrification of Brooklyn, New York.

His creative and inquisitive mind, forged by his mother’s lessons and polished by a philosophy degree from Harvard, have found expression in the pages of Fast Company, the screens of HBO, Comedy Central, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, the sound waves of NPR and podcasts, including "Our National Conversation About Conversations About Race", which he co-founded. He has hosted shows and stories on NatGeo, Discovery's Science Channel, Yahoo, AOL, YouTube, and Pivot TV. In 2016 he hosted a special three-part PBS series of TED Talks and earned a Daytime Emmy nomination for the Spotify/Mic series, "Clarify".

Far from simply appearing in media, Baratunde is also helping 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"Jack & Jill Politics" , a black political blog whose coverage of the 2008 Democratic National Convention has been archived by the Library of Congress.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" and Supervising Producer for digital expansion at "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah".

In 2012, he co-founded "Cultivated Wit", a comedic digital company on a quest to merge comedy and technology into a new genre of creative expression, with Brian Janosch and Craig Cannon. The company produces Comedy Hack Day during which developers and comedians collaborate to make intentionally funny tech projects that humanize technology while offering social commentary on the world at large.

Thurston was nominated for the Bill Hicks Award for Thought Provoking Comedy. The Root named him to its list of 100 most influential African Americans, and Fast Company listed him as one of the 100 Most Creative People In Business.

He has advised the Obama White House and serves on the National Board of BUILD, an organization that uses entrepreneurship-based experiential learning to propel underserved youth through high school on to college and career success. He also serves as a mayoral appointee to the Brooklyn Public Library board of trustees.

Contact a speaker booking agent to check availability on Baratunde Thurston and other top speakers and celebrities.

Baratunde Thurston Videos

How to deconstruct racism, one headline at a time | Baratunde Thurston
What Happens When Neighborhoods Gentrify? | The Business of Life
Baratunde Thurston Describes the Mood in America

How to book Baratunde Thurston?

Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Baratunde Thurston for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment 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. 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 according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker 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 Viola Davis, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Rashida Jones and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Baratunde Thurston for an upcoming event.

Baratunde Thurston Videos

How to deconstruct racism, one headline at a time | Baratunde Thurston
What Happens When Neighborhoods Gentrify? | The Business of Life
Baratunde Thurston Describes the Mood in America
Hacking comedy | Baratunde Thurston | TEDxKC
Baratunde Thurston: "How to Be Black" | Talks at Google

Baratunde Thurston Speaking Topics

  • Digital Future & Storytelling

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

Baratunde Thurston News


We are happy to assist you with your interest in booking a speaker or celebrity for your event, your organization, and the type of talent you would like to secure, and an agent will be in touch shortly.

Fill out the form below to or call us at 1-800-698-2536 if need immediate assistance.

Tell us about your event!

We respond to most inquiries within 4 hours. Under special circumstances, it may take up to 24 hours.

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.