Hometown: She was born in Atlanta, but her family moved to Boston when she was 3 months old.
Think of: She often gets compared to former Boston comic Patrice O’Neal, who died in 2011, because she can deliver confessional or potentially offensive material with a straight face and cool demeanor, dissecting the creepy crimes of “Law & Order: SVU” or describing how her girlfriends think she’s handy because she wears pants instead of a dress.
Phil and Clara Gona left Zimbabwe in 1990 -- with their not-yet 2- year-old son in tow -- for an education. Their home country was, in Phil's words, "the most wonderful place you could think of," but there were no opportunities for graduate school there, and a fellowship at Boston University was too good for him to pass up.
Just as it had for Phil and Clara, who are now both professors in Boston, life in America offered their son something Zimbabwe couldn't: the chance for Tawanda Gona to pursue his own dream of becoming a professional stand-up comedian. But Tawanda's parents had hoped he would follow their path in academia, which is why he hid his aspirations from them for years. …