All Articles Tagged "comedy"
There are hardly any comedians who have never offended anyone with their jokes.
Comedy is an art form that praises those who dance on the thin line between hilarious and hurtful. Comedians like Joan Rivers, Louis CK and Chris Rock have created lucrative careers from being the most hilariously offensive. But the one thing these funny people have in common is that they have managed to stay on the right side of that line and they’ve created comedy that comments on disparaging social and racial injustice.
Oh, that thin line. Just beyond it—you know, when you’ve gone too far—is sexism, racism and all the other –isms that rip us apart. While there are some comedians who know how to stay on the right side of that line, there’s still a few who boldly jump over it.
In 2015, there will be more new TV shows, movies, comedy tours, and Youtube channels featuring Black comedians than ever before. Let’s take a look at the 15 black comedians to watch out for this year.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 12 years since Chappelle’s Show first aired. With its crazy cast of characters and skits, including Prince and his love of basketball and pancakes, Chappelle’s Show instantly became one of the most quotable shows of all time.
The commentary was so light-years ahead of its time that it blessed us with some psychic-like insight.
As Dave Chappelle continues to make a strong comeback, let us take a look back at the 10 times Chappelle’s Show predicted the future.
We Can’t Take A Joke Because This Is Our Life: Woman Goes All The Way In On Steve Harvey For Special Needs Joke
I might be one of the few Black women in my circle and among circles like mine that actually doesn’t have a huge problem with Steve Harvey. Sure, I find his relationship advice a bit trite and some of his observations dismissive and offensive; but I also think he’s funny most of the time. And having seen what he does with young men and the mentoring he does at Disney every year, I see the good in him as well.
So yeah, Steve Harvey is problematic for sure. But honestly, he reminds me of a lot of Black men in his age range.
But when someone’s egregiously wrong, you just can’t ride for that.
And that’s what happened last week when Harvey, playing on of his characters, Sister Odell, started telling a story about a 34-year-old woman with a mental disability, complete with offensive noises and more.
Well, one mother, whose daughter is on the Autism spectrum was not happy about it. At.all. And after she dropped her children off at school that morning, she recorded this impassioned video message for Mr. Harvey and comedians like him.
I’ll transcribe some excerpts, but it’s best to watch the full nearly five minute video to get the full perspective.
For those who can’t watch, here are some of the highlights:
This is now my fourth time recording this video because I’m trying to keep it clean. I’m so pissed, it’s been laced with profanities. I want this video to be shared so I’m trying to keep it as clean as possible.
She describes the offense:
This morning, Steve Harvey, as Sister Odell, made a “joke” about Easter Sunday and going to church and something to the affect of the sister next to me has a daughter who is slow and she’s always blowing bubbles in the service. And then Shirley and all his crew are laughing…And then he says, ‘Oh yeah, they dress her in little pink dresses, and little bobby socks and she 34-years-old but got the mind of a four year old.
Then her emotional reaction
The fact that he is making this joke on such a public program, that disturbed me… I don’t understand why comedians still use people with special needs as their go-to joke to get laughs. Damon Wayans did it with “In Living Color,” when I was 9-years-old watching that show, even then I was like ‘Damn, this is really messed up.’ And I didn’t even have anyone in my family who had special needs. I was always taught that you don’t make fun of people who cannot change that about them… And over the years, I have realized that every comedian does it or has done it. Rickey Smiley does it all the time. I am no longer a Rickey Smiley fan because of this.
I just want Steve Harvey and all comedians to know that this is not funny. This is our life! I have a child with autism, which is a developmental delay, that means that that child who I take to church, who may enjoy blowing bubbles or playing with a toy to keep her calm, so I can get get the world. That is what I’m going to do. That’s the child you’re making fun of.
Get some other material. Why are you constantly making fun? I’m sorry we have to deal with this ‘Oh my gosh, we have kids with special needs and we’re so sensitive and we can’t take a joke.’ No! We can’t take a joke because this is our life. Stop making fun of people with special needs. It’s not funny. It is never funny. There’s no joke about it.
You have a perfect life. You have your family, you have your millions, you have Marjorie and all your kids. And they come on your show and tell you what a great dad you are…why do you have to do this? You don’t have to do this. You hosted “Family Feud,” you hosted your talk show, you have your morning show. Anything you want to do, you can do. You do not need to make fun of people with special needs. So stop it please, damn! Like, do you need me to write your material for you? Goddamn I don’t understand why you’re still doing this, it’s not funny…
And then she gets cut off.
According to the description on the YouTube account where this was originally posted, this mother wrote:
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS VIDEO!
Please LIKE, SHARE and COMMENT – I really want this to go as far as it can go!
Steve Harvey may not see it, nor even care to hear what I am saying, but there are TONS of people who need to hear this!
My phone stopped recording before I was done, but you get the point. (You didn’t miss anything in the end; just me crying before getting out of my car.)
Please help me spread the word to ALL comedians/comedienne’s that this practice is extremely hurtful to many members of the Special Needs community!
There has GOT to be other material out here!
I don’t even attend comedy shows anymore because I know that I’m going to hear foolishness like this from at least one comedian.
It has got to stop!
Thanks for listening.
#autismawareness #specialneeds #specialneedsawareness #steveharvey #thesteveharveymorningshow
It looks like Steve Harvey did get wind of the video…or perhaps the other comments expressing outrage.
He said the apology was sincere but I’m going to have to call b.s. Everyone knows a sincere apology doesn’t offer excuses or rationale for bad behavior. In fact, the best apologies take full responsibility and vow to do better. And Steve didn’t do any of that here. Saying that we all can be offended by comedy at times, suggests that he doesn’t understand the gravity of the situation. And I can only hope he sits with this for a little while longer.
But as for this crunk mother…I actually really like that she got so fired up at the very end. What she said, and the way she said it needed to be stated a long time ago. I’ve been watching “Comic View” since I was child and I can attest to the fact that far too often jokes about the special needs community come up. And it’s not only lazy, it’s incredibly hurtful for people who may know or are caring for someone else with special needs. What’s particularly damaging about all of this is the example it sets for the younger generation. As I said, I was a child watching “Comic View” and like this mother, I was taught that you don’t make fun of people, period, but especially people with special needs. Had I not been taught that and if I found humor in those jokes, I could have been like so many of my peers who took those jokes to school to use on children who did and didn’t live with special needs. The cycle perpetuates itself. As a parent of an able bodied and able-minded child, there are already worries and concerns about your child being accepted and respected by their peer group. I can’t imagine the worry, anxiety parents of children with special needs feel sending their children into school; but also, worrying that their children might face ostracism from adults who should know and do better.
You like your guys small, dark and handsome? If that’s the case, you can’t do much better than Kevin Hart. The Philadelphia native is quickly making his way up the ranks in Hollywood, most recently showcasing his comedic skills in Chris Rock’s Top 5. Most of us remember Hart from the godawful 2004 film Soul Plane but he’d been plugging away long before catching that break. His turn in the Roc-A-Fella Films Paper Soldiers the year before was a memorable one — though under the radar — it foreshadowed his current success as one of the entertainment industry’s funniest comedians. Hart’s stand-up specials Laugh At My Pain (2011) and Let Me Explain (2013) are the stuff of legend, inspiring countless internet memes and the like, all because he’s unafraid to joke about his own shortcomings. Regardless of how you may feel about his current relationship — which according to his ex-wife Torrei — began while he was still married, Hart is still a looker and everyone loves a man that can make them laugh till they tear up. For these reasons, Kevin Hart is this week’s Man Crush Monday.
#ManCrushMonday: Kevin Hart
With his highly-anticipated and already raved about film Top 5 releasing December 12, Chris Rock has been making his rounds on various forms of media and press. He hosted Saturday Night Live and has done a slew of interviews such as a very hip-hip centric one alongside Roots drummer ?uestlove on the podcast Juan Epstein which was, by all means, great. But the best interview he’s probably ever done was just released yesterday in New York Magazine with Frank Rich.
Never one to mince words, Chris Rock talks about some of everything with great candor and an honesty that makes you either love him or hate him. When asked about why some liked his SNL monologue Rock opined “Honestly, it’s not that people were offended by what I said. They get offended by how much fun I appear to be having while saying it. You could literally take everything I said on Saturday night and say it on Meet the Press, and it would be a general debate, and it would go away.” This is why Chris Rock is brilliant.
Frank Rich asked Rock if during his career did any comedians ever hold any distain towards him and he replied saying Bill Cosby did early on. That opened up the door for what he thinks in the midst of the allegations and this was pretty much all he had to say: “It’s a weird year for comedy. We lost Robin, we lost Joan, and we kind of lost Cosby.” Spot on.
At the end of the day, Chris Rock is a comedian. While speaking with Frank Rich, Chris seems to always bring everything back to just that. It gives the reader an idea of not only how he works, but how most comedians see the world, and what makes him successful. In the midst of talking about Robin Williams, Chris insinuates that comedians are generally depressed individuals and that his two daughters saved him from being his “miserable self.”
“Being a comedian, 80 percent of the job is just you notice sh*t” is the most poignant quote in the whole article. The second being “I’ve always said, ‘okay, what’s the angle no one’s talking about? And what if the thing that everybody’s talking about is wrong?’”
Why? Because everything that makes this article-and Chris Rock-great is based on this. As of today there will be many articles and think pieces about what Chris Rock said in this same exact interview using Cosby, Ferguson, racism, and/or Obama in the headline to gain interest. Very seldom will give much thought to the “why” as opposed to just what he said. Yes, Obama was expected to be Michael Jordan and we got Shaq; which is great but people won’t realize it until it’s all over. His commentary on Obama’s presidency (“It’s just his best album might have been his first album”) is dead on. These are all takes on a subject we have heard many times before…but it’s his point of view which is why we are all writing about Chris Rock twenty-six years after “one rib.”
With that said, the angle I have seldom heard-if at all-about race and Obama has come from Chris Rock in this interview and it is endearing. He talks about stories his mother told him about her upbringing in South Carolina in which they had their teeth pulled by vets–not dentists; and that if white people had known this they would have taken their pets to said veterinarians. Looking at how his children are currently growing up, Rock states: “It’s partly generational, but it’s also my kids grew up not only with a Black president but with a Black secretary of State, a Black joint chief of staff, a Black attorney general. My children are going to be the first Black children in the history of America to actually have the benefit of the doubt of just being moral, intelligent people.”
Comedians crack jokes about all kinds of controversial topics. We all know that and appreciate their humor on everything from relationships to race, politics and parenting, but when does it go too far? Maybe when a comedian “jokes” about a subject and it seems like he’s sounding off instead of finding the humor in a situation.
Take the case of comedian D.L. Hughley whose recent comments he made regarding Columbus Short’s ongoing marital problems with wife Tanee McCall Short, and recent weird behavior which may have cost him his role on ABC’s hit series, Scandal.
During a recent segment on his Radio One show, “The D.L. Hughley Show,” the 51-year-old dad questioned the validity behind Short’s misdemeanor spousal battery charge, in which the actor allegedly choked his wife while she was sleeping.
“The star of one of the hottest dramas in the country, chokes the f*ck out of his wife? That doesn’t ever happen. I don’t think it happened first off. Like the time Warren Sapp was getting ready to do the Super Bowl and some broad said that he raped her. There are just as many examples of women lying on men in the middle of divorce proceedings to get what they want as there are men who actually do anything. My point is if he did what she’s alleging he did, she could still get all that she’s going to have and not bring it up now when it damages his market value that she’s going to be impacted by. If he loses that job nobody’s living in Calabasas anymore.”
“I guarantee you, three years from now she’s going to be thinking, ‘Damn, I should have shut the f*ck up…women always running out the mouth when they shouldn’t.’… This bitch was thirsty. The bitch was thirsty. What, she gone go back to dancing? She gone f*ck her money up?”
The audio clip has been removed from the show’s site, prompted a Change.org petition, according to BlackVoices, urging Hughley to publicly apologize for “endangering the lives of Black women who may be victims of domestic violence by encouraging them to remain silent.”
And Hughley did just that. Here’s his apology:
Columbus Short’s wife came up and she is alleging that he had hit her with a wine bottle and assaulted her with a knife. I quickly jumped to Columbus Short’s defense, and I put my mouth, my, my, if this were a joke, or if I had a done a joke that people got offended by I can honestly say I wouldn’t be apologizing. I don’t think humor, as subjective, as sometime as cutting that it can be, I think that’s something, that’s where I draw a line, I won’t apologize for that.
What I will apologize for is putting my mouth on a woman who was victimized by a man who I know, and before I knew the facts, or before I knew the severity or before I knew much of anything about it. And so Tanee McCall-Short, I put, I basically said that she was probably a gold digger and I had no idea of the severity of what was going on. I quickly … my, my, my sole apology is that I put my mouth on a woman, who was in fact being victimized, and that it came off as me silencing victims. Which, you know, that you were brutalized once and then I do it again. And so I am not in the habit of apologizing for things I don’t mean. I’m not in the habit of saying things that I don’t mean. That was a comment I made, and putting my mouth on that woman was something I sincerely apologize for.
So I don’t condone violence. I’ve been married to a woman for 30 years I can honestly say I’ve never physically abused anyone, well, men, but they deserved it. And I’ve never encouraged a woman to be silent deliberately about abuse. So if it came off that way I have to apologize. I don’t know that you can encourage many women to be silent about much, but I want them to be silent in general, but just not about abuse.
Is D.L. Hughley’s apology too little and too late? Or are we being too sensitive to a comedian cracking jokes?
Before Kevin Hart, there was Eddie. No one has more classic moments in Hollywood worth looking at than Eddie Murphy. From Eartha Kitt to Grace Jones and Michael Jackson, Eddie Murphy has tons of classic tales to spit to his grand-kids. Go on a journey of the King of Comedy’s most classic moments in Hollywood:
12 Vintage Moments with Eddie Murphy
Oprah will team up with Diablo Cody to create a comedy based on Dr. Julie Holland’s new book, Moody Bitches.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show, set to be developed by HBO, will pull directly from the pages of Dr. Holland’s own life as a psychiatrist. As the book’s extended title suggests, the upcoming series will take a closer (and funny look) at “the truth about the drugs you’re taking, the sex you’re not having, the sleep you’re missing and what’s really making you crazy.”
This sounds like it’ll be good! Read the rest over on ESSENCE.com and find out whether or not Oprah will actually be part of the cast!
It looks like Olivia and Fitz might soon have some competition in the interracial love race thanks to Whoopi Goldberg, Ben Silverman and Iman and Andy.
The talk show host/producer/actress/comedian and producer Ben Silverman have sold a 30 minute rom-com style show to ABC, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Iman & Andy will focus on the relationship between an interracial couple who are trying to keep their romance a big secret. No, not because they’re an interracial couple; you see, they work together and don’t want people all in their business (some of you know that well, I know). Their supervisor finds out and instead of it being some violation of work place ethics, he forces them to start a vlog so viewers (and their co-workers) can follow their now exposed relationship.
Well, it sounds like it could be an interesting concept. While interracial dating isn’t new on television (albeit still a bit taboo), their idea sounds a little more fun. In real life, people love checking out more personal vlogs on Youtube or other media outlets. Let’s not forget that men and women love talking relationships so if they keep it fairly genuine to everyday life, there will be situations that people can relate to and chat about at the coffee machine the next day.
Goldberg’s partner in the project Ben Silverman is also behind Sofia Vergara’s upcoming show on ABC, Raising Mom.
That title though…I don’t know. Every time I look at it, I think of Amos & Andy. Is it just me? Maybe it’s just a “working title” right now.
Anyway, there’s no debut date for Iman & Andy but we can probably keep an eye out for it Fall 2014 or Winter 2015.
Will you check it out?