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Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy (2009)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Comedy | January 2009 (USA)
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2:20 | Trailer
An off-screen narration, four dozen talking heads, and clips of performances tell a chronological story about Black comedy: who has made us laugh since 1901, what is the nature of their ... See full summary »

Director:

Robert Townsend
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Franklyn Ajaye ... Himself
Angela Bassett ... Narrator
Bill Bellamy ... Himself
Julian Bond ... Himself
Todd Boyd Todd Boyd ... Himself
Topper Carew Topper Carew ... Himself
Jeff Clanagan ... Himself
Bill Cosby ... Himself
Stanley Crouch ... Himself
Elijah Cummings Elijah Cummings ... Himself
Tommy Davidson ... Himself
Michael Eric Dyson Michael Eric Dyson ... Himself
Walter Fauntroy Walter Fauntroy ... Himself
Shang Forbes ... Himself
Marla Gibbs ... Himself
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Storyline

An off-screen narration, four dozen talking heads, and clips of performances tell a chronological story about Black comedy: who has made us laugh since 1901, what is the nature of their humor, and what social and political contexts inform it. We look at minstrels, Stepin Fetchit, "Amos 'n Andy," "Beulah," Redd Foxx, Dick Gregory, Flip Wilson, Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, "The Cosby Show," Chris Rock, Whoopi, "Hollywood Shuffle," entrepreneurship and Black comedy clubs, Robert Harris, urban street culture and "In Living Color," the rise of the Fox network, Def Comedy Jam, and the Original Kings of Comedy. The film asserts Black comedy helps America change. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

January 2009 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Connections

Features Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

Really, a must see for all Comedy enthusiasts
9 April 2010 | by RWfiendSee all my reviews

I caught this documentary on Showtime a couple months ago and I have already preordered my copy of the DVD (comes out 4/27/10). I absolutely loved this documentary, it forces you to look at Comedy in a different light, especially related to the Black experience in America. The film is full of hilarious clips, great insight, and a strong overarching theme that every commentator really brought home. One thing is for sure - this documentary really makes you wish Richard Pryor was still around and that Eddie Murphy was still doing stand-up. Luckily, we can youtube these moments on demand, but we are at a point where there is a curious lull in Black Comedy. Really makes you wonder who will be the next to step in to usher the cause into its next phase...


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