Tuesday, December 1, 2020

5 Black Comedy Performances You Must Check Out.

November 14, 2020 by  
Filed under Ent., News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Let’s look at amazing Black comedy specials. Most will be familiar, many are like to have aged poorly. Let’s check them out!

Bernie Mac – The Original Kings of Comedy

The entire Original Kings of Comedy was decent overall but the show stealer was Bernie Mac’s set. This was incredible. You might say that’s exaggerated—especially after I said the special was decent overall. Even a good performance would look amazing by comparison.

However, Bernie’s performance was really beyond what would’ve been “good” on this show. The comedy legend brought Comic View and Def Comedy Jam energy to his storytelling and could’ve easily carried his own special or concert.

I mean, he has but he would’ve been worth watching in a time where there are more media platforms, more bids for comedy content, and just more specials and concerts that made it to video.

Eddie Murphy – Raw

The late 8os was a hot period for stand-up comedy. Looking at the likes of Andrew Dice Clay and Eddie Murphy and seeing the crowds they drew to watch them perform for an hour or hour and a half. Raw was released during Eddie Murphy’s transition from TV star on Saturday Night Live to the beginning of his Hollywood  run.

If you’ve never seen Eddie and his raunchy, wild performances, I really recommend that you find this on YouTube or listen to the audio version wherever you can. This is a bona fide classic of 80s comedy and comedy in general.

Eddie Murphy Raw

Jamie Foxx Roasts Doug Williams – Shaq’s All Star Comedy Roast of Emmitt Smith

Every once in a while, we see a roast that leaves someone else extra crispy. There wasn’t enough ointment for Doug Williams after Jamie Foxx roasted him. What happened was that there was a roast for Emmitt Smith with Foxx as host.

Both Williams and Foxx debuted at around the same time—1990 and 1989 respectively—but Foxx was considered the more senior of the two by experience and star power in 2003. Williams never really trafficked in roast comedy and kind of dragged on when it was his turn.

To salvage the roast at this point, Jamie Foxx continued interrupting Williams by speaking as his inner voice going through ideas to save himself. Williams was struggling a bit and it was bringing down the vibe and pace of the roast.

The setting, Doug Williams being out of his element, and Foxx’s interruptions as host really made this worth watching. It just weird seeing someone struggle on this stage at that stage in their career and a contemporary saves them and the show by roasting the person who is struggling.

Comedy works similarly and differently to the world outside of entertainment in many ways.

Kevin Hart – Let Me Explain

This concert was from 2013 and saw Kevin Hart—in the thick of his mainstream success—return with more stories. Hart’s performance style is loud and exaggerated when it comes to recounting mundane everyday stuff and the business.

It’s been his style—and other comedians from his generation—for years. You’d think after so many years with some many comedians doing the same thing or similar, he would do something different. Wrong!

Kevin Hart is a good example of two things: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it and it’s not what you do but how you do it. Hart’s stand up has the kind of progression you expect in hip hop. There’s only so many times a performer can talk about a specific thing the same way.

However, if there are developments in your life between releases and growth occurred the that performer has something new to present. That’s why Hart works and why this concert was so good. There was time between this concert and his last big one in 2011 and he had growth.

That means more stories worth telling. On the list, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain in the company of Eddie Murphy: Raw.

Dave Chappelle – Killin’ Them Softly

In 2000, Dave Chappelle had been in the entertainment industry for roughly eight years. Killin’ Them Softly was the concert that really pushed him to national stardom. It pushed him beyond supporting actor status and presented him as a star who had the charm and ability to carry something.

That something would be Chappelle’s Show three years later but in this 2000 performance he already looked like a big star. He just needed a platform and production to back him. Tracing his stand-up specials from this one to his more recent ones and you’ll see progress similar to Kevin Hart’s.

He also grinded and did the comedy clubs, he got his specials, experienced mainstream success, and continued releasing concert content.

Those experiences in show business changed as his star rose and there was something new to discuss each time he went on a big stage.

Growth is a wonderful thing in entertainment and watching Chappelle’s first big outing is just amazing. He doesn’t bring the same energy as a young Eddie or Kevin Hart. His storytelling here is very similar to Bernie’s: very observational but not super exaggerated.

It’s a style that would become pretty common among younger Black comedians going forward. If that’s the pace and vibe of comedy you dig, check it out. Also, recommend some standout performances and it might just make part two!

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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