When it comes to Black comedians, there are some questions: What do we want to see more of? What’s in the future of comedy? Who is up next? One question that must be asked:
Who is your favorite Black comedian of all time?
Off the rip most would say a tie between Richard Pryor and Bernie Mac. These two comedians are considered legends in stand-up comedy. Both, Pryor and Mac, are geniuses that made the people laugh despite how many times they’ve crossed the line. They took real-life situations and made them something to entertain the people. Pryor experienced being on fire while indulging in drugs, it’s one of his funniest sets to date.
Recently, Dave Chapelle performed a stand-up that was deemed controversial, because of his remarks about the LGBTQ+ community. Many feel he took it too far with his opinion on the Transgender community. Saying that he may have crossed the line.
According to the Oxford language, comedy is defined as professional entertainment consisting of jokes and satirical sketches, intended to make an audience laugh.
“Let’s focus on what makes our country great. Freedom of fucking speech. You can’t crucify comedians for trying to find the funny. No matter how dark or offensive it may get. It’s like science. Shit gotta blow up in your face before you realize that’s not the right formula.” – Marlon Wayans
Before Martin Lawrence let us get to know his crazy neighbor Sheneneh Jenkins, there was Flip Wilson. He is considered the “first Black comedian”, who was very popular on television in the 1960s. Wilson hosted his own variety show called, “The Flip Wilson Show” from 1970 to 1974. He introduced a character named Geraldine, the sassy lady that always had something slick to say.
Google, funniest Black comedians. You’ll see for every five men comedians, there’s one woman. Wanda Sykes, Leslie Jones, Tiffany Haddish to name a few. The woman considered the pioneer for female comedians is Moms Mabley. She paved the way for female comedians. Although she was considered explicit or “raunchy”. Her style and delivery can be seen similar to notably Luenell.
Comedians that are female, in my opinion, don’t get the recognition that men get. Even in the comedy world, there is a double standard. Women aren’t considered funny by the masses until they get the green light from a more established male or White comedian.
It’s safe to say, comedy has grown over time. Today, Black comedians don’t have to be heard about on the “chitlin circuit”. Now the next best can be watched all the time on social media, like comedian Tony Baker, Tahir Moore, Kev OnStage; three comedians that have toured together and are known for their stand-up. Baker is constantly shared for his animal voiceovers. Moore can crack you up as he talks about viral videos and photos. Kev has his own app that you can see amazing comedy along with his Keep Your Distance Comedy Show, which was a major hit during the height of the pandemic. These comedians are just a few of the ones that have proven that they are talented and up next.
Then vs Now: The History of Black Comedians was originally published on blackamericaweb.com
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