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Bamboozled (2000)

2:23 | Trailer
A frustrated African-American TV writer proposes a blackface minstrel show in protest, but to his chagrin it becomes a hit.



1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sloan Hopkins (as Jada Pinkett-Smith)
Verna (as Gillian Iliana Waters)
Susan Batson ...
Mau Mau: Big Blak Afrika (Julius Hopkins) (as Mos Def)
M.C. Serch ...
Mau Mau: 1 / 16th Blak (as MC Serch)
Canibus ...
DJ Scratch ...


Dark, biting satire of the television industry, focusing on an Ivy-League educated black writer at a major network. Frustrated that his ideas for a "Cosby Show"-esque take on the black family has been rejected by network brass, he devises an outlandish scheme: reviving the minstrel show. The hook: instead of white actors in black face, the show stars black actors in even blacker face. The show becomes an instant smash, but with the success also come repercussions for all involved. Written by N. Cognito <nobody@noplace>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Starring the great negroe actors


Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

It's Showtime  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$190,720 (USA) (6 October 2000)


$2,185,266 (USA) (17 November 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The names of two characters are based on real performers of the past. "Mantan" came from Mantan Moreland and "Sleep 'n' Eat" was based on Willie Best, who was sometimes credited only as "Sleep 'n' Eat" in early films. See more »


Honeycutt: Uh... well, you know. I do all sorts of things, man. Whatever you need me to do. You know, like, I even do Shakespeare and shit.
Pierre Delacroix: Well do some Shakespeare.
Honeycutt: To be or not to be? That's the motherfuckin' question!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits roll over several "coon" collectable items that are wound-up. See more »


References Kenan & Kel (1996) See more »


The Light
Written by Common (as Lonnie Lynn), James 'Jay Dee' Yancey (as James Yancey),
Bobby Caldwell, Norman Harris and Bruce Malament
Performed by Common featuring Erykah Badu
Common appears Courtesy of MCA Records
Erykah Badu appears Courtesy of Motown Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Lee's best film...
22 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is Lee's best film. It isn't heavy handed despite the explosive topic. In fact I would argue that the images in this film are less offensive then some of the depiction of African-American life seen on MTV or BET. Less heavy handed then some of the vulgar depiction of my community that is allowed to be foisted on my community as entertainment. The modern minstrels show can be seen any night of the week on America's cable music networks. Which is more embarrassing Lil'John, 50 cent or Mantan? Which has had a bigger impact on the daily lives of African-American children, images of Step- N-Fetch it or Lil'John? Which are the stereotypes that are used to justify racial profiling in the larger public of the country in 2006, Gangstas or minstrels performers? It is a film about the power and responsibility of black America to control the images that define it.

I think Lee for the first time in a long time had a story he actually wanted to tell. The script was solid if not great. As usual Spike had a tough time with his female characters. The women in his films tend to be two dimensional. All good or all bad. It wasn't a perfect film but I think it will be remembered as one of Spike's most interesting.

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