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Bamboozled (2000)

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



1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »


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


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 have been rejected by network brass, he devises an outlandish scheme: reviving the minstrel show. This is 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 USA:

$190,720, 8 October 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,185,266, 19 November 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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 »


Pierre Delacroix: I don't want to have anything to do, with anything black, for at least a week
See more »

Crazy Credits

The producers wish to thank ... New York Production Locals ... See more »


Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.73 (2013) See more »


Written by Charli Baltimore (as Tiffany Lane), Irv Gotti (as Irving Lorenzo) and Paul Walcott
Performed by Charli Baltimore
See more »

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User Reviews

This masterpiece left me speechless
11 October 2000 | by See all my reviews

I was lucky enough to see the Philadelphia premiere of this movie at the U. of Penn, with Spike Lee in attendance, and I left the theatre feeling almost speechless. I've seen most of Lee's films and have mixed emotions and reviews of each of them; however, this film is truly a MASTERPIECE of filmmaking. Without giving away the many-layered plot, which must be experienced to be appreciated, the subject is a touchy one --- controversial and poignant, embarrassing and humiliating, enlightening and insightful. Mainstream white audiences ( of which I am a part ) may find the subject to be uncomfortable --- obviously one of Lee's goals here --- and all audiences will find certain parts of the movie to be terrifying. Besides the storyline, the acting is wonderful across the board, and Daman Wayans deserves an Academy Award for his over-the-top role. Spike Lee's "Bamboozled" should go down in history as one of the most important films about race vs. social status and the misconceptions and stereotypes that surround them, as well as being a magnificent movie about popular culture and the almighty dollar. It is alternatingly hysterical, contemplative, witty and violent, and I left the theatre in tears, totally speechless. Unfortunately, this will probably be a short-lived film in your local cineplex, but hopefully it will gain enough serious attention to win the accolades it deserves, as well as open some closed eyes and minds.

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