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

Not Rated | | Documentary, Comedy | January 2009 (USA)
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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
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Franklyn Ajaye ... Himself
Angela Bassett ... Narrator
Bill Bellamy ... Himself
Julian Bond 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 »

Company Credits

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Runtime:

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Did You Know?

Connections

Features Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

 
About time this was made!
9 April 2010 | by elkin-663-500962See all my reviews

Awesome film! I've been waiting for the DVD release after seeing this wonderful documentary at the Sundance Film Festival! This is a highly informative and entertaining documentary! Why We Laugh offers great insights on the evolution of Black comedy from the like of Chris Rock, Bill Cosby, Cornell West, Franklyn Ajaye, Paul Mooney, and more! The performance clips they edit it are hilarious. Redd Foxx, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, all the great! This is a really great watch and it was about time someone address the way Black comedy has affected the Black experience. From the names i already dropped you know you are getting insights and opinions from highly credible folks!


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