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Raphael Saadiq Will Play Sam Cooke In "The Playboy Club"

by Tambay A. Obenson
September 2, 2011 6:30 AM
16 Comments
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Raphael Saadiq has signed on to play Sam Cooke in one episode of NBC's upcoming 1960s-set The Playboy Club, which, as we all know by now, I'm sure, Naturi Naughton co-stars in.

Saadiq's appearance will happen in October, during which he'll reportedly perform Cooke's hit Having a Party.

Just an FYI for those who curious... Cooke died in 1964; The Playboy Club is set in 1963, a year before his death.

Famous entertainers of the age are expected to make appearances in the new series, so I'm sure there'll be more announcements of the actors who will play those parts. In fact, producers of the show have already confirmed depictions of younger versions of Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra and Ike and Tina Turner.

The Playboy Club premieres Monday, September 19th at 10pm.

So, who else would you like to see portrayed in The Playboy Club and what actors should play them?

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More: casting, Television

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16 Comments

  • Ricky Fante` | April 6, 2012 12:22 PMReply

    I would love to do the movie of Sam Cooke and or Marvin Gaye.....

    Peace n Blessings,
    Ricky Fante'

  • AccidentalVisitor | September 4, 2011 10:08 AMReply

    {{{ @AccidentalVisitor Ha. Well aren’t you charming with your condescension. I’m well aware of who Sam Cooke is…just not interested in making a fuss over this casting choice. }}}


    I'm being accurate and truthful more than condescending. If you have an idea of Sam Cooke, a real idea of Sam Cooke, there would have never been a "discussion" between us in the first place. Like Marvin Gaye , Cooke's status as a sex symbol, particularly within the African American community, was undeniable and a huge part of his popularity and appeal (heck, he was Gaye’s idol). He was a babe magnet, a man that made women swoon with his face as much as his voice. That characteristic helped define him. Taking that away is about as off-target as, say, casting a 6'6 male to play Frankie Lymon or a light-skinned male with an natural Afro as James Brown. Those characteristics don't fit, just as a guy that looks like Saadiq does not fit what Cooke looks like. Sorry if that is not the politically correct thing to say but it is the truth. Again Cooke's effect on the African community was once like Elvis' affect on the white community. And you know Hollywood wouldn't dare cast an average-looking white dude as Elvis.

    Lastly deciding what subjects are worth discussing is even more condescending than anything you accuse me of. There are MANY items posted to this site and many conversations resulting from such items that I think aren't worthwhile. Nonetheless if people feel the need to talk about whether they see chemistry between Jada and Mark Anthony based upon a YouTube clip from "Hawthorne" then let them. I find such discussions silly which is why I stay out of it. If you found our objections of Saadiq's casting equally silly then take a page out of my book next time and simply skip the topic altogether.

  • CareyCarey | September 3, 2011 8:03 AMReply

    "Ha! Agreed! +2 for misha!!!! B)"

    Yelp, I also cast my vote for misha in the comeback-snapback comment of the year award catagory.

    The hint of Mr. Condescension was a great opening line. I'm stealing it :-)

    And really, if truth be told, how many people who will see this episode, knows what Sam Cooke looks like, or even cares. I mean seriously, I've listened to Sam Cooke's song A Change Is Gonna Come and know the lyrics and sang along, but his face....

    Listen, Rapheal Saadig has been a talent since his days with Toni Toni Tony, and the boy can still bring that soothing melody. C'mon now, I just listend to him - yesterday- on Sirrus Radio (Heart and Soul). Now I'm a dude so I don't know anything about him being unattrective or any of that mess, but I can safely assume he will not scare women away.

  • Batiste | September 3, 2011 7:30 AMReply

    Ha! Agreed! +2 for misha!!!! B)

  • Geneva Girl | September 3, 2011 7:13 AMReply

    I'd never heard of Ricky Fante until these comments before. I just checked him out on YouTube: easy on the eyes and ears. Thanks to all of you for introducing me to him.

  • MyMyMy | September 3, 2011 2:54 AMReply

    Lord Ricky Fante is good looking and I love his voice. I've never heard of him before though. Maybe that has something to do with it, his relative obscurity. Lousy excuse though since its their job. I like Raphael Saadiq though and his current retro influenced look and sound. He isn't bad looking in my opinion and I'm looking foward to seeing the show.

  • AccidentalVisitor | September 3, 2011 2:49 AMReply

    {{{ Folk are making a fuss over Saadiq being cast? Really? He’s talented, certainly not a ugly guy and likely won’t have a substantial role in the series. Seriously, let’s find something noteworthy to complain about. }}}


    All of those points have already been covered and yet you felt the need to repeat it. Regardless his casting is still wrong even if his appearance is only five seconds long. Maybe Cooke isn't well known to you or the people behind the show but to me Saadiq being picked is about as absurd as Sarah Jessica Parker playing Marilyn Monroe in a small cameo. It wouldn't matter how "talented" Sarah Jessica is. She is too old and she is no Marilyn Monroe. Period. And I bring this up regarding the casting of saadiq because it speaks of a continuing trend when it comes to the casting of black males.

  • misha | September 3, 2011 2:16 AMReply

    Folk are making a fuss over Saadiq being cast? Really? He's talented, certainly not a ugly guy and likely won't have a substantial role in the series. Seriously, let's find something noteworthy to complain about.

  • AccidentalVisitor | September 3, 2011 2:04 AMReply

    {{{ For real. Would an ugly chick be cast as Dorothy Dandridge, nope. }}}


    THANK YOU.

    Exactly. No one would do something that absurd but Hollywood continues its lazy casting when picking black males. Heck, someone mentioned Ne-Yo in their comments. The Playboy series is probably saving him to play Marvin Gaye. I laugh but come to think of it when posters on this site were giving their own picks to play Marvin Gaye they came up with guys who also did not have the looks to come even close to the part. So maybe the problem isn't just Hollywood or maybe it is a result of Hollywood not having much room in its films for black male matinee idols for us to choose from. I hope Aretha Franklin doesn't read about this casting because she may go bat-shit over it. Aretha may be deluded enough to think she looked like Halle Berry when she was younger but she would have no delusions over whether Saadiq looks anything like Cooke. Just ask Franklin about the type of feelings Cooke aroused from women. Saadiq couldn't be mistaken for Cooke even in a blackout.


    Anyway another problem for me is that Cooke was 33 when he died. Saadiq is currently 45.

    By the way I mentioned Fante because years ago when Fante was getting started (back when his record company was hoping he’d be the next big thing without doing all that much to make that happen), many in the media were making the Sam Cooke comparisons. Of course Fante wasn’t at Cooke’s level (especially when it came to songs) but he did have the type of voice and the type of appearance that would make you at least understand why the media went there in the first place.

    Below is a YouTube link to a video of one of the songs from Fante’s debut album. It is a cheesy song IMO and the video isn’t much better. But it was clear that the folks behind it were going for a Sam Cooke angle.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Khhaq64gnks

  • blaqbird | September 3, 2011 1:35 AMReply

    lol @Aphrodite. Keith Sweat? Seriously? I don't know if I could handle that. This actually reminds of American Dreams, a show from NBC some 6 or 7 years ago. They had famous singers playing other famous singers of that era. Come to think of it, the guy who played Sam on that show, Arlen Escarpeta, would be a good choice...but he's not a singer so maybe not. Anywho I'm with everyone else about Saadiq. Great musician, but he doesn't look anything like Cooke. I do think Ricky Fante could pull it off.

  • misha | September 3, 2011 1:32 AMReply

    @AccidentalVisitor Ha. Well aren't you charming with your condescension. I'm well aware of who Sam Cooke is...just not interested in making a fuss over this casting choice. And whether or not Saadiq is the "wrong" choice is a matter of opinion.

    I have to chuckle at your Ricky Fante mention and not because I don't think he would be a good choice. But he's already made an appearance on the NBC show, American Dreams as Wilson Pickett. So one could argue that casting him in a similar role, on the same network and on a show from the same time period would be lazy casting. One could also argue that said casting proves that this so-called trend isn't as prevalent as you think. :)

  • darkan | September 3, 2011 1:24 AMReply

    Ricky would be a great Sam Cooke!

  • BluTopaz | September 2, 2011 11:42 AMReply

    For real. Would an ugly chick be cast as Dorothy Dandridge, nope.

    And thx to Accidental for making me google Ricky Fante--why isn't this gorgeous man all over the place?!!

  • Aphrodite | September 2, 2011 11:05 AMReply

    So, who would you guys rather see? Ne-Yo, Keith Sweat?

  • darkan | September 2, 2011 10:56 AMReply

    @AccidentalVisitor. You too tk words right tout of my mouth. Raphel Saadiq??? Who's idea was that?

  • AccidentalVisitor | September 2, 2011 10:39 AMReply

    I have great respect for Saadiq. He has an appreciation for the music of those times and for artists like Cooke. But let's get real. Sam Cooke had the looks of a matinee idol.He was marvin gaye before there was a Marvin Gaye. Saadiq in an okay looking dudde but he's no Sam Cooke. I know Saadiq's appearance is likely to be short, but still. Look would they cast Axl Rose as Elvis? No. But if a black guy involved any ol' dude will due for Hollywood. TPTB should have cast someone like Ricky Fante who has the voice and the right look.

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