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The Continuum of Black Stand-up Comedy, Pt. 2: 'The Original Kings of Comedy'

Features
by Nijla Mumin
April 11, 2013 10:46 AM
8 Comments
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'The Original Kings of Comedy'

When four of the most popular Black comedians of the time came together for a stand-up comedy film directed by Spike Lee, a lot of people watched, and laughed. Continuing an established black stand-up tradition paved by Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy and Red Foxx, "The Original Kings of Comedy" (2000) saw Bernie Mac, Steve Harvey, DL Hughley and Cedric The Entertainer reprise popular, controversial topics of race, Black family dynamics and religion with distinctly different twists.

In one of his most hilarious routines, the late Bernie Mac gives new meaning to "Milk and Cookies" as he describes the unruly behavior of a niece and nephew who torment him with their requests. With his unforgettable flurry of language and tone, Mac manages to bring the children to life, while also disciplining them and directing the audience’s rolling laughter. This skit and others undoubtedly laid the foundation for his later venture in TV with "The Bernie Mac Show," which aired for several seasons.

Have you ever seen the film? What were some of your favorite routines or moments? What Black stand-up films kept you laughing?

XFINITY On Demand™ is currently featuring some of your favorite funny films, from the stand-up comedians in "The Original Kings of Comedy" and "The Queens of Comedy” to classics such as "Blazing Saddles." Learn more and join the celebration of Black entertainment at xfinity.com/celebrateblacktv.

Editor’s Note: Shadow and Act partnered with XFINITY to celebrate Black entertainment. Be sure to visit xfinity.com/celebrateblacktv, a unique digital community built around the love of Black TV, film, sports, music and more. Shadow and Act hopes to enrich this community and provide a launching pad for insightful discussion. Look to Shadow and Act for features and content examining and exploring key themes and topics that run throughout the history of Black entertainment.

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8 Comments

  • Raven Parker | August 24, 2013 1:13 AMReply

    The Kings of Comedy 2 is definitely happening!!

  • SYJ | April 14, 2013 7:25 PMReply

    Key and Peele. Stoooopid funny. They take the type of jokes they could have done as stand-ups and expand them into sketches. Politics, race, sex, gender, humans being human. Hi-la-ri-ous.

  • Ronnie d | April 13, 2013 1:14 PMReply

    None of these guys even come close to eithe Chris Rock or Dave Chapelle; they all almost exclusively appeal to a black audience, where as Chapelle and Rock are appreciated by all races and ethnicities.

  • ALM | April 12, 2013 6:26 PMReply

    Bernie Mac had the best stand up routine by far. It was a great segue into his hilarious sitcom.

    I love Chris Rock's HBO specials. Rims on a toaster, "they spinnin', they spinnin', they spinnin'...."

    I also loved the bit about daddy getting the big piece of fried chicken, because it is true.

  • getthesenets | April 12, 2013 11:05 AMReply

    a few comments

    -never laughed so hard in a movie theater..my abs started hurting from laughing so hard..muscles in my face started hurting

    -saw what I think is called a test filming that the producers did at an earlier show...and when Bernie delivered his sarcastic line about "thanks white people for coming out, you know when WHITE folks come out and see you, you're SOMEbody"..the camera panned to a white woman in the audience who looked stunned and horrified that he said it. In the actual film, they showed a clip of white guy laughing at the line.

    -lot of stolen richard pryor jokes in this concert...everybody steals from Pryor...I just noticed it because I saw Kings of Comedy before I saw all of Pryor;s concert films..

    -Bernie's bit about the children is an updated Bernified take on Robin Harris' "BeBe's kids" bit

    -

  • Justin W | April 12, 2013 10:32 AMReply

    "Where you goin?"
    "To get some milk an' coooookies!"

    Hahahahahahaha

  • Sound Familiar | April 11, 2013 3:48 PMReply

    It would be nice to see Kat Williams, Kevin Hart, DeRay Davis, and Mike Epps do a Kings of Comedy pt2 but I doubt that will ever happen because they are all in competition with each other. Kings of Comedy pt1 they were all friends. I don't see the 4 getting along. But it would be nice.

  • Aswilliams91 | April 11, 2013 1:38 PMReply

    This by far was one of the funniest stand-up films i've seen in my lifetime. Spike brought an extrodinary film to life. He literally captured the essence of these comedic icons especially the late and great comedic legend Bernie Mac. It was Bernie that stole the show. He was such a remarkable storyteller next to another comedic legend/icon of stand-up the incomparable Richard Pryor and another great Robin Harris. Bernie's act was very reminiscent in my opinion of Richard's successful classic first stand up film of his in 1979 "Live in Concert". Now the rest of the comedians were great in their own way but none compared to Bernie's act with the exception of Steve Harvey. If you look at today's comedians my picks would have to be Chris Rock or Dave Chappelle. Both of these men are great at what they do that delve into topics of race and politics. These legends in their own right paved the way for this next generation of comedians like Kevin Hart and Katt Williams as others. To me Katt is funny and is starting to come to the realization of comedy. His personal life has been in the media lately but after seeing his last stand up film he looks to be another great. Today's black comics need to bring the pain to the stage as the last generations of comics. They have to have that poltical drive like Pryor or bring the art of storytelling that will engage audiences from their own personal experiences. So my favorite stand up films of all time would be Live in Concert, Live on the Sunset Strip, Here and Now, Brown Paper Bag by Redd Foxx, Delirious, Raw, The Original Kings of Comedy, Steve Harvey: Don't Trip He Ain't Through With Me, Chris Rock: Bring the Pain, Bigger and Blacker, Never Scared, Kill the Messenger, Dave Chappelle: Killin' Them Softly, and Dave Chappelle: For What's It's Worth. These concert stand up films by our black comics stand at the test of time for what the comedy art platform is all about.

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