More congratulatory than insightful, "Why We Laugh" uses an entertaining overwatch of African-American comedic talent over recent years.

You are watching: Why we laugh: black comedians on black comedy

More congratulatory than insightful, “Why We Laugh” uses an entertaining overwatch of African-Amerihave the right to comedic talent over recent years. Not neglecting to spotlight its own co-director/producers, Robert Townsfinish and Quincy Newell, docu sticks to a safe tenor that raises provocative problems only in vaguest terms. Nonethemuch less, the riches of archival clips and also scattered penetrating comments make the broadcast-tooled attribute a painless watch.

Following brief (then much-reprised, as if reminding viewers after commercial breaks) glimpses of the at an early stage minstrelsy, blackface and Hollywood stereotypes that when passed for black entertainment imagery, pic concentrates on a more-or-less chronological succession of talents who gradually conquered the mainstream via more honest, complicated personae. Interviewees incorporate Penis Gregory, Bill Cosby, Chris Rock, Eddie Griffin and also the Wayans Brothers. Seen just in clips are Flip Wilkid, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, Dave Chappelle and others both living and also dead. (Female comics from Moms Mabley to Whoopi Goldberg and past are noted yet underrepresented.) Gushing narration check out by Angela Bassett emphasizes motivation, while criticism of latter-day “cooning” — milking social stereoforms and also vulgarity — is softpedaled by a skittish absence of cited examples. Packaging is cable-sufficient.


Why We Laugh: Babsence Comedians on Babsence Comedy


Production:A Codeblack Entertainment presentation, in association through Townsend Prods., of a Codeblack production. Produced by Robert Townsfinish, Quincy Newell, Darryl Littleton, Angela Northington. Executive producers, Jeff Clanagan, Rictough Foos.Directed by Robert Townsfinish, Quincy Newell. Written by Newell, John Long, based on the book "Black Comedians on Black Comedy" by Darryl Littleton.

See more: “I Don'T Think You Are Not A Waste Of Space, Waste Of Space

Crew:Camera (shade, HD), Johnny Simmons; editors, Skip Robinchild, Agusta Einarsdottir; music, Ronald Jones. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (Spectrum), Jan. 17, 2009. Running time: 90 MIN.With:With: Bill Cosby, Chris Rock, Sherri Shepherd, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Katt Williams, Michael Eric Dyson, Cornel West, Stanley Crouch, Someven more, Bill Bellamy, Eddie Griffith, Dick Gregory, Maxine Waters, Kwesi Mfume. Music By:

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