BLOG POST: "Only One Black Comedian At A Time"



In the year of 2015, who would be considered the funniest black person in America? A vast majority of people would exclaim… “Kevin Hart!”  Kevin has been the golden black comic since 2010, with the release of several films, stand-up tours, and tv shows.  But we don’t include other African American comedians alongside him, such as Deon Cole, Hannibal Burress, Jerrod Carmichael, and Dandrell Scott (yea, I threw myself in there…so what?).  Why?  Because Hollywood chooses one "colored" comic at a time!  Before Hart, there was Katt Williams (who exploded in the mid-2000s but hindered his own success due to drug use).  Before Katt, there was Dave Chappelle (who stepped away from comedy and the politics of Hollywood).  The list continues from there, where every decade seemed to have their "golden negro."  

Kevin Hart, the funniest black man in the 2010s.

However, this is never the case with Caucasian joke tellers!  America doesn’t pick one white guy and states, “This is our chosen one for the next few years!”  Think of the 1980s.  Ask someone who was the BLACK comical genius of that decade, and they would say, “Eddie Murphy!”  Ask someone who was the WHITE comical genius of that decade, and the list grows. “Jerry Seinfeld, Sam Kinison, Roseanne Barr, Richard Lewis, Ellen DeGeneres.”   

Jerry Seinfeld, one of the pioneers of the 1980's comedy explosion.

To understand this “hand-picked” acclaim, you have to go back to the civil rights movement of comedy.  Before the introduction of television, several comedians performed in bars, lounges, and after-hour spots.  But late night TV changed the game, where funny performers made it big from network exposure.  And the first black man to be crowned, “America’s Funniest Black Person,” was Bill Cosby.  People dislike Cosby now (due to sexual assaults and allegations), but he could do no wrong in the 1960s.  He was a favorite on The Tonight Show, had a lucrative deal with Warner Bros. Records, and starred in the weekly TV Show, “I Spy.”  Sure you had other successful people cracking jokes, like Dick Gregory and Flip Wilson.  But Bill received much more attention and love from the mass public!  Consequently, this started a trend in Hollywood, and made people of color battle each other.  All for the hopes of having solo fame and recognition.   


Bill Cosby, the first black comedian to receive mass appeal.

So, who will take the crown once the reign of Kevin Hart is over?  Honestly, I hope no one does! I would love to see a group of black comedians take Hollywood by storm.  Thus, making it hard for the public to choose one king.  I reminisce on the days of Def Comedy Jam…where there was so much talent, you couldn’t pinpoint who was the best.  Individually, you can laugh or root for any entertainer you choose.  But speaking to the entertainment industry, I say this… “There’s more than one black person on the field.  And each of us can hit a homerun, so stop allowing just one person to take a swing.”  Bad analogy, I know!  But you get the point.


- D Scott Got Jokes
(Dandrell Scott)

2 comments:

  1. This is very true and sad; however and unfortunately, times and people seem to never change. Therefore, my question remain the same "who will hold the next hot trophy?" I got a couple in mind, including you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. HEHE! Shots fired at Helem!

    ReplyDelete

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