on the real side a history of african american comedy

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On The Real Side

Author : Mel Watkins
ISBN : 9781569767603
Genre : Humor
File Size : 64. 27 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
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This comprehensive history of black humor sets it in the context of American popular culture. Blackface minstrelsy, Stepin Fetchit, and the Amos 'n' Andy show presented a distorted picture of African Americans; this book contrasts this image with the authentic underground humor of African Americans found in folktales, race records, and all-black shows and films. After generations of stereotypes, the underground humor finally emerged before the American public with Richard Pryor in the 1970s. But Pryor was not the first popular comic to present authentically black humor. Watkins offers surprising reassessments of such seminal figures as Fetchit, Bert Williams, Moms Mabley, and Redd Foxx, looking at how they paved the way for contemporary comics such as Whoopi Goldberg, Eddie Murphy, and Bill Cosby.

On The Real Side

Author : Mel Watkins
ISBN : UOM:39015032535604
Genre : Humor
File Size : 71. 2 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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A history of African-American humor reassesses traditional stereotypes and offers a new appreciation of the performers

Stepin Fetchit

Author : Mel Watkins
ISBN : 9780307547507
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 39. 4 MB
Format : PDF
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In the late 1920s and '30s Lincoln Perry, aka Stepin Fetchit, was both renowned and reviled for his surrealistic portrayals of the era’s most popular comic stereotype–the lazy, shiftless Negro. Perry was hailed by critic Robert Benchley as “the best actor that the talking movies have produced,” and Mel Watkins’s meticulously researched and sensitive biography reveals the paradoxes of this pioneering actor’s life, from Perry’s tremendous popularity to his money troubles and rowdy offscreen antics. As later generations come to recognize Perry’s prodigious talent and achievements, in Stepin Fetchit, Mel Watkins brilliantly and definitively illuminates the life and times of a legendary figure in American entertainment. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Laughing Mad

Author : Bambi Haggins
ISBN : 0813539854
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 43. 22 MB
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Prior to the civil rights movement, comedians performed for audiences that were clearly delineated by race. Black comedians performed for black audiences and white comedians performed for whites. Yet during the past forty-five years, black comics have become progressively more central to mainstream culture. In Laughing Mad, Bambi Haggins looks at how this transition occurred in a variety of media and shows how this integration has paved the way for black comedians and their audiences to affect each other. Historically, African American performers have been able to use comedy as a pedagogic tool, interjecting astute observations about race relations while the audience is laughing. And yet, Haggins makes the convincing argument that the potential of African American comedy remains fundamentally unfulfilled as the performance of blackness continues to be made culturally digestible for mass consumption. Rather than presenting biographies of individual performers, Haggins focuses on the ways in which the comic persona is constructed and changes across media, from stand-up, to the small screen, to film. She examines the comic televisual and cinematic personae of Dick Gregory, Bill Cosby, Flip Wilson, and Richard Pryor and considers how these figures set the stage for black comedy in the next four decades. She reads Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock as emblematic of the first and second waves of postcivil rights era African American comedy, and she looks at the socio-cultural politics of Whoopi Goldbergs comic persona through the lens of gender and crossover. Laughing Mad also explores how the comedy of Dave Chappelle speaks to and for the post-soul generation. A rigorous analytic analysis, this book interrogates notions of identity, within both the African American community and mainstream popular culture. Written in engaging and accessible prose, it is also a book that will travel from the seminar room, to the barbershop, to the kitchen table, allowing readers to experience the sketches, stand-up, and film comedies with all the laughter they deserve.

Who Killed Tiffany Jones

Author : Mavis Kaye
ISBN : 9780061756061
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 26. 9 MB
Format : PDF, Mobi
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There's a $10,000 reward for solving the crime -- It could be yours! The sensational killings that have rocked the seemingly untouchable world of international jet-setters and powerful glitterati appear to be unrelated -- but former police detective Kim Carlyle senses there's a thread connecting them all. After one of Kim's clients, celebrated chanteuse Tiffany Jones, is slain backstage during a performance at the Apollo Theater, the savvy and beautiful Carlyle pieces together the clues. And what she discovers is a scheme whose complexity, dare and danger were beyond her wildest imaginings. Interactive reading at its most exciting, Who Killed Tiffany Jones? is a page-turning thriller packed with international intrigue, celebrity-based characters, faraway, exotic locales -- and a chance for a clever reader to cash in on the mystery!

Tim And Tom

Author : Tim Reid
ISBN : 9780226709024
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 90. 46 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
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As the heady promise of the 1960s sagged under the weight of widespread violence, rioting, and racial unrest, two young men--one black and one white--took to stages across the nation to help Americans confront their racial divide: by laughing at it. Tim and Tom tells the story of that pioneering duo, the first interracial comedy team in the history of show business--and the last. Tim Reid and Tom Dreesen polished their act in the nightclubs of Chicago, then took it on the road, not only in the North, but in the still-simmering South as well, developing routines that even today remain surprisingly frank--and remarkably funny--about race. Most nights, the shock of seeing an integrated comedy team quickly dissipated in uproarious laughter, but on some occasions the audience’s confusion and discomfort led to racist heckling, threats, and even violence. Though Tim and Tom perpetually seemed on the verge of making it big throughout their five years together, they grudgingly came to realize that they were ahead of their time: America was not yet ready to laugh at its own failed promise. Eventually, the grind of the road took its toll, as bitter arguments led to an acrimonious breakup. But the underlying bond of friendship Reid and Dreesen had forged with each groundbreaking joke has endured for decades, while their solo careers delivered the success that had eluded them as a team. By turns revealing, shocking, and riotously funny, Tim and Tom unearths a largely forgotten chapter in the history of comedy.

Black Culture And Black Consciousness

Author : Lawrence W. Levine
ISBN : 9780195305692
Genre : History
File Size : 31. 65 MB
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A critical reconstruction of African-American folk thought in the United States between the 1840s and 1950, defining the main features of preemancipated slave thought and the effects of freedom upon that thought.

The Columbia History Of Post World War Ii America

Author : Mark C Carnes
ISBN : 9780231511803
Genre : History
File Size : 29. 28 MB
Format : PDF, Docs
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Darkest America Black Minstrelsy From Slavery To Hip Hop

Author : Yuval Taylor
ISBN : 9780393083903
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 31. 57 MB
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An exploration and celebration of a controversial tradition that, contrary to popular opinion, is alive and active after more than 150 years. Yuval Taylor and Jake Austen investigate the complex history of black minstrelsy, adopted in the mid-nineteenth century by African American performers who played the grinning blackface fool to entertain black and white audiences. We now consider minstrelsy an embarrassing relic, but once blacks and whites alike saw it as a black art form—and embraced it as such. And, as the authors reveal, black minstrelsy remains deeply relevant to popular black entertainment, particularly in the work of contemporary artists like Dave Chappelle, Flavor Flav, Spike Lee, and Lil Wayne. Darkest America explores the origins, heyday, and present-day manifestations of this tradition, exploding the myth that it was a form of entertainment that whites foisted on blacks, and shining a sure-to-be controversial light on how these incendiary performances can be not only demeaning but also, paradoxically, liberating.

Becoming Richard Pryor

Author : Scott Saul
ISBN : 9780062123336
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 37. 74 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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A major biography—intimate, gripping, revelatory—of an artist who revolutionized American comedy. Richard Pryor may have been the most unlikely star in Hollywood history. Raised in his family’s brothels, he grew up an outsider to privilege. He took to the stage, originally, to escape the hard-bitten realities of his childhood, but later came to a reverberating discovery: that by plunging into the depths of his experience, he could make stand-up comedy as exhilarating and harrowing as the life he’d known. He brought that trembling vitality to Hollywood, where his movie career—Blazing Saddles, the buddy comedies with Gene Wilder, Blue Collar—flowed directly out of his spirit of creative improvisation. The major studios considered him dangerous. Audiences felt plugged directly into the socket of life. Becoming Richard Pryor brings the man and his comic genius into focus as never before. Drawing upon a mountain of original research—interviews with family and friends, court transcripts, unpublished journals, screenplay drafts—Scott Saul traces Pryor’s rough journey to the heights of fame: from his heartbreaking childhood, his trials in the Army, and his apprentice days in Greenwich Village to his soul-searching interlude in Berkeley and his ascent in the “New Hollywood” of the 1970s. Becoming Richard Pryor illuminates an entertainer who, by bringing together the spirits of the black freedom movement and the counterculture, forever altered the DNA of American comedy. It reveals that, while Pryor made himself a legend with his own account of his life onstage, the full truth of that life is more bracing still.

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