Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy (2009)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Darryl Littleton's insightful book Black Comedians on Black Comedy: How African-Americans Taught Us to Laugh serves as the inspiration for Robert Townsend and Quincy Newell's take no prisoners documentary offering a critical overview and insider's perspective on the cultural impact of black comedy. Icons of comedy Chris Rock, Bill Cosby, and Keenan Ivory Wayans, among others, all weigh in on what it means to be a black comic in America, while cultural critics, noted scholars, and prominent politicians trace the evolution of black comedy from the days of Stepin Fetchit and blackface minstrels straight through the small screen success of The Jeffersons and Good Times and on to the cinematic superstardom enjoyed by Eddie Murphy and Whoopi Goldberg. Dave Chapelle's controversial career serves as a rich topic of debate, while the implication of corporate attempts to capitalize on the remarkable success of Spike Lee's Original Kings of Comedy and Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam highlight the ways in which individuals can inspire change in a cultural level.
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Written By:
Rhino Films

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Angela Bassett
as Narrator

Critic Reviews for Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy

All Critics (2)

A worthwhile walk down Memory Lane as likely to keep you in stitches as appreciating the long line of African-American geniuses who have made it their business to challenge the status quo, but always eliciting lots of laughter in the process.

Full Review… | April 27, 2010
Sly Fox

A thoughtful history of on-colour humour.

Full Review… | February 17, 2009

Audience Reviews for Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy


It might be intellectually satisfying, but for a movie about comedy and its importance, I didn't laugh once.

Scott Molling
Scott Molling

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