As quite possibly the whitest man alive, I feel compelled to tell you about a new documentary called Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy. The film will be produced and directed by stand-up comic Darryl Littleton and Robert Townsend (director of the brilliant satire on the black experience in Hollywood -- Hollywood Shuffle). The film is inspired by Littleton's book Black Comedians on Black Comedy: How African-Americans Taught Us to Laugh, which you can pick up at Amazonhere. The film will contain "archival clips, reenactments depicting the evolution of black comedy, and interviews with comedians and social critics." Sounds like it could be both informative and very, very funny.
Variety reports that the filmmakers have already done interviews with comedians like D.L. Hughley (co-star of the thankfully canceled Studio 60), the Wayans brothers (stars of films like White Chicks and Little Man -- neither of which I'd imagine will be discussed in the documentary), Paul Mooney (comedy legend who did those hilarious "Ask A Black Dude" and "Negrodamus" bits on Chappelle's Show), Tommy Davidson (of In Living Color and the shamefully underrated Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls), character actor Reynaldo Ray, Marla Gibbs (from The Jeffersons and 227), Eddie Griffin (star of the very funny Undercover Brother), and stand-up comedian Katt Williams. Representing the social and political commentary side, there will be discussions with Cornel West, Michael Eric Dyson, Russell Simmons, and Stanley Crouch. I sure hope they can swing an interview with the great Spike Lee, I could listen to that guy discuss anything all day, and he seems an ideal speaker for the project. There are no release details yet for the film.