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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

The Big Black Comedy Show (review)

“Just in time for Black History Month” is how the money people would like you to think of this comedy concert film, featuring a slew of standups including Vincent Morris, Rod Man, Chris Spencer, Esau, and Sexy Marlo. Black they may be, but the ghosts of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman are weeping. There’s nothing triumphant or celebratory in anything here: not in the repetitious jokes about men, women, and relationships that you’ve heard a hundred times before. Not in the cesspool of racial, ethnic, and gender stereotypes: Jews are rich, women are gold diggers, Mexicans are somehow hilarious by their very existence. Not in the scatological “observational” humor about toilet paper and the nasty defecatory side effects of a certain popular drug for erectile dysfunction. And certainly not in the nonstop “cussing” that host Mo’Nique warns us, in her introduction, that is on tap. If there’s anything victorious in seeing a black man or woman calling a brother or sister a “crazy nigga” or “muthafuckin bitch,” I can’t see it.


MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

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