Tag: black comedians

‘Def Comedy Jam 25’ Special to Be Produced by Netflix to Mark 25th Anniversary of “Def Comedy Jam”

Def Comedy Jam 25 (photos via thegrio.com)

via thegrio.com

Netflix announced on Thursday that it will produce “Def Comedy Jam 25” to mark the 25th anniversary of the comedy show, to air this fall. “Def Comedy Jam” originally ran from 1992 to 1996 before being revived in 2006. The show, which was produced by Russell Simmons, helped to launch the careers of the likes of Martin Lawrence, Cedric the Entertainer and Sheryl Underwood.

The lineup of performers for the special thus far include: Lawrence, Underwood, Bill Bellamy, Cedric the Entertainer, Dave Chappelle, Mike Epps, Adele Givens, Eddie Griffin, Tiffany Haddish, Kevin Hart, Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Kid Capri, Tracy Morgan, Craig Robinson, JB Smoove, Sommore, Joe Torry and Katt Williams.

To read original article, go to: Netflix announces ‘Def Comedy Jam 25’ to mark 25th anniversary | theGrio

Chris Rock Lands $40 Million Netflix Deal for Two Comedy Specials

Chris Rock Netflix specials
Chris Rock (A.M.P.A.S./REX SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

According to Variety.com, Chris Rock has signed with Netflix for two new stand-up comedy specials.  The two-special-deal is reported to be worth $40 million. Amazon, Hulu and HBO — where Rock has a long history, starting with his late-night series “The Chris Rock Show” — were also bidding for the specials.

The Netflix specials mark Rock’s return to stand-up after an eight-year hiatus – his last being 2008’s “Kill the Messenger,” which aired on HBO.  Most recently, the comedian hosted the Oscars in January of this year.

“Chris Rock is a beloved actor and director, and his remarkable stand-up makes him comic royalty. There is no one like him, and Netflix offers the global platform and creative freedom that will serve as a perfect home for someone with his incredible talent,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer.

Rock commented, “I’m very excited to be working with Ted and Lisa and all the good people at Netflix. I can’t wait to get back on stage.”

Aside from the 2016 Oscars, Rock recently had a guest-starring role on Fox’s “Empire”, and directed HBO’s comedy special “Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo.”  Some of this Emmy and Grammy winner’s most notable credits include “The Chris Rock Show,” his scripted sitcom “Everybody Hates Chris,” which he created and narrated, “Saturday Night Live” from 1989 to 1993. On the film side, he starred in “CB4”, “Grown Ups,” Top Five,”, “I Think I Love My Wife,” “Down To Earth” and the “Madagascar” franchise.

Hannibal Buress Joins Cast of ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ for Sony and Marvel

Hannibal Buress Spider-Man: Homecoming
Hannibal Buress (ROB LATOUR/VARIETY/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Justin Kroll via Variety.com

Hannibal Buress is joining the cast of Sony and Marvel’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”

Tom Holland will play Peter Parker in the reboot with Marisa Tomei taking on Aunt May. Michael Keaton is also on board for the role of a villain. Other actors who have joined the cast over the last several weeks include Logan Marshall-Green, Donald Glover, Zendaya and Tony Revolori.

Jon Watts has been hired to direct with Amy Pascal and Kevin Feige producing. Plot details are still being heavily guarded as is Buress’ character. “Vacation” directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein wrote the script.

Production is expected to start this summer with the film hitting theaters on July 7, 2017.

Buress, a stand-up comedian, has recently shifted gears to film, with upcoming roles in some of next year’s more anticipated comedies. First he has “The Masterpiece,” opposite Dave and James Franco, which is a movie about the making of what is widely considered the worst film of all-time, “The Room.”  He will follow that up with Dwayne Johnson’s reboot of “Baywatch,” which bows next summer. He also lent his voice to Illumination’s “The Secret Life of Pets.”

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/spider-man-homecoming-hannibal-buress-1201799535/

Terminally Ill Comedian Quincy Jones Lands Stand-Up Special on HBO

(photo via visualnews.com)
(photo via visualnews.com)

article by Meredith Blake via latimes.com

Here’s a bit of heartwarming news to start your Monday: HBO announced Monday that comedian Quincy Jones will headline a stand-up special to air this spring on the premium cable network.

What’s the big deal? In July, the 32-year-old Jones (not to be confused with the legendary music producer of the same name), an aspiring stand-up comedian, was diagnosed with Stage 4 mesothelioma cancer and given a year to live. He is undergoing chemotherapy and performing when he is well enough.

His friends Nicole and Mickey Blaine recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to help Jones realize his dream of starring in a stand-up special. The campaign quickly reached its $50,000 target and also generated a flurry of publicity for Jones, who made a charming appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” last week.  To see it, click here.

The special will be taped in Los Angeles in April and will air on HBO this spring.

To read more, go to: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-comedian-quincy-jones-cancer-standup-special-at-hbo-20160321-story.html

Jay Z’s TIDAL Adding Exclusive Drama & Comedy Shows to Service

Jay Z At Tidal
Jay Z at Tidal (photo via theurbandaily.com)

Jay Z’s music streaming service TIDAL is expanding its content beyond just music, according to exclusive reports on Variety.

Today (November 3), a new show titled “No Small Talk” is set to premiere on the service. The comedy, which will initially include five, 25-30 minute episodes, is hosted by DJ Cipha Sounds, who himself is signed to the management arm of Jay Z’s Roc Nation. Each episode is set to detail the lives of three burgeoning comedians performing at Manhattan’s Comedy Cellar.

“I didn’t want it to feel polished like the standup specials you see on TV,” Cipha Sounds says. “My goal is to help new guys get known, like Def Comedy Jam set up a lot of people’s careers.”

Elsewhere, TIDAL has ordered the second season of “Money & Violence,” an urban drama based on the lives of a group of thieves and drug dealers in Flatbush, Brooklyn. The second season, which is scheduled to premiere in January, is set to be comprised of 12 episodes and will be available exclusively on TIDAL for one week prior to wider distribution, Variety reports.

This change in strategy is part of TIDAL’s next step forward to increase value to its subscribers, Tim Riley, TIDAL’s Senior VP of Artist and Label Relations, said.

“If someone is paying for Tidal, we want that to be the best experience they can have,” Riley said.

article by Henry Mansell via theurbandaily.com

Comedian and Activist Dick Gregory to be Honored with Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

dick gregory (walk of fame)The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has announced that comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory will be honored with the 2,542nd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday, February 2, 2015.

The star in the category of Live Theatre/Performance will be dedicated at 1650 Vine Street near Hollywood & Vine.

“We are proud to honor Dick Gregory with a star on the Walk of Fame during Black History month. He has given so much to the world with his wisdom through his work in entertainment,” stated Leron Gubler, President of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and emcee of the ceremonies.

The star ceremony will be streamed live exclusively on www.walkoffame.com

The day after the ceremony the celebration will continue with the Dick Gregory & Friends All Star Tribute and Toast on Tuesday, February 3, at 8:00 p.m. at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre, 1615 N. Vine Street in Hollywood.

Richard Claxton Gregory aka Dick Gregory is a comedian, civil rights activist, author, recording artist, actor, philosopher and anti-drug crusader. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Gregory, 82, began his career as a comedian while serving in the military in the mid-1950s. He was drafted in 1954 while attending Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. After being discharged in 1956, with a desire to perform comedy professionally, he moved to Chicago.

Gregory attributes the launch of his career to Hugh Hefner, who watched him perform at Herman Roberts Show Bar. Hefner hired Gregory to work at the Chicago Playboy Club as a replacement for comedian Professor Irwin Corey.

By 1962, Gregory had become a nationally-known headline performer, selling out nightclubs, making numerous national television appearances, and recording popular comedy albums. Gregory, whose style was detached, ironic, and satirical, gained the attention of audiences with his political and controversial stand up acts. By being both outspoken and provocative, he became a household name and opened many doors for Black entertainers.

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