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.
Common has committed to star in the ensemble cast of Barbershop 3, the MGM sequel that New Line will distribute. He joins Ice Cube and Cedric the Entertainer, who are reprising their roles from the first two movies, and The Best Man franchise director Malcolm D. Lee, who’s helming. Cube Vision is producing and MGM will run production. Bob Teitel and George Tillman Jr. of State Street Pictures are the lead producers. The script is by Kenya Barris and Tracy Oliver.
Common has been busy since winning the Oscar for Best Original Song in the film Selma. He is starring in the Rob Reiner-directed Being Charlie as well as the David Ayer-directed Suicide Squad and the Martin Campbell-directed Hunter Killer.
MIAMI – Arnold Donald has swag. Not the phony suburban swag, but that old-school, down-home New Orleans Black neighborhood kind of swag that signals the confident chief executive strolling into the board room is clearly in charge. As Carnival Corporation’s first African-American CEO, Donald has prepared for this high-level, high-profile, high-paid position all his life.
At the prestigious St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, an all-boys, all-African-American Catholic school where Donald received a scholarship, he recalled this inspirational mantra from his teachers: “Three times a day, they would say: ‘Gentlemen, prepare yourselves, you’re going to run the world.’ ”
It’s close enough. Today, Donald, 60, leads the world’s largest cruise line with 120,000 employees and 100 ships for the 10.5 million passengers who cruise with Carnival each year. Sitting inside his spacious 10th-floor office at Carnival Corp. in suburban Miami, Donald talked about his vision for leading the Carnival Corporation. For Donald, it’s all about trying to offer unprecedented customer service.
He spends some of his time sifting through “psycho-graphics” to determine which of his nine “brands” – cruise ships — will best suit individual passengers. He enjoys talking to “guests” about their experiences while cruising and often asks passengers how Carnival can better serve them.
“We’re in the vacation business and part of our job is to help people have a good time,” Donald said in an interview with BlackAmericaWeb.com. “We can’t make more very fast. We can’t sell more volume. It’s not like selling shoes. Our ships sail full, we can’t sell more cabins, you can’t just build as many ships as you want in a year, there are only so many shipyards and they are limited in the number of ships they can build in a year.” “So we want to create onboard experiences where we’re giving the guests what they want,” he explained. “And therefore they are willing to pay for it. So the trick is to determine what the guests really want.”
As GBN reported last month, Chris Rock’s new film Top Five sparked a bidding frenzy at the Toronto International Film Festival, with Paramount Pictures emerging as the winner for distribution rights to the tune of $12.5 million. Last week, the studio dropped the first trailer. Written, directed by, and starring Rock, Top Five tells the story of New York City comedian-turned-film star Andre Allen, whose unexpected encounter with a journalist (Rosario Dawson) forces him to confront the comedy career—and the past—that he’s left behind.
Kevin Hart, Tracy Morgan, Cedric The Entertainer, J.B. Smoove, Sherri Shepherd, Anders Holm, Romany Malco, Leslie Jones, Michael Che, and Jay Pharoah also star.
The movie is set for a limited release on December 5, going wide a week later on December 12.
Actor former NFL player Terry Crews has sealed a deal to become the new host of the syndicated Who Wants To Be A Millionaire for the next 13th season, which launches in the fall. He succeeds Cedric the Entertainer, who hosted the show this season. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire is going through a number of changes, including a move to to Stamford, Connecticut where it is expected to benefit from a tax break.
Crews, who co-stars in Fox’s comedy series Brooklyn Nine-Nine, had been exploring doing a syndicated show and met with several studios, with Disney-ABC jumping in with the Millionaire offer. “Terry is engaging, endearing, smart, and quick on his feet — the perfect combination to lead one of the longest-running franchises in game show history,” said Janice Marinelli, president, Disney-ABC Domestic TV.
This marks the latest career expansion for Crews who started as an athlete before moving to entertainment. “In addition to my film projects including Blended, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and now being a first time author, hosting has always been a dream of mine, and I couldn’t have asked for a greater opportunity,” he said. Crews’ recent credits include a recurring stints on The Newsroom and Arrested Development and roles in Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club and Ivan Reitman’s Draft Day.
Next up is the comedy Blended with Adam Sandler and he’ll be reprising his role as “Hale Caesar” in the third installment of the Expendables franchise. Crews also penned his first book, memoir “Manhood,” which comes out May 20.
The “Just Churchin’” Comedy Show, Woman of Purpose Concert and the Ball Up Streetball Classic Tour Championship game are just a few of the electrifying entertainment events that will captivate audiences during the upcoming Labor Day weekend.
“MegaFest is about coming together to strengthen each other and our families, and leaving refreshed and ready to help our communities,” said Jakes. “There’s no better way to get inspired than by having fun, creating memories and laughing together.”
Making its triumphant return to the United States for the first time since 2006, MegaFest will be held at the Dallas Convention Center, American Airlines Center and other venues throughout the city. This supersized event marries four of Jakes’ most popular conferences: ManPower, Woman Thou Art Loosed, MegaYouth and MegaKidz with a plethora of entertainment, business and other empowering features for the entire family.
Hosted by Cedric the Entertainerand Niecy Nash, stars of the TV Land hit sitcom The Soul Man, the “Just Churchin’” comedy show is a MegaFest favorite. Slated for Friday, August 30 at 8 p.m. at the Dallas Convention Center Arena, “Just Churchin’” guarantees a flavorful mix of comedic talent, with hilarious, family-friendly stand up routines from seasoned veteran comedians to the hottest up and coming talent. Tickets went on sale June 28.
The Beverly Hills Bar Association will honor Nina Shaw with its 2013 Entertainment Lawyer of the Year award next month. Shaw is to be given the award by the Entertainment Law Section of the BHBA at its annual Beverly Hills Hotel dinner on April 16. A founding partner at Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano, the lawyer has specialized in the areas of television, motion picture and live stage for almost 20 years. “The Beverly Hills Bar Association recognizes Nina Shaw for her groundbreaking work in the field of entertainment law and her strategic focus on ever-evolving technology in entertainment and its far-reaching impact on the industry, as well as for her dedication to her clients and commitment to fair play in a notoriously competitive field, said BHBA Entertainment Law Section Chair Adam Siegler in a statement.
Among Shaw’s various clients, the lawyer counts Oscar winner Jamie Foxx, James Earl Jones, newly-named Who Wants To Be a Millionaire host Cedric the Entertainer and America’s Got Talent host Nick Cannon. A graduate of Barnard College and Columbia Law School, Shaw began her career in the Entertainment Department of O’Melveny & Myers. Established in 1931, the Beverly Hills Bar Association is the fifth largest bar association in California with more than 5,500 members.