10 Greatest Black Stand-Up Comedy Performances
Okay--now that's just damn funny.
Some of the best comedic stage acts over the past half century have tickled the funny bones of millions worldwide. Mybrotha.COM has compiled a list of the ten funniest and most momentous stand-up routines ever.
- 10) Katt Williams - Pimp Chronicles Part 1 (2006)
In his first ever HBO stand-up comedy DVD show, Williams brought down the house with a flashy routine that featured tips on how to deal with haters, drinking, having White and Black friends, and how to enjoy life. Taped before front of a live audience at the Atlanta Civic Center in 2006, Williams' one-hour routine soon became one of the most talked about in comedic history.
- 9) Wanted/Richard Pryor - Live In Concert (1978)
Released as an album 1978, "Wanted" includes recorded performances from Pryor's concert tour where he appeared at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C, the City Center of Music and Drama in New York, and the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago. Two additional performances from the tour filmed in Long Beach, CA for theatrical release. These routines, some of the funniest Pryor ever recorded, featured stories about black funerals, disciplining kids, heart attacks, Muhammed Ali, Jim Brown, "Things In the Woods," and Chinese food.
- 8) Jamie Foxx Unleashed (2002)
Considered one of the most talented comedians of our time, Jamie Foxx got his start in comedy, but has become one of the most popular R&B singer-songwriters and actors of the last decade. In his 2002 hit "Unleashed: Lost, Stolen and Leaked!," Foxx pokes fun at everything from from dating and rap lyrics, to sex and entertainers who don't have beef. Along with his movie and recording career, "Unleashed" helped seal Foxx's place as one of the best comedians of the 90s and 2000s.
- 7) Dick Gregory: Caught In the Act (1973)
Gregory was performing at small nightclubs in the 1960s until Hugh Hefner saw his act at the Roberts Show Bar in Chicago before a mostly white audience--a routine which included the following: Last time I was down South, I walked into this restaurant and this white waitress came up to me and said, "We don't serve colored people here." I said, "That's all right. I don't eat colored people. Bring me a whole fried chicken." His 1973 album, "Caught In the Act," featured several 1 to 5 minute vignettes focusing on the political issues, racial discrimination and other social concerns.
- 6) HBO On Location with Redd Foxx (1978)
Better known as Fred Sanford on the 70s sitcom "Sanford & Son, Redd Foxx was known in comedy circles for his raw, uncensored quick wit. To many, Foxx was a brilliant comedian whose stand-up acts influenced the comedy routines of future black comedians like Eddie Murphy, Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Arsenio Hall, Chris Rock, and Mike Epps. Taped at The Silverbird Hotel in Las Vegas, Foxx's act is still considered a stand-up comedy classic.
- 5) Chris Rock: Never Scared (2004)
In his fourth comedy album, which was recorded at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., Chris Rock solidified his place in stand-up history by wowing the audience. Routines included "Real People of Ignorance," Affirmative Action," "Women Hate Women," and "Marriage." Rock is also a highly accomplished actor, screenwriter, producer and director. He has been voted as the 5th greatest stand-up comedian of all time by Comedy Central.
- 4) Bill Cosby Himself (1983)
Another one of the often quoted stand-up routines (even though Bill sat most of the time) "Bill Cosby: Himself" was filmed live at Hamilton Place Theatre, in Hamilton, Ontario in 1983. Cosby's comedic views on marriage, visits to the dentist, parenthood and child birth became some of the most quoted and imitated jokes of all time. Much of his stage routine would later be revisted as themes throughout the running of his popular 1980s sitcom, "The Cosby Show."
- 3) The Original Kings of Comedy (2000)
Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Bernie Mac and Cedric the Entertainer get together in Charlotte, NC and put on an extraordinary show. Topics included social issues, the differences between Blacks and Whites, riffs on a black president, 70s music, attitudes towards sex when you're 40, and much more. Taped in February 2000, the show is considered the greatest ever comedy show featuring multiple comedians. Along with the late Bernie Mac, the four comedians dominated the new millenium with their style and side-splitting humor.
- 2) Eddie Murphy: Delirious (1983)
It was believed that no one would ever dethrone Richard Pryor as the king of stand-up comedy, but Eddie Murphy's 1983 show Delirious came close and defined Eddie's career. His stand-up routine, recorded at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C, is one of the most quoted, imitated and laughed at shows of all time. Murphy poked fun at several celebs by depicting them in compromising social and personal situations. He added impeccable impersonations of his victims which included Mr. T, Ralph Cramden, Michael Jackson, Teddy Pendergrass, James Brown and a hilarious spoof of Elvis Presley.
- 1) Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip (1982)
Arguably the greatest stand-up comedian of our time, Richard Pryor became an iconic comedian, actor and writer from the mid-1960s through 1999. His examinations of racism and social issues were wrapped with profanity and racial epithets, but his comedy captured the attention of a worldwide audience. Pryor's diversity and stage presence propelled him to become one of the most respected, admired and copied comedians of all time. Even years after his death, Pryor's legacy is still shaping the routines of future comedians. Actor/comedian Arsenio Hall once said: "If you're doing comedy and you haven't stolen from Richard Pryor, then you ain't doing it right."
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