Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Released by Showtime

"If there weren't an Amos & Andy, there couldn't be a Condoleezza Rice or a Colin Powell or a [black] anchorman or actresses or Halle Berrythey really are our forefathers," contends comedian D.L. Hughley who is but one of the cavalcade of stars on hand to critically examine the cultural, political and historical influence of black comedy in the new documentary, WHY WE LAUGH, premiering Thursday, February 4th at 8pm PT/ET on SHOWTIME. The documentary, directed by legendary filmmaker Robert Townsend (The Five Heartbeats), is the centerpiece of the network's annual Black History Month celebration, which will also includes the television premiere of Tyler Perry's blockbuster drama, THE FAMILY THAT PREYS, starring Alfre Woodard, Sanaa Lathan and Rockmond Dunbar on Saturday, February 13th at 9pm PT/ET.

From the blackface era of Bert Williams to the current in-your-face style of Katt Williams, Townsend polls a diverse roster of comics, scholars and cultural critics for WHY WE LAUGH, including Bill Cosby, Stanley Crouch, Dick Gregory, Steve Harvey, Kweisi Mfume, Chris Rock, Sherri Shepherd, Congresswoman Diane Watson and Dr. Cornel West to weigh in on how black comedy has shaped America from the late 1800s to today. Based on the book by comedian Darryl Littleton, WHY WE LAUGH is executive produced by Jeff Clanagan, Richard Foos and Littleton, and produced by Quincy Newell (Eddie Griffin: Freedom of Speech) and Codeblack Entertainment.

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