The Original Kings of Comedy (2000)

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The Original Kings of Comedy: Directed by Spike Lee. With Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, Bernie Mac. A concert film featuring four major African American stand up comedians.

“THE ORIGINAL KINGS OF COMEDY (2000) *** Steve Harvey, D.L.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eHughley, Cedric the Entertainer, Bernie Mac. (Dir: Spike Lee) Spike Leeu0026#39;s latest joint is his lensing of The Four Horseman of The Apocalypse, or as theyu0026#39;re better known as The Kings of Comedy, during their trailblazing, barnstorming tour of the United States that sold out major venues and is captured in their Charlotte, North Carolina concert with ecstatic, electrified hilarity ensuing.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eHarvey, best known for his eponymous titled sitcom and host of u0026#39;Showtime At The Apollou0026#39;, effectively balances two jobs as emcee and performer and opens the show with a strong set and may seem surprisingly profane from his tv show image. Resembling comic icon Richard Pryor and very at ease with the adoring crowd, Harveyu0026#39;s is the most polished of the foursome and has some very funny bits on rappers (who he disdains even though they appear frequently on his series; joke taken!), being an old-school arbiter of ru0026amp;b/soul of the 70s music that whips the crowd into a jump out of your seat dancing frenzy, and his take on the film u0026#39;Titanicu0026#39; (u0026#39;The band went down with the ship? ?u0026#39; and proceeds to pantomime Kool u0026amp; the Gang hustling out with their instruments and equipment hastily and how if black folk were on board making a makeshift raft from a small table and a dinner napkin setting as a sail.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eHughley, also known for his eponymous tv hit, hits some high marks with the audience busting on them including a dubious type in the front row who looks like a homeless rap star, and includes bits on hygiene, how black people arenu0026#39;t the most athletic thrill seekers (u0026#39;Bungee jumping? Thatu0026#39;s too much like lynching to usu0026#39;) and for my money his best quick take on Jesus being black by enacting the miracle of turning water into wine at a wedding (u0026#39;Normally, you know, I donu0026#39;t do this – but go on, keep the party goinu0026#39;!u0026#39;) Chubby and charismatic Cedric The Entertainer perhaps steals the show with his amusing takes on money, being a u0026#39;grown adult manu0026#39;, the martial arts, the first black president (on the national debt: u0026#39;Yo dawg, man tell u0026#39;em I ainu0026#39;t got itu0026#39;) and his funniest as a breakdancing machine that has the crowd in stitches. He clearly is having the most fun on stage and it shows.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003ePerhaps the edgiest and angriest of the four has to be Mac who comes on strong and doesnu0026#39;t back down from his verbal assault on children (particularly his sisteru0026#39;s three kids heu0026#39;s currently raising) that is funny only when he says that heu0026#39;s saying what we canu0026#39;t but are thinking, his realization that heu0026#39;s not the sexual dynamo anymore with his wife and the overall feeling that this is one comedian who will not compromise his stage persona for a quick Hollywood buck. Thatu0026#39;s their misfortune since Mac seems to be cut from the same cloth as Pryor in his going for the jugular by incorporating the most painful of his personal struggles.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003ePryor and Eddie Murphy clearly resonate echoing during the concert yet all four of these talented men have their own unique brand of stand-up and to say them in the same breath as the aforementioned trend-setters is definitely a compliment of the high order.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI havenu0026#39;t laughed this hard all summer (except for the shamelessly funny u0026#39;Me, Myself u0026amp; Ireneu0026#39;) and have to admit Iu0026#39;ve only seen these comics intermittently hear and there on tv. They definitely should and do deserve more exposure and itu0026#39;s a damn shame the media didnu0026#39;t give them props in the beginning on reporting the extraordinary business theyu0026#39;ve accumulated in ticket sales (you have to go all the way back to the Seventies when Steve Martinu0026#39;s Wild u0026amp; Crazy salad days were selling out arenas and larger venues).u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThis unprecedented happening is only truncated by the lame tack ons Lee splices of the Kings playing poker, hanging on a b-ball court or chilling in their stretch limo. The fact that all 4 are sartorially splendid only underscores just how classy they are even if theyu0026#39;re expletive riddled acts are spicing up their material, which only accentuates rather than offends.”


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