Wednesday, October 5, 2022

‘Phat Tuesdays’ Giving The Black Community What It Needed At The Right Time (Watch)

Let’s go back. Back before the Black Lives Matter movement and back before we were able to label Karen as a type of behavior!

Before all of that, there was the Rodney King beating in 1991, where five Los Angeles police officers brutal beat an unarmed Black man in South Los Angeles. Riots and fires broke out and the city was burning. The one thing Black people needed the most after the dust settled – was a good laugh.

“We wanted to be seen, yes, but I believe comedy was a threat that was necessary,” said comedian and actor DeRay Davis, who’s interviewed in the series “Phat Tuesdays: The Era of Hip Hop Comedy.” “You would always see a comic in the background of all these movements who could voice what they felt and deliver it to an audience who wasn’t prepared to hear it on that level.”

Many comedians say it’s been our way as a people to cope, to be resilient, and to know we can get up to fight another day.

“Everything is based in truth. The true artistry of a comedian is to take their personal pain, process it and tell it on stage and make it relatable to their audience,” said actor and comedian JB Smoove, also featured in the series.

That’s why Guy Torry came up with Phat Tuesday’s back in 1992. 

“Everything happened, and all the stars aligned at the right time, and at the right moment. [And the stories about it are] coming out at the right time now on Prime Video,” said Torry.

He’s referring to Amazon Studios latest project “Phat Tuesdays: The Era of Hip Hop Comedy.” The new docuseries is all about the comedy explosion and is bringing together all the big names in comedy, who we’ve laughed with over the years. Telling the story of when Black comedians were being shut out of many places in Hollywood and how Phat Tuesdays at The Comedy Store, gave them a voice to speak their truth and provide levity to the community in a very dark time.

“I tell young comedians [now], tell your story. No one can tell your story, better than you can tell your story, and make it, but be honest, tell the story and make it funny,” said Torry.

Phat Tuesdays

Torry, the executive producer of the series and Reginald Hudlin, the director, say now is a great time for comedians to rise again and utilize all the platforms and tools to be seen and heard.

“Right now is another explosion, Black people want to be seen and heard,” said actress and comedian Kym Whitley, who is also featured in the series.

“It’s like how do we make sense of all this information [with all the access to social media]. That falls back into the hands of a comedian, because a comedian is empathic, they plug into what is happening in the community…” said Hudlin.

“Phat Tuesdays: The Era of Hip Hop Comedy” premieres exclusively on Prime Video February 4.

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