SHOWTIME CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY MONTH WITH PREMIERES OF NEW COMEDY DOCUMENTARY, TYLER PERRY FILM, & STAND-UP SPECIALS
Robert Townsend's Star-Studded Documentary WHY WE LAUGH &
Tyler Perry's THE FAMILY THAT PREYS Anchor Month-long Salute
LOS ANGELES, CA � (January 15, 2010) � "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 Berry�they 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.
In addition, SHOWTIME will premiere new stand-up comedy specials from the incomparable Paul Mooney (who will be featured in the upcoming SHOWTIME comedy series The Green Room with Paul Provenza), Tony Roberts and Leslie "Big Les" Jones:
Paul Mooney: It's the End of the World! (Thursday, February 4th at 11pm PT/ET)
Author and comedic legend Paul Mooney returns to SHOWTIME with his newest stand-up special taped at the famous Dallas men's club the Lodge. One of America's most controversial and cutting-edge funnymen, Mooney wrote for Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, In Living Color and The Dave Chapelle Show. The special is executive produced by Mooney, Mary Pelloni, Helene Shaw and Andy Streitfeld, and directed by Pelloni.
Tony Roberts: Wired! (Thursday, February 11th at 11pm PT/ET)
Detroit comedian Tony Roberts makes his stand-up special debut, filmed in Hollywood, CA in front of a live audience. Salient Media executive produces and Gary Binkow directs.
Big Les: Problem Child (Thursday, February 18th at 11pm PT/ET)
Comedienne Leslie Jones (a.k.a. Big Les) showcases her shocking and irreverent stand-up routine in her first-ever comedy special. She toured with Katt Williams during the highly successful 100-city It's Pimpin' Pimpin' tour. The special is also executive produced by Salient Media and directed by Binkow.
Finally, as an added bonus, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND TM will spotlight a host of black-themed films, 24-hours a day throughout February in their SHO Movies Black History Month category.
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