A&E Network will premiere the new two-part documentary event “Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution” exploring the progression of Black comedy and the comedians who have used pointed humor to expose, challenge and ridicule society’s injustices and to articulate the Black experience in America. Executive produced by Kevin Hart’s HARTBEAT and TIME Studios, the documentary explores Black comedy through a unique lens, tracing the evolution and social awakening of the courageous comedians who dared to push against the constraints of their time and spoke truth to power. “Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution” is co-directed by Mario Diaz and Jessica Sherif and premieres Wednesday, June 29 at 9pm ET/PT and Thursday, June 30 at 9pm ET/PT on A&E. “Right to Offend” will also be available on demand and to stream on the A&E app and aetv.com.
The documentary traces the history of Black comedy and its under-appreciated legacy of driving social change across the 20th and 21st centuries. From Redd Foxx, Moms Mabley and Dick Gregory during the civil rights movement, Richard Pryor in the 70s, Eddie Murphy and Whoopi Goldberg in the 80s, to the power of In Living Color and Def Comedy Jam in the 90s, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle in the 2000s and groundbreaking modern-day comedians and creators like Key & Peele, Issa Rae, Amber Ruffin and Tiffany Haddish. Across four hours, “Right to Offend” explores the rare position these artists and many more hold in our society as both entertainers and truth tellers that speak to audiences in ways no other performers can.
Featuring interviews with some of the greatest comedy minds of all time as well as a rich collection of archival material, the two-part event reveals the personal stories and tribulations faced by many Black performers in attaining greater acceptance and opening the doors for a true representation of the Black experience. The documentary also traces how each generation of comedians built upon the foundations created by their predecessors to help evolve and push the boundaries of comedy as a means for social change and fought for a greater definition and understanding of what it means to be Black in America.
Full list of interviewees:
W. Kamau Bell, Comedian
Alonzo Bodden, Comedian
Dr. Todd Boyd, Author and Academic
Wayne Brady, Comedian
Kevin “Dot Com” Brown, Comedian, Co-Founder “Uptown Comedy Club”
Michael Che, Comedian
Louis Chude-Sokei, Author and Academic
Tommy Davidson, Comedian
Michael Eric Dyson, Author and Academic; Author, “Is Bill Cosby Right?”
Wayne Federman, Comedy Historian; Author, “The History of Stand-Up”
Andre Gaines, Filmmaker, “The One and Only Dick Gregory”
Nelson George, Filmmaker and Cultural Critic
Christian Gregory, Dick Gregory’s Son
David Alan Grier, Comedian
Tiffany Haddish, Comedian
Michael Harriot, Journalist and TV Writer; Author, “Black AF History”
Kevin Hart, Comedian, Actor, Producer & Entrepreneur
Steve Harvey, Comedian
Bambi Higgins, Academic, Author, “Laughing Mad”
Lil Rel Howery, Comedian
DL Hughley, Comedian
Norman Lear, Television Producer
Darryl Littleton, Comedian and Writer
Daryl Mooney, Paul Mooney’s Son
Dwayne Mooney, Paul Mooney’s Son
Garrett Morris, Comedian
Mark Anthony Neal, Author and Academic
Kliph Nesteroff, Comedy Historian; Author, “Comedians”
David Peisner, Entertainment Journalist; Author, “Homey Don’t Play That: The Story of In Living Color”
Russell Peters, Comedian
Elizabeth Pryor, Richard Pryor’s Daughter
Rain Pryor, Richard Pryor’s Daughter
Donnell Rawlings, Comedian
Tony Rock, Comedian
Amber Ruffin, Comedian
Allison Samuels, Entertainment Journalist
Scott Saul, Author, “Becoming Richard Pryor”
Amanda Seales, Comedian
Sherri Shepherd, Comedian
Bob Sumner, Co-Creator, “Def Comedy Jam”
Eddie Tafoya, Comedy Historian; Author, “Icons of African American Comedy”
Robin Thede, Comedian; Creator, “A Black Lady Sketch Show”
Kenan Thompson, Comedian
Joe Torry, Comedian
Aisha Tyler, Comedian
Jimmie Walker, Comedian; Cast Member, “Good Times”
George Wallace, Comedian
Marsha Warfield, Comedian; Cast Member, “The Richard Pryor Show”
Katt Williams, Comedian
Tony Woods, Comedian
“Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution” is produced by TIME Studios for A&E Network. Mario Diaz and Jessica Sherif are co-directors and executive producers. Ian Orefice, Loren Hammonds and Alexa Conway serve as executive producers for TIME Studios. Kevin Hart, Bryan Smiley, Pookey Wigington and Mike Stein serve as executive producers for HARTBEAT. Elaine Frontain Bryant and Brad Abramson serve as executive producers for A&E. A+E Networks holds worldwide distribution rights for “Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution.”
About A&E Network
A&E leads the cultural conversation through high-quality, thought provoking original programming with a unique point of view. Whether it’s the network’s distinctive brand of award-winning disruptive reality or groundbreaking documentary, A&E always makes entertainment an art. The A&E website is located at aetv.com. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/aetv and Facebook at facebook.com/AETV. For more press information and photography please visit us at press.aenetworks.com.
About TIME Studios
From one of the most globally iconic brands, TIME Studios is an Emmy Award(R)-winning television, film and immersive studio focusing on the development, production and distribution of truth-based premium unscripted and scripted storytelling that moves the world. With technical innovation and a brand defining visual language that dates back 99 years, TIME Studios aims to impact communities and the world at large with ideas that forge true progress. Combining the industry’s leading creators with TIME, one of the most trusted brands that reaches an audience of over 100 million people globally, TIME Studios is uniquely positioned to bring massive audiences to the world’s most impactful stories. Recent projects include: Jeen-Yuhs (Netflix), Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space (Netflix), Katrina Babies (HBO), Black Gold (Paramount+), Big Vape (Netflix), John Lewis: Good Trouble (CNN Films), Amazing Grace (Neon), Right to Offend (A&E), Ricky Powell: The Individualist (Showtime), Mass Effect: The Story of YouTube, Kid of the Year (Nickelodeon/CBS), TIME 100 (ABC) and the first scripted project for TIME Studios, Women of the Year (Amazon).
Founded by Kevin Hart, HARTBEAT is the global, multi-platform media company creating entertainment at the intersection of comedy and culture with a mission to keep the world laughing together. HARTBEAT delivers comedy through its three divisions: HARTBEAT Studios, which finances, develops and produces innovative content; HARTBEAT Media, which connects with consumers around the world through events and the company’s expansive distribution network; and PULSE, the company’s branded entertainment studio that serves as a creative and cultural consultancy to brand. HARTBEAT’s flagship consumer brand, the LOL! Network, reaches audiences across its O&O social media, audio, and OTT partners. Led by an award-winning team, HARTBEAT is a valuable partner to the biggest entertainment companies, platforms and brands in the world, driving cultural currency and generating sales, subscriptions, buzz, and conversation with some of the most coveted audiences.
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