Dick Gregory: Race, Comedy, And Justice

Its hard to predict whether Dick Gregory will be most celebrated as a path-breaking comedian or a trailblazing civil rights activist. Its impossible to imagine the history of either movement without him—or without his unique blending of the two. In the early 1960s, he became one of the first black comedians to perform before integrated audiences. In 1967, he ran for mayor of Chicago against Richard J. Daley, and a year later for president as the Freedom and Peace Party candidate. The author of and contributor to many politically charged books, Gregory is still a staunch, wry political voice across a range of issues as varied as nutrition, social justice, and the environment. Chicago Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington interviews the provocative and always unpredictable Gregory.

Godfrey On Being Asked To Be More Like Kevin Hart And Chris Rock During Casting Auditions

Famed comedian Godfrey opened up to VladTV about the media seemingly choosing to focus on one black comedian at a time. He explained that it definitely seems that way in the industry, and Godfrey added that he’s even asked to be more like Kevin Hart or Chris Rock when he goes out for auditions.

During the conversation, Godfrey also spoke about black female comedians not getting any respect in the industry, and being tired of people saying that black comedians are bitter.

To hear more, including growing up in Chicago, hit the above clip.

In Godfrey We Trust Episode #206​ – Godfrey’s Guide To Ethnic Food

Comedians Godfrey and Andre Kim discuss junk food, ethnic restaurants, and Super Bowl Sunday. Plus, the guys discuss Utah allowing schools to opt out of celebrating Black History Month, a woman suing Gorilla Glue for ruining her hair. Plus, a new documentary about legendary comedian Patrice O’Neal leads Godfrey to reminisce on his greatest memories with Patrice. Real Talk (twice a week!) with Godfrey and Andre Kim, ONLY on In Godfrey We Trust Podcast!

Godfrey’s Stand Out Stand Up Featured In Tiffany Haddish’s ‘They Ready’ Netflix Special, Which Shines A Light On Seasoned Comedians

The Gist: A couple of years ago, Haddish flexed her newly-gained star power with Netflix to host and produce a stand-up showcase to feature some of the ladies she performed with in the comedy club trenches. Haddish’s “She Ready” catchphrase begat They ReadySome of Haddish’s handpicked comedians were more ready than others.

For Season 2, Haddish turned to more seasoned professionals, some of whom she looked to when she was on the come-up, some of whom mentored her and offered her sage advice, and all of whom deserve more attention and credits from the industry and fans than they’ve earned so far. They are Godfrey, Tony Woods, Barbara Carlyle, Erin Jackson, Kimberly Clark, and Dean Edwards. Each get about 15 to 20 minutes to perform in individual episodes, with testimonials from Haddish. A seventh episode, “The After Show,” closes out the season with Haddish speaking to the group and asking them about their experiences on the road and in show business.

What Comedy Specials Will It Remind You Of?: If you haven’t already watched They Ready Season 1, then think of this as a throwback to the old Young Comedians shows that ran annually on HBO in the 1980s, or Rodney Dangerfield’s version of the same (only these comedians aren’t that young).

Memorable Jokes: They filmed this series last fall during the pandemic, and the opening episode finds Godfrey addressing the moment immediately, with jokes about how masks and a lack of salons have leveled the playing field for all women, in terms of their looks. He also offers up impersonations of his Nigerian cousins, his Chinese and Italian friends, and presidents Obama and Trump.

Godfrey pointed out how they filmed this showcase on the same stage in Long Beach where the late great Richard Pryor filmed his 1979 concert film, and yet how not much had changed in what they could joke about with regard to Black rights in America.

Perhaps the best part, if not the funniest, comes near the end of the whole season, when Haddish asks each of the comedians who they’d bring up next, as Haddish has done with them. That allows Carlyle to shout out Mugga, Edwards to talk up Harris Stanton, Jackson to wish for Paris Sashay, Godfrey to highlight Marina Franklin and Ian Edwards, Clark to tip her cap to Hugh Moore and Lexie Grace, and Woods to holler at Greer Barnes and Rondell.

Paying it forward, sharing the spotlight, always great things.

Source: Decider

Godfrey: Blacks Need Unity Like Jews; ‘Your Sense Of Self Is Complete, We Are Incomplete People… Yet We Have The Strongest Culture That Everybody’s Benefited From’

In this clip, Vlad explains to Godfrey why Jewish people have historically held jobs like lawyers and doctors throughout history and across regions. Later, Godfrey tells why he thinks Nick Cannon did the right thing by apologizing for his antisemitic comments and how the black community ultimately needs to establish self-sustaining communities like the Jews.

NBCU’s Peacock Pins WWE Network Exclusive U.S. Streaming Rights In Five-Year Deal, Beginning March 18th

NBCUniversal’s Peacock soon will be the only place to watch WWE Network in the U.S.

WWE and NBCU reached a multiyear agreement giving Peacock exclusive streaming rights to WWE Network for American viewers. The over-the-top wrestling entertainment service’s existing U.S. subscribers (about 1.1 million in total) will be migrated over to Peacock Premium, where they’ll continue to get access to WWE Network but will pay 50% less per month while getting full access to the version of the Peacock Premium tier with ads.

Peacock will launch WWE Network on March 18, 2021, when Peacock will begin the rollout of more than 17,000 hours of WWE Network new, original, and library programming (both on-demand and on a new 24-hour channel).

The NBCU streamer will have all WWE live events — for no additional charge — including WrestleMania and SummerSlam, with Fastlane the first event to stream on Peacock on Sunday, March 21. (WWE fans who would prefer to order events via traditional pay-per-view will still have that option.)

WWE Network will be available on Peacock Premium (which includes ads) for $4.99 per month, half the price of WWE Network’s current $9.99/month pricing. The no-commercials Peacock Premium Plus plan, which costs $9.99/month, also will include WWE Network.

The companies plans to share details of how existing WWE Network subscribers in the U.S. will be switched to Peacock (e.g., whether they will be automatically subscribed to Peacock) in the next few weeks. Nothing will change for WWE Network subscribers outside the U.S.

Financial terms of the Peacock-WWE Network pact were not disclosed. “We feel great about the financials. Otherwise we wouldn’t have done the deal,” said Nick Khan, WWE’s president and chief revenue officer, who joined the company last August from CAA. “To have WrestleMania in particular — which is our Super Bowl — available [for no extra cost] on Peacock is quite different from other models you’re seeing.”

For Peacock, the WWE Network is “a transformative addition,” said Rick Cordella, Peacock’s EVP and chief revenue officer. “We have a lot of data that shows live events and sports drives a lot of user acquisition,” he said. “The bet is that there exists a much larger total available audience [for WWE programming] than is on WWE Network today.”

WWE and NBCU (and its predecessors) have been partners for more than 30 years. “Monday Night Raw” on USA, the first regular cable program from the wrestling-entertainment company, debuted in 1993. “WWE has always tapped into the cultural zeitgeist with spectacular live events and larger-than-life characters, and we are thrilled to be the exclusive home for WWE Network and its millions of fans across the country,” said Cordella.

In the third quarter of 2020, WWE Network had average paid subscribers of 1.6 million, down about 60,000 from the prior quarter but an increase of 6% year over year — marking the service’s first annual growth since Q1 of 2019. The entertainment company originally launched WWE Network in February 2014, when it ended its traditional pay-per-view events business.

Starting in 2022, WWE will produce “one signature documentary annually” for the WWE Network on Peacock. Also available on WWE Network are about 100 hours of original series like “Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions,” “Undertaker: The Last Ride” and the recently premiered “WWE Icons”; in-ring shows like NXT, NXT UK and WWE 205 Live, as well as replays of “Raw” and “SmackDown”; WWE Network archives, including every WWE, WCW and ECW pay-per-view event in history; and documentaries including “WWE 24,” “WWE Untold” and “WWE 365.”

Peacock, which NBCU launched nationwide in July 2020, attracted nearly 22 million user “sign-ups” in its first six months of wide release, according to the company. Eligible customers of Comcast Xfinity X1 and Flex and Cox’s Contour — a total of about 24 million households — get Peacock Premium included at no additional cost.

Peacock’s content lineup includes a slate of originals, libraries of TV shows — including all episodes of “The Office” and “Yellowstone” — and films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination, and other studios. In addition, the OTT service provides news, sports, late-night, Spanish-language, and reality from across NBCUniversal.

Peacock Premium now offers more than 47,000 hours of programming. NBCU also offers a free, ad-supported version of Peacock with a trimmed-down bucket of content.

Source: Variety

Faizon Love: Bruce Lee Would Beat Michael Jai White In A Street Fight; Deserves Respect For Teaching Martial Arts In Oakland During Height Of The Black Panthers Movement

In this clip, Faizon Love and Vlad continued their discussion about Bruce Lee and Michael Jai White. Faizon reiterated that martial arts is more about skill and technique than brute strength, which he thinks would pose an impediment for Michael if he were to fight someone like Bruce Lee. Faizon also pointed out that Bruce Lee deserves his respect for teaching martial arts in Oakland during the height of the Black Power era which wasn’t the environment for someone who couldn’t hold their own.

Chris Rock Explains Why He Hates Civil Rights Movies: ‘They Make Racism Look Very Fixable’

Chris Rock sounded off on films that deal with Civil Rights struggles and said the issue with the majority of these films is that they “make racism look very fixable.” Rock said the stories his mother used to tell him about the Civil Rights Movement era make it clear these films should be “dirtier,” if they want to be accurate.

“I hate all Civil Rights movies,” Rock said. “Don’t get me wrong, I applaud the effort and they should exist. The problem is they only show the back of the bus and the lunch counter. They actually make racism look very fixable. They don’t get into how dysfunctional the relationships were in the ’40s and ’50s, white men would just walk in your house and take your food… it’s a predator-prey relationship. Do you think when it was time to rape, [white men] were raping white women? No. They would go and rape the women they could actually rape without going to jail for.”

“This shit is so much dirtier than any movie ever shows,” Rock continued. “My mother used to get her teeth taken out at the vet because you weren’t allowed to go to the dentist. No movie shows you that.”

Rock did not call out any Civil Rights movies by name, although his argument that such films “make racism look very fixable” were the same criticisms thrown at Best Picture winner “Green Book.” 

Source: IndieWire

AMC renting out theaters for $99 amid pandemic recovery plans (up to 20 people)

AMC locations across the U.S. are renting out entire theaters for moviegoers starting at $99.

Groups up to 20 people can enjoy a private user experience. The price for rental goes upwards to $349 depending on the movie chosen by the group and the theater location, AMC states on their website.

Currently, 34 films are being offered in rental packages. Older releases start at $99 plus tax while newer movies begin at $149.

There are several add-ons that also increase the price for groups, AMC disclosed on their FAQs page. Popcorn and other snacks are not included but can be bought using snack vouchers as the theaters are now cashless.

You can also bring your own food for a catering fee of $250. On condition, AMC doesn’t allow people to bring goodies that they already sell or that require a “heating element.”

Should you want to greet your group with a microphone, that will be another $100 fee.

The newest initiative comes while the theater company tries to recover from the hit it took from shutting down amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Fox Business