The Original Kings of Comedy

The Original Kings of Comedy

name = The Original Kings of Comedy

imdb_id = 0236388
writer = Steve Harvey
D. L. Hughley
Cedric the Entertainer
Bernie Mac
starring = Steve Harvey
D. L. Hughley
Cedric the Entertainer
Bernie Mac
director = Spike Lee
producer = Spike Lee
Walter Latham
David M. Gale
distributor = Paramount Pictures
released = August 18, 2000
runtime = 115 minutes
language = English
music =
amg_id = 1:207022
budget = $3,000,000 (estimate)|

"The Original Kings of Comedy" is a 2000 stand-up comedy film, directed by Spike Lee, and featuring the comedy routines of Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, and Bernie Mac. Filmed in front of an audience in Charlotte, North Carolina, the comedians give the audience their views about African American culture, race relations, church, and families. The film was produced by MTV Films and Latham Entertainment, and distributed by Paramount Pictures.

The film was shot over the last two nights (February 26 and February 27, 2000) of the "Kings of Comedy" tour with Harvey, Hughley, Cedric, and Mac. Its on-stage routines are intercut with brief sections of video footage showing the comedians backstage, promoting the show on the radio, at the hotel, and during a basketball game.


teve Harvey

Steve Harvey, the star of "The Steve Harvey Show", is the master of ceremonies for the show. Unlike his sitcom character, Harvey's on-stage routines use a significant amount of profanity; as the show's M.C., Harvey is given three short sets instead of one long one.

Harvey's first set covers Carolina Panthers football star Rae Carruth, his distaste for the movie "Titanic", and his theory that although the white band in "Titanic" kept playing as the ship went down, "Kool & the Gang woulda been unpluggin' shit!" His second explores the differences between hip hop/rap music and the old school soul music and funk of artists like The Temptations, Earth Wind & Fire, the Ohio Players, and Lenny Williams.

The finale of Harvey's sets finds him heckling a member of the audience by stealing his coat while he is away from his seat, and remarking that the "thuggish"-looking young man couldn't possibly be in the field of "computer technology" that he claims he is. Harvey also covers his experiences growing up in the church, calling out the ineffectiveness of the typical black church "building fund", and recollecting his mother's friend Sister O'Dell's profane language and befuddled attempts to sing a church hymn (interspersed with lyrics from television show theme songs).

D.L. Hughley

Steve Harvey' first set is followed by D. L. Hughley, the star of "The Hughleys". He talks about family, specifically African-American family with roots in the South, which shows there's still something to the concept of the perceived monolithic black experience. He exploits the differences between black people and white people; for example, Hughley notes that black people don't ski or do other dangerous physical activities because they experience enough peril just trying to get through an average day. "Bungee jumping," he says. "That's too much like lynchin' for us!" He also talks about "helicopter man", a game he and his wife play in bed, and some skid-marked undergarments that he tried to hide at the bottom of his dirty clothes.

Cedric the Entertainer

Cedric the Entertainer, who presents himself as the most in-tune with the younger demographic, goes through a number of topics during his routine. Primary among these is his embellishment of the differences between the "hope factor" and the "wish factor": white people "hope" that nothing goes wrong, and black people wish someone "would" start trouble so that they can retaliate. Cedric's acknowledges that he is now a "grown-ass man", and can no longer call his friends by their "lil' nicknames" or engage in other such immature behavior.

He discusses how angry a black president might become if a Monica Lewinsky question were posed at a news conference, and also goes into routines about smoking, black athletes' expansion into golf, tennis, and other sports, what a "ghetto-ass wedding" would be like, and black people's eventual migration to the moon.

Bernie Mac

The late Bernie Mac was the most autobiographical of the group. He turns his comedy on himself. He uses short, punchy attacks to make his point about his decreased sex drive and desire for quick sex instead of longer periods of intercourse. Mac's longest routines involve his hard-nosed style of child-rearing, where he makes no qualms about "fucking a kid up" if he needs to. He goes into an extended routine about the stress of raising his sister's [He doesn't actually have a sister. It's just part of the routine.] children for her while she recovers from drugs, and tells of a run-in he had with his two-year-old niece and his effeminate six-year-old nephew, whom he refers to repeatedly as "the faggot" (Mac's routine about his sister's kids later became the basis of his FOX Network show "The Bernie Mac Show"). He then tells a story about his mentally challenged nephew and his bouts with his bus driver; according to Mac, when the bus would come, his nephew would attempt to ask a question, but would immediately start stuttering, frustrating the bus driver and prompting him to drive off without picking him up. This continues the next few days, and Mac's sister confronts the bus driver, asking why he was "denying [her son's] 'edumacation.'" The bus driver begins to stutter exactly like Mac's nephew, then proclaims "he was teasin' me!". The set, and the film, are concluded with Mac's piece on the ubiquity of the swear word "motherfucker", which he describes as "a noun: a person, place or thing," and then proceeds to give the heft of an adjective and even transforms it into a split infinitive.


* The film spawned into multiple spin-offs and films similar to this one.
* Bernie Mac died on August 9, 2008

Box office & DVD release

"The Original Kings of Comedy" was produced on an estimated $3,000,000 budget. On its opening weekend, it grossed a total of $11,053,832 on only 847 screens, averaging to about $13,051 per venue and ranking as the second highest grossing film that weekend behind only The Cell. It eventually grossed a total of $38,168,022 at the box offices.

This film was released on DVD on February 27, 2001 and distributed by Paramount Home Video. Bonus features on the DVD include the music video "#1 Stunna" by Big Tymers, "Kings On The Town" featurette, and bonus scenes.

Awards & nominations

2001 NAACP Image Awards
* Outstanding Motion Picture (nominated)

2001 Chicago Film Critics Association Award
* Best Documentary (nominated)

Related films

The popularity of this movie inspired spin-offs, including "The Original Queens of Comedy", "The Original Latin Kings of Comedy", "The Kims of Comedy", "Blue Collar Comedy Tour", "The Comedians of Comedy" , and "The Killers of Comedy".

External links

*imdb title|id=0236388|title=The Original Kings of Comedy
*rotten-tomatoes|id=original_kings_of_comedy|title=The Original Kings of Comedy

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