The Lyricist Lounge Show

The Lyricist Lounge Show

"The Lyricist Lounge Show" was the first sketch show of its kind, combining comedy with hip-hop music, creating sketches with raps interspersed throughout the sketches.

A by-product of the immensely popular New York-based hip-hop showcase, Lyricist Lounge, "The Lyricist Lounge Show" combined traditional comedic skits with the breakthrough concept of lyrical sketches, an innovative convergence of hip-hop music and theatrical narratives. Farcical comedic sketches pushed the envelope of political correctness, while lyrical acts showcased the talent of the show's resident rappers, who performed humorous vignettes with rhyming dialogue and thumping beats. The lyrical sketches featured some of the hottest names in hip-hop music such as Q-Tip, Mos Def, Cee-lo, Common, Tash, Snoop Dogg, Erykah Badu and Krayzie Bone.

The ensemble cast of "The Lyricist Lounge Show" included rappers Wordsworth, Master Fuol and Baby Power, all up and coming artists.

Marty Belafsky, Tracee Ellis Ross, Heather McDonald, Mike Ricca and Jordan Black formed the comedic side of the cast, each with their own original brand of humor.

MTV's "The Lyricist Lounge Show" had its roots in NYC's "Lyricist Lounge", a hip-hop showcase featuring up and coming musical artists, many of whom have gone on to huge success, including Puff Daddy, Notorious B.I.G. and Eminem. Created by a couple of high school students, the showcase quickly outgrew the studio apartment where it was originally held. Sold out shows at various clubs led to a record deal for compilation CDs featuring Lyricist Lounge performers. A national tour followed, headlined by top hip-hop artists and showcasing unsigned talent.

MTV's "The Lyricist Lounge Show" was created by Danny Castro, Anthony Marshall, Perry Landesberg and Jacob Septimus of the Lyricist Lounge in New York along with the creative vision of executive producers Stacy Bronte and Rachel Broker. The show was pitched as a freestyle comedy jam with skits shot on location and in a loose studio setting. This approach was pushed aside by initial executive producer Claude Brooks, a product of sitcom television acting and producing, who insisted on shooting the show live to tape, with a studio audience. This approach proved to be too expensive and time consuming and doomed the show at the outset. During the second season, executive producer Jim Beiderman tried to modify the format to return to the creators' original premise, but by that time the show had already established itself. The approach favored by the creators was later adopted by "Da Ali G Show" and "Chappelle's Show" with great success.

Due to high production costs and conflict between the show's producers and MTV, the show lasted for only 2 seasons. In its short run it inspired many other variations on the theme.

*imdb title|id=0239178|title=The Lyricist Lounge Show


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