Def Comedy Jam returns

While everyone was talking about Leno and Kimmel agreeing to go on each other’s shows to break the strike, or wondering how Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert would come back on the air, or buzzing about the return of The L Word, or how The Wire is the greatest show on TV ever (which is odd considering these folks were the same ones who kept saying this about The Sopranos, and you’ve never heard them mention The Wire before The Sopranos ended only six months ago), or even people talking about the New Hampshire primaries, you barely heard a word about the return of Def Comedy Jam. Well, Def Jam and comedy are back together again. And Russell Simmons reminded you with a throwback clip of Bernie Mac in 1991, with an outfit that made him look more like a Graffiti Train Conductor of Comedy than a future King of Comedy. But host D.L. Hughley set the tone early, with his tie and sweater and his jokes about the presidential campaign, that this wasn’t your older sibling’s Def Jam show. Or was it? The first comic, Damon Jr., as in Damon Wayans Jr., didn’t sound or look exactly like his father, but did show his youth with a very hacky, if well-executed act-out of a guy trying to masturbate to porn without completing during the close-up on a guy. The show also featured a Middle Eastern comic (Vincent Oshana), a British comic (Gina Yashere), and Capone. Yep, Def Jam’s back. File under the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Meanwhile, NYC comedians Baron Vaughn and Elon James White started a site called the Black Comedy Project last year to showcase different types of "black comedy" than the type you’re perhaps used to seeing.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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