Eddie Murphy definitely sits on the throne as one of the true kings of comedy (Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios/Quantrell D. Colbert/Amazon Studios).
True Kings and Queens of Urban Comedy
RegalMag.com has done everything under the sun when it comes to listing the publication’s favorites.
From movies to music to sports, RegalMag.com has published its top 10 this or top five that.
But what about the top comedy concert films of all time?
With Netflix producing some instant classics from Dave Chappelle and others, RegalMag.com went back into time so that the publication could provide a history lesson for all of the youngsters who did not experience Chappelle’s predecessors in their heyday.
As a result, RegalMag.com compiled a list of its eight favorite urban comedy concert films or specials of all time.
“The Original Kings of Comedy” by Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Bernie Mac and Cedric the Entertainer—To all of the youngsters not old enough in 2000 to remember the Spike Lee directed concert film “The Original Kings of Comedy,” please find an old VCR or DVD player to watch four geniuses at work. From Steve Harvey talking about his mother’s senile best friend from church, Sister Odell, to Bernie Mac making fun of his effeminate nephew, “The Original Kings of Comedy” culminated a golden era in urban comedy brought on by the success of shows like “Def Comedy Jam” and “Comic View.” The film also featured classic bits from Cedric the Entertainer about Black golfers and hockey players and D.L. Hughley’s bit about his mean grandmother.
“Delirious” by Eddie Murphy—The year 1983 was good to Black America. Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and Lionel Richie’s “Can’t Slow Down” dominated the music charts. Dr. J finally won an NBA championship after Moses Malone joined the Philadelphia 76ers. Additionally, Eddie Murphy released “Delirious” on HBO. While Murphy’s star had skyrocketed after film roles and “Saturday Night Live,” which required some limits on profanity, “Delirious” let Murphy be his true raunchy self. Fans still quote his bits about the ice cream truck, Michael, Jermaine and Tito Jackson and AIDS.
“Live on the Sunset Strip” by Richard Pryor—While Bernie Mac, Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley and even Guy Torry, called themselves the kings of the comedy, they all to a man labeled Pryor as the true king of comedy. The year before Murphy released “Delirious,” his hero in comedy released “Live on the Sunset Strip.” Pryor released this comedy special via album and film. The album version won the Best Comedy Recording Grammy Award in 1982. On the set, Pryor did his famous “Mudbone” routine, while also talking about his trip to Africa and his experience freebasing cocaine.
“Eddie Murphy: Raw” by Eddie Murphy—Although Eddie Murphy had an HBO film with “Delirious,” he got the big screen treatment in 1987 with “Eddie Murphy: Raw.” Filmmaker/actor Robert Townsend (“The Five Heartbeats”) directed “Eddie Murphy: Raw,” which made $50.5 million in the United States and Canada. In the film, Murphy focused on his favorite subjects, sex and women. However, he also touched on topics like the costs of fame like dealing with fans that approach him with his obscene catchphrases and people offended by his routines like Bill Cosby. “Eddie Murphy: Raw” also had cameo appearances by actors like Samuel L. Jackson, Tatyana Ali (“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”) and Deon Richmond (“The Cosby Show”) as Little Eddie in a family skit at the beginning of the film.
“Queens of Comedy” by Mo’Nique, Sommore, Adele Givens and Miss Laura Hayes—Rumor has it that the “Kings of Comedy” wanted a sequel to their 2000 hit concert film. However, because all of the stars of “Kings of Comedy” blew up on television and film after that, it did not happen. No worries, because the “Queens of Comedy” held it down for urban comediennes/comedians with their own concert film in 2001. Miss Laura served as host in the same way as Harvey did in “The Original Kings of Comedy” telling family stories about her children and grandchildren. As always, the queen Mo’Nique represented for the big girls, Givens emphasized the need to embrace one’s flaws and Sommore gave her views on men, marriage and other topics.
“Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones” by Dave Chappelle—The entire 21st century belongs to Dave Chappelle as far as stand-up comedy is concerned. While comedians like Kevin Hart have made it bigger on the big screen because of their popularity on stage, the actual stage belongs to Chappelle. Through Chappelle’s deal with Netflix, he has released several instant classic comedy specials. However, 2019’s “Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones” might top the list. The film focused mainly on cancel culture, which attempts to destroy a celebrity’s career if people disagree with something that celeb said or did.
“Dave Chappelle: Equanimity” by Dave Chappelle—The marriage between Chappelle and Netflix has been a match made in Heaven. Chappelle has made hundreds of millions of dollars with Netflix without having to sell his soul. Furthermore, Netflix has had Chappelle’s back; removing his hit sketch comedy television show “Chappelle’s Show” after the comedian said that he did not get fairly compensated from that hit show. In “Dave Chappelle: Equanimity,” the resident of the Cincinnati area talks about not growing up in the projects and the hate that the transgender community has for him.
“Steve Harvey: Still Trippin’” by Steve Harvey—Say what you want about Steve Harvey and racial issues and politics, but people cannot hate on the brother’s comedic genius. In 2006, Harvey released the clean and gospel friendly comedy film, “Don’t Trip…He Ain’t Through Wit Me Yet” with absolutely no profanity. A comedian who could generate just as many laughs cursing or using no profanity is truly a comedic giant. In 2008, right around the time of former President Barack Obama’s historic election, he released “Steve Harvey: Still Trippin’” with just a little bit of profanity. Once again, he hit it out of the park, discussing people who curse at church, his niece having five children with five different fathers and marrying someone on house arrest. He also discussed the “Strawberry Letter” segment of his radio show, especially one listener who wanted to know if it was her wifely duty to wipe her obese husband’s behind even though she did not want to.