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Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution
Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution (image via screenshot | Youtube)

A&E Network will premiere the new two-part documentary event Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution exploring the progression of Black comedy and the comedians who have used pointed humor to expose, challenge and ridicule society’s injustices and to articulate the Black experience in America.

The documentary explores Black comedy through a unique lens, tracing the evolution and social awakening of the courageous comedians who dared to push against the constraints of their time and spoke truth to power.

Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution is co-directed by Mario Diaz and Jessica Sherif and premieres Wednesday, June 29 at 9pm ET/PT and Thursday, June 30 at 9pm ET/PT on A&E.

The documentary traces the history of Black comedy and its under-appreciated legacy of driving social change across the 20th and 21st centuries. From Redd Foxx, Moms Mabley and Dick Gregory during the civil rights movement, Richard Pryor in the 70s, Eddie Murphy and Whoopi Goldberg in the 80s, to the power of In Living Color and Def Comedy Jam in the 90s, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle in the 2000s and groundbreaking modern-day comedians and creators like Key & Peele, Issa Rae, Amber Ruffin and Tiffany Haddish. Across four hours, “Right to Offend” explores the rare position these artists and many more hold in our society as both entertainers and truth tellers that speak to audiences in ways no other performers can.

Featuring interviews with some of the greatest comedy minds of all time as well as a rich collection of archival material, the two-part event reveals the personal stories and tribulations faced by many Black performers in attaining greater acceptance and opening the doors for a true representation of the Black experience. The documentary also traces how each generation of comedians built upon the foundations created by their predecessors to help evolve and push the boundaries of comedy as a means for social change and fought for a greater definition and understanding of what it means to be Black in America.

Watch the trailer for Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution.

Full list of interviewees:

W. Kamau Bell, Comedian
Alonzo Bodden, Comedian
Dr. Todd Boyd, Author and Academic
Wayne Brady, Comedian
Kevin “Dot Com” Brown, Comedian, Co-Founder “Uptown Comedy Club”
Michael Che, Comedian
Louis Chude-Sokei, Author and Academic
Tommy Davidson, Comedian
Michael Eric Dyson, Author and Academic; Author, “Is Bill Cosby Right?”
Wayne Federman, Comedy Historian; Author, “The History of Stand-Up”
Andre Gaines, Filmmaker, “The One and Only Dick Gregory”
Nelson George, Filmmaker and Cultural Critic
Christian Gregory, Dick Gregory’s Son
David Alan Grier, Comedian
Tiffany Haddish, Comedian
Michael Harriot, Journalist and TV Writer; Author, “Black AF History”
Kevin Hart, Comedian, Actor, Producer & Entrepreneur
Steve Harvey, Comedian
Bambi Higgins, Academic, Author, “Laughing Mad”
Lil Rel Howery, Comedian
DL Hughley, Comedian
Norman Lear, Television Producer
Darryl Littleton, Comedian and Writer
Daryl Mooney, Paul Mooney’s Son
Dwayne Mooney, Paul Mooney’s Son
Garrett Morris, Comedian
Mark Anthony Neal, Author and Academic
Kliph Nesteroff, Comedy Historian; Author, “Comedians”
David Peisner, Entertainment Journalist; Author, “Homey Don’t Play That: The Story of In Living Color”
Russell Peters, Comedian
Elizabeth Pryor, Richard Pryor’s Daughter
Rain Pryor, Richard Pryor’s Daughter
Donnell Rawlings, Comedian
Tony Rock, Comedian
Amber Ruffin, Comedian
Allison Samuels, Entertainment Journalist
Scott Saul, Author, “Becoming Richard Pryor”
Amanda Seales, Comedian
Sherri Shepherd, Comedian
Bob Sumner, Co-Creator, “Def Comedy Jam”
Eddie Tafoya, Comedy Historian; Author, “Icons of African American Comedy”
Robin Thede, Comedian; Creator, “A Black Lady Sketch Show”
Kenan Thompson, Comedian
Joe Torry, Comedian
Aisha Tyler, Comedian
Jimmie Walker, Comedian; Cast Member, “Good Times”
George Wallace, Comedian
Marsha Warfield, Comedian; Cast Member, “The Richard Pryor Show”
Katt Williams, Comedian
Tony Woods, Comedian

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