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December 01, 2008

Tim Reid, A Black Comic For A Black President (Video)

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I saw Tim Reid on D.L. Hughley's CNN show this weekend.  I haven't seen Tim Reid in ages, but he was on promoting a book he's written with former standup comic partner Tom Dreesen:  Tim and Tom: An American Comedy in Black and White

In the late sixties, Reid and Dreesen, who's white, had an act that touched on the racial issues of the day and the book chronicles their travels across the country and how audiences reacted to their unique show.

On Hughley's show, Reid had some great things to say about being a black comic in an era with a soon to be sworn in black president, Barack Obama, and as always, he was smart and funny.

My favorite moments in the interview?

Where Reid tells young black men: "brothers gonna have to pull up their pants and stop showin' them nasty draws."

Amen, Tim!

And where he says that comics need to clean up there acts:  "Comics gonna have to give up the "F" word.  We rely too much on cursing in comedy."

Amen, Tim!

And where he says how there are "so many more comics now, but so much less comedy."

Amen, Tim!

I used to love "WKRP in Cincinnati" and I especially loved Reid's little known CBS show, "Frank's Place" that aired on CBS in the late eighties.  It was one of the first TV shows to portray a variety of different kinds of black people, not just the usual stereotypes.  It was smart, unique and had elements of drama and comedy...so of course it was canceled.

It's not on DVD yet, but there are still a few of the episodes floating around out there.  If you can get hold of one, definitely watch it. I'm adding "Tim & Tom" to my reading list and when I get around to reading it, I'll let you know what I think.

Meanwhile, I got to wondering if "WKRP" episodes were on Hulu and sure enough they are. Ain't this a wonderful world we live in?

So here's the very funny Thanksgiving themed episode, "Turkeys Away."  


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