A two-part documentary premiering on the A&E Network next month will explore the progression of Black comedy in America through the years.
The documentary series, Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution will show how Black comedians have used pointed humor to expose, challenge, and mock the injustices of society and articulate the Black experience in America. The first part will air Wednesday, June 29 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on A&E, and the conclusion will show Thursday, June 30 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
A&E describes the series as: “The series examines 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 is executively produced by Kevin Hart’s HARTBEAT and TIME Studios. It is co-directed by Mario Diaz and Jessica Sherif and will also be available on-demand and to stream on the A&E app and the official site at aetv.com/shows/right-to-offend.
Right to Offend takes viewers through the history of Black comedy and its under-appreciated heritage of creating and driving social change across the 20th and 21st centuries. It will showcase comedians such as Redd Foxx, Moms Mabley, and Dick Gregory during the civil rights movement, the trials and tribulations of Richard Pryor in the 70s, Eddie Murphy, and Whoopi Goldberg making waves in the 80s. It will also display the power of the ensemble show, In Living Color, and the groundbreaking Def Comedy Jam in the 90s. The rise of Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle in the 2000s and groundbreaking modern-day comedians and creators like Key and Peele, Issa Rae, Amber Ruffin, and Tiffany Haddish. Right to Offend probes the rare occasions when these artists serve as both entertainers and truth-tellers that speak to audiences in ways no other performers can.
Below is a partial list of comedians interviewed for the documentary:
W. Kamau Bell, Wayne Brady, Michael Che, Tommy Davidson, Michael Eric Dyson, David Alan Grier, Tiffany Haddish, Kevin Hart, Steve Harvey, DL Hughley, Garrett Morris, Donnell Rawlings, Tony Rock, Amanda Seales, Sherri Shepherd, Kenan Thompson, Joe Torry, Aisha Tyler, Jimmie Walker, George Wallace, Marsha Warfield, Katt Williams, and Tony Woods.