Volume 6 Issue 1 August 2011
Hart Releases The 1st Theatrical Stand Up Film In Years & We Talk To Him About His Journey To Becoming A Superstar!
BET Awards: Behind The Scenes & The Laugh At My Pain Black Carpet
Founder / Publisher Frank Holder
Chief Financial Officer Kevin Layne Editor-At- Large Sacre Wills Graphics Art Editor Bernadette Holder Fashion & Style Director Antonia Andullerro Manager Of Operations Shaquandra Jamison Photo Editor Melissa Bring Columnists Bernadette Holder Tony Spires Peppur Chambers Darryl Littleton Lea Ayers Antonia Andullerro Movie Reviews Michael DeQuina Photographers This Issue Frank Holder Tim Alexander Geno Brooks Danielle Wooten Kevin Kwan Dwayne Andrews Wire Image
Pictured here is Kevin Hart, during our cover photo shoot. Photo- Tim Alexander
The content of this Magazine is copy written (2009-â€™10) by The Humor Mill Magazine, DBA Holder Publishing, LLC. and may not be reprinted or retransmitted or reproduced without proper credit given to its origin.
humormillmag.com http://humormillmag.blogspot.com http://www.youtube.com/TheHumorMilll
Kevin Hart Photo Shoot Photographer:
Tim Alexander Asst: Jesse Carter Video & Edited By: Darrin Banks
Kevin Hart Harry Ratchford Tim Alexander Jesse Carter Kevin Kwan Richard Gumbs Brein Kelley Jonathan Moyal of Modani Showroom Kenneth Bordewick Josh Johnson Beverly Hill Luxury Interiors
Contents Comedy News
We have the latest news from the past several months from the news about Mo’Nique and her show getting canceled, to the possibility of Arsenio Hall coming back. Plus we have the latest on the new projects from Martin Lawrence and more!
This issue we have the latest news on the new projects from Will Smith, Morris Chestnut and David E. Talbert. We even have some interesting news about several new stars on the Hollywood horizon! Plus we have a few surprises! We also have more news in and around Hollywood about tomorrow’s superstars.
Why Everyone Loves Kevin Hart!
With a brand new film breaking box office records, hosting this year’s BET Awards, launching several other products, a new TV Show, another new film there isn’t anything stopping Kevin Hart! We examine why everyone loves Kevin Hart and we take a look at all of his projects, and it will be plain to see why everyone loves him!
Pictured here is comedian Kevin Hart during our photo shoot in Hollywood Photo : Tim Alexander
Departments Humor Mail
As usual, here are some of the letters and emails we have gotten from you in the last couple of weeks. Take a look at some of the reader’s thoughts and see if some of them mirror your own.
Star Spotlight~ Viola Davis By Antonia Andullerro
What can we say that you don’t already know about Viola Davis? A lot! This actress has been in several block busters for years, but this year’s performance in the hit film The Help is sure to get her noticed by the Academy of Motion Pictures! Are we talking Oscars? Yes, we think so!
NEW Article My Sex Life By Lea Ayers
Our new writer gives you a very interesting take on sex, and all of the trials and tribulations that has come from the sex life. DO you think you know everything there is to know about sex? Are there any questions you have about sex? Maybe the answers are here in this article. Get to know the writer and read the article- it’s not what you think!
Pictured here is singer Ne-Yo and Host Nick Cannon on the red carpet of the BET Awards 2011. Photo: Kevin Kwan
Departments Introducing Circle Of Friends By Bernadette Holder
Here is a very funny article by one of our Editors as she gives you an introduction of a new web series and a new play titled Circle Of Friends. This will open up your eyes as you follow the path of four friends as they hit a bump in the road of life, and how they all come together to help each other.
Style Withâ€Ś Dannon Green
This issue we examine comedian Dannon Green and we introduce you to his style of comedy and more! All we can say is that his comedy really packs a punch! What do we mean? Check out the article!
Pimp Down- An Insider Look Into The Rise & Fall Of Katt Williams
By Darryl Littleton Always willing to stir up a
little controversy, our writer opens up and delivers you a new chapter/excerpt from his new book detailing all of the things that went on behind the scenes while on the road with comedian Katt Williams. Here is an intimate look at things that were never before mentioned and discussed, as we see more that we ever could while falling behind the pimp of comedy.
Pictured here is Actress Camille Winbush on the red carpet for the Tyler Perry film Madeaâ€™s Big Happy in Hollywood. Photo: Frank Holder
Departments Long Live Laughter!
By Tony Spires The Comedy Doctor
As usual, another article from the Doctor! This article takes a very curious look at what is going on everywhere in our lives. This issue the Comedy Doctor takes a look at the past year and covers everything that was fascinatingand what wasn’t. Check out what the Doctor says to find out!
By Michael Dequina
This week our writer reviews the films Sex and The City 2 Get Him to The Greek. After receiving many reviews we set out our writer to tell us what’s what; Are the films worth the money? Is Puffy’s performance worth it? If not why not? There are a lot of questions, especially with the rising ticket prices that have hit the market. Well you have to read the article for the review.
Pictured here is comedian Dave Chappelle on stage at The Laugh Factory during the Chocolate Sundaes Comedy Show in Hollywood. Photo: Kevin Kwan
Departments More Bounce To The Ounce By Peppur Chambers
As usual, our writer takes you on a journey in her travels. This issue our writer lands at a Malibu Beach bar and she writes on her experiences at the bar with a couple of patron during her time there. A very interesting read to say the least, one that many single women will enjoy.
Signs Your Church Is Ghetto
By Adrian Dukes
What can we say here? Our writer gives you some very funny references on why you should see the signs on your Church being ghetto- and if it really isnâ€™t. Either way, check out the article and bring the check list with you the next time you go to Church to see if your Church is on this list!
Pictured here is comedian and actor Craig Robinson on the red carpet for the Tyler Perry film Madeaâ€™s Big Happy in Hollywood. Photo: Frank Holder
Editorâ€™s Page To All Of Our Readers, It may seem to you that we have been away for awhile, and you would be right; we have. Well, now we are back and we are moving ahead with all of the plans that we did embark on during the outage. The Humor Mill is planning to embark on a urban comedy channel, an outlet to showcase Humor Mill TV, and a comedy Awards/Festival. Since the time off from publishing the magazine we have made significant strides on all fronts and you will see the results soon. SO far, our cell phone app has launched on both the Iphone and Android systems, and we also launched a video on demand channel on the DISH network. In this day and age of social media, we have to move ahead with the times and that is trying to be seen in all of the media possible. So, in doing that, we are moving to take one more valuable step forward. Finally, we may even have print editions available nationally. So, why we are small we continue to strive to let the world know about our industry. Stay tuned! Frank Holder Publisher Humor Mill Magazine
Pictured here is rapper DJ Khaled and his crew on stage performing at the BET Awards 2011 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Photo: Kevin Kwan
Mail Humor Mill Magazine; First, what a fabulous issue! I loved the issue! I loved the layout and the stories! As a new reader I was pleasantly surprised about the magazine, and I plan on being an avid reader. I did some research and discovered that you don’t print yet, but when you plan to, I would love to be a subscriber! I would love to add you on my coffee table with my JET and Ebony issues, and for me that’s HUGE! Keep up the good word! Maggie Marston New Orleans, LA Ed NOTE: Thanks for the great compliments! We do plan on printing soon, but the plans for that don’t look like it’s going to happen until January. But in the meantime you can enjoy our issues online and in digital format on any mobile device. Humor Mill Magazine; The Basketball Wives on the cover? That was ingenuous of your editorial staff because you know everybody is crazy about that show right about now. It should be said that it’s great to see real basketball wives on the cover instead of girlfriends and ex’s that made the show to kick up some dirt. At least you guys keep it real! UNKNOWN!
Pictured here is actress Teyana Taylor at the after party for the Tyler Perry film Madea’s Big Happy in Hollywood. Photo: Frank Holder
Mail Humor Mill Magazine; Loved your cover, but I was not too happy about your choice for a cover story? Who are those women? What have they been on? Are you guys going the reality show side and just putting on folks because of who they are married to instead of what they did? Please let me know or you will lose at least my subscription. Darren Block New York, NY ED NOTE: They were chosen because they were on the very popular show Basketball Wives, and at the time of the photo shoot they were in discussions for being on Basketball Wives LA Edition, since they are both living in LA and real wives. Turns out both of them are too drama free and neither of them made the show. You need to realize that shoots and decisions for covers are made many months ahead, and they fell victim to that decision that was on us. Humor Mill Magazine: I have to say that I loved your decision to place both Basketball Wives on your cover, and I loved the layout. I wish this issue was in print, but I will take what I can get. Love you Humor Mill! Ms. Real Talk New York, NY Ed NOTE: Thanks! Please tell your friends and subscribe!
Pictured here is singer R Kelly being interviewed at an after party during NBA All Star Weekend. Photo: Geno Brooks
Mail Humor Mill Magazine; Another issue with ladies on the cover?! Wow, you guys are trying to make a statement huh? I usually complain because I think celebrity women do NOT get enough press from the media, and NEVER from the urban outlets. Let it be said that your magazine does not fall in those guidelines! Keep it pushing! I will continue to read and forward to my folks! Charlotte Maynard Baltimore, MD Ed NOTE: Thanks for the compliments- we really appreciate it. Please continue to pass the new issue to all of your friends and tell them all to subscribe! Humor Mill Magazine: I am a loyal reader, a subscriber to you on Facebook, and I follow you guys on Twitter. I never thought about unsubscribing to all three before until after I got your last issue. After I read that issue, again I can say I was wrong. I love your decisions and I never knew there was so much substance with any NBA wives. Thanks for the eye opening experience! Doris Wilson New York, NY Ed NOTE: Thanks!
Pictured here is actress Kenya Moore right after the red carpet for the Tyler Perry film Madeaâ€™s Big Happy in Hollywood. Photo: Frank Holder
Mail Humor Mill Magazine; Your magazine it definitely one of the best ones I have ever read, and I can say that because of your photos. Reading it on my computer is truly an experience, but I do need your staff to think about publishing. I am not sure how much that will set your company back, but I think you are missing out on an prime opportunity by not printing as a lot of folks don’t read magazines online. Until that time, I think you guys are going to be always trying to catch up to the big boys. UNKNOWN Ed NOTE: We cant’ disagree, but we do have over 1 million on line subscribers, and we are launching other things very soon. Stay tuned to what those are! You will be surprised!
Pictured here is Producer Bob Sumner of Laff Mobb & Def Comedy Jam with Director Stan Lathan of Def Comedy Jam at a showcase for Laff Mobb in Los Angeles. Photo: Frank Holder
Pictured here is comedians Earthquake, Jay Anthony Brown and Jonathan Slocumb at the after party for the Tyler Perry film Madea’s Big Happy in Hollywood. Photo: Frank Holder
Mail Humor Mill Magazine; I am shocked that somebody actually recognized real basketball wives! In this day and age of fighting on reality television, it is great to see that there are positive, strong black sisters doing something with the opportunities given to them by their positions instead of shopping and fighting! But I guess that positivity with black women doesn’t make great TV. UNKNOWN Ed NOTE: What can we say? We think you are right because when there have been positive shows showcasing black women doing positive things, no one is watching. Look at Black Enterprise TV, its barely hanging on. That’s positive TV at its finest. Humor Mill Magazine; Editors, your magazine has some of the best photography I have seen inside Hollywood in such a long time. We all need to band together and support your site/issues and anything else you do as you guys are in a class by yourself. Doug Summers Miami, FL ED NOTE: Thanks for the compliments. It is hard work but we are striving to make it better and better. Very soon, you will see more!
Pictured here is actress Vanessa Williams at the after party for the Tyler Perry film Madea’s Big Happy in Hollywood. Photo: Frank Holder
Mail The Humor Mill Magazine; Another hot issue from the Humor Mill folks! I LOVE what you guys are doing over there, and I really love the concept! What can I say? I LOVE the Humor Mill! Can’t wait to see your publication on the news stand or delivered to my home! Michael Hills Atlanta, GA The Humor Mill Magazine; Great articles, great stories and some seriously great writers! One day soon I can see that your publication is going to rival VIBE and probably even Ebony/Jet! Keep up the good work!
Pictured here is former NFL player Matthew Hatchette, and comedians Chris Spencer and Tony Roberts about to be interviewed at Good Morning Arizona TV Show discussing the Larry Fitgerald Benefit Comedy Concert right before the interview in Phoenix. Photo: Frank Holder
Beverly Hills New York, NY Humor Mill Magazine: Great issue! Keep up the good work! News stands please! ED NOTE: Thanks! We appreciate your comments!
CORRECTIONS FROM LAST ISSUE! There were too many to name, but thanks to your letters we know about all of them! J Hey, what can we say? We are doing the best that we can, especially without a full time Editor! Anyway, If you want to send us an email about the articles or your thoughts, all you have to do is send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for all of your comments. Some of these emails and other correspondence may be printed right here in these pages!
Pictured here is comedians BT Kingsley, Rico, Clayton Thomas, Tony Roberts, Esau McGraw and Kanisha Buss after Tony Robert’s’ game show showcase at The Comedy Store in Hollywood. Photo: Frank Holder
We just heard a serious rumor- and after calling several inside sources that have confirmed- we can state that comedian and actor Eddie Murphy will host the 84th Annual Academy Awards on February 26, 2012!
As you may already know this is the first time Murphy will be on stage performing any type of comedy since his Raw comedy tour that eventually became a film of the same title in 1987. Murphy, who is by far the world’s biggest comedic actor, has never hosted the Academy Awards before and hasn’t even been on stage in over 20 years. With these facts, its safe to say that comedy fans all over the world who doubted that he would ever get back on stage are in for a huge surprise. Why? Well, word has leaked for several years that Murphy was going to come back to do comedy and he even confirmed this fact with Ellen Degeneres on her day time talk show, Ellen but there were still doubters even after that statement. What better stage then the Academy Awards to showcase to the world that you are coming back and that you still got it? We also heard through our sources that Brett Ratner is producing the Awards (Director of the Rush Hour franchise films and the upcoming Tower Heist that Murphy is in along with Ben Stiller) and that there are going to be several more surprises.
If you haven't heard, comedian Sheryl Underwood has just been added to the talk show titled The Talk! Here is a portion of the article just dropped from Deadline; … also being added is Sheryl Underwood, the African-American stand-up comedienne used to be a regularly syndicated radio personality on the national Tom Joyner Morning Show as well as on the Jamie Foxx channel for Sirius XM satellite radio. She is now a weekly contributor on radio’s Steve Harvey Morning Show. A former member of the U.S. Armed Forces, Underwood likes to call herself” a sexually progressive God-fearing black Republican”. (Black GOP-er? CBS went looking for a needle in a haystack…)
L-R: Nick Cannon, Christina Applegate & Mya Rudolph
According to reports, word is that actor, comedian and business mogul Nick Cannon is about to land in a new NBC comedy series titled Up All Night. Not only is he a host on NBC's America's Got Talent, but it looks like Cannon wants to get back into acting in the new series. We hear that the new show revolves around actress Christina Applegate, who is the center of the show. Applegate plays a TV talk show Producer and Mother who along with her husband (Will Arnett) deals with funny moments bought on by her husband and her zany exploits at work. TV Guide reports that Cannon will play Calvin, "the wildly popular co-host to talk show star Ava (Maya Rudolph), who can’t help but be jealous of the attention her energetic sidekick receives.” The show centers on a new Mom and tv talk show producer, played by Christina Applegate, and her husband, played by Will Arnett. Mya Rudolph also co-stars as the talk show star. The show will debut September 14th at 10pm.
Pictured here is comedians Eddie Murphy and Kevin Hart at the Laugh At My Pain After Party in Hollywood. Photo: UNKNOWN
In an unbelievable story we have just confirmed that Codeblack Entertainment and comedian Kevin Hart are about to break new ground with Kevin Hart's new theatrical release of his new stand-up comedy feature film titled Laugh At My Pain! We hear that Codeblack Entertainment has just entered into a multi-year distribution deal with Silverbird Cinemas, and (for those of you that are unaware) Silverbird Cinemas is the exclusive theater chain servicing East/West Africa (Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia). Silverbird is the exclusive distributor for Sony (Columbia Tristar Pictures) for Nigeria and Ghana. How big is this theater chain? Well, Silverbird Cinemas has 59 screens and plans are to continue to build more theaters through-out the territory, and we hear the ramp up will be in the very near future. CodeBlack, seeking an opportunity here, will be only the 2nd American Company to start distributing films theatrically in East / West Africa while setting out to dispel the myth that black films and entertainment do not travel overseas. If you are familiar with that story then you already know Hollywood has used the excuse for years that Black actors in general are Kevin Hart not cast in major roles because of this so-called fact. Codeblack seems to be setting out to contradict this. With that in mind, Kevin Hartâ€™s Laugh at My Pain will be the first movie theatrically released via Codeblack into East/West Africa and will be the first American Stand up movie ever released in Africa- both of which are stakes in black history! We also heard that as part of the deal Codeblack will work with Silverbird's sister Entertainment Company and the government of Nigeria to bring Black American Comedians to perform live shows, and Codeblack will be the exclusive supplier and promoter to East/West Africa for the live comedy shows. An amazing feat as this has never happened before, and it looks like Codeblack will be breaking new ground in comedy history! It should be noted that our sources have also stated that there are similar conversations happening in South Africa and in the United Kingdom! With this new ground breaking venture it should be clearly noted that Hollywood Studios and major Promoters have not taken any steps to launch anything in Africa, and all of this can be said its largely due to statistics that supposedly state that blacks overseas do not perform well in any film or stand up features. With Codeblack Entertainment launching Laugh At My Pain in Africa in conjunction with Silverbird, all eyes in Hollywood will be on them and it's performance.
We just heard from our folks over at Live Nation that the comedy show that featured comedians Dave Chappelle, Chris Tucker and Katt Williams on Saturday was a huge success! In case you hadn't heard the three comedians were part of a comedy show in San Francisco as part of Radio Station Wild 94.9 (and Live Nation) titled Wild 94.9's Comedy Jam 2011, and was in its 12th year as it also featured other comedians such as Gabriel Iglesias, Jo Koy, and Rick Gutierrez. Since the first Comedy Jam in 2000, the Wild 94.9 Comedy Jam has welcomed comedians such as Cedric the Entertainer, George Lopez, Jamie Foxx, Joe Rogan, Cheech & Chong, Dave Chappelle, Tommy Davidson, Tracy Morgan and a host of other stars. Over 200,000 people have been in attendance over the 12 year span. The funny thing is despite what people may have been thinking and saying via the internet, about Katt's last couple of performances and Dave's reported last minute cancellations, the show was one of the smoothest seen in a very long time. As of this writing, we have been contacted by several folks who were in attendance and they all agree that the show was a huge success.
Pictured here is comedians Jay Anthony Brown and Rodney Perry at the after party for Tyler Perryâ€™s Big Happy Family in Hollywood. Photo: Frank Holder
We just confirmed that the rumors we heard for the past couple of weeks are true! Comedic actress and The View co-host Sherri Shepherd officially got married! Here is the complete article via People.com: Joy Behar isn't the only newlywed on The View. Co-host Sherri Shepherd and fiancĂŠ Lamar Sally tied the knot at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago, her hometown, on Saturday, her rep confirmed to PEOPLE. Shepherd's eight bridesmaids included The View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Niecy Nash and Community's Yvette Nicole Brown, and her 6-year-old son Jeffrey walked her down the aisle. After using her wedding dress as her carry-on luggage on a flight from New York City to Chicago earlier in the week, Shepherd, 44, spent the days leading up to the wedding battling nerves and fitting in a few last-minute workouts at her hotel gym, according to her Twitter musings.
She even Tweeted nearly up until it was time to walk down the aisle, writing on Saturday afternoon, "Sitting in the room in my gown waiting for Sal& groomsmen to take their pics... can't let him see me b4 the wedding... but I'm bored as heck." Right before the ceremony she Tweeted: "What happens when you are in your wedding dress and you have to tinkle? Uh-oh!" The 30 Rock actress devoted months to trying to get in shape for her big day, which will air as a special on the Style network on Sept 13. Shepherd, who calls her husband "Sal," had been prepping for a large ceremony since getting engaged in December. "His family's from Detroit and mine are from Chicago, and we've got really close friends that we want to share the day with," she told PEOPLE as she planned her nuptials. "So, it's going to be pretty big."
L-R: David E. Talbert, Morris Chestnut, Michelle Williams, Brian White, Lavell Crawford & Tony Rock We just discovered a new EXCLUSIVE- we hear that Playwright and Film director David E. Talbert is casting now for the live taping of two of his top grossing plays - What Goes Around Comes Around and A Fool And His Money. Both will be filmed in front of a live audience this September in Los Angeles and then released on DVD and aired on Black Entertainment Television. If you are a fan of his plays, that you know that Talbert loves to add comedians in his plays (as he did Esau McGraw and Tiffany Haddish in his last play that toured a couple of months ago titled What My Husband Doesn't Know that starred Morris Chestnut or Brian White and Michelle Williams). Anyway, it looks like comedians Lavell Crawford and Tony Rock are locked in for What Goes Around Comes Around. We had a chance to speak to Talbert and he was excited to finally get a chance to work with both Crawford and Rock. "I've been a big fan of both those guys for years. To me, Lavell Crawford is one of the funniest in the game and Tony Rock has me in stitches every time I see him live. He's definitely someone I feel is next up." Stay tuned for more details here as we give you all of the info about his up and coming projects and new tour schedule that he is planning to launch for the fall.
Pictured here is actor Morris Chestnut and comedian Kevin Hart before his performance in London England. Photo: Kevin Kwan
As we reported back in January - EXCLUSIVELY- the comedian and actor Chris Tucker has jumped in a brand new comedy tour hitting over 20 cities. Now, Tucker seems to be planning another new venture to spark his career to another new height! According to a New York Times article, Tucker is planning on launching in another direction in films and we hear that he is looking to launch a DRAMATIC career, seeking more drama oriented roles! Stay tuned more details soon!
Chris Tucker We just discovered that comedian and radio host Steve Harvey has just landed a deal that would see him launch a new day-time talk show for syndication! Our sources told us that this show idea had been in the works for several months and was planned to launch sometime late this year or at the beginning of next year. We also heard that when The Mo'Nique Show was recently cancelled on BET that the folks at Harvey's camp briefly discussed the thought of having him throw his hat in the late night arena, but quickly changed their minds since Harvey does radio every morning and that the late night gig might be too strenuous. Anyway, The Hollywood Reporter article states that the show will arrive next year.
Steve Harvey Steven Soderbergh
Gabriel Iglesias Matthew McConaughey
We just discovered that comedian Gabriel Iglesias has just joined a new dramatic film. Check out the details from The Hollywood Reporter; Comedian Gabriel Iglesias has joined the growing cast of Magic Mike, Steven Soderbergh’s drama set in the world of male strippers and is based on Channing Tatum's experiences when he was 19. Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Matt Bomer, Cody Horn and Riley Keough make up the cast in the story focusing on a stripper (Tatum) and his attempts over the course of a summer to school a freshman dancer (Pettyfer) in the protocol of stage performance, the principles of money management and rules for dating female fans. Gabriel will play a DJ at the strip joint and part of the gang. CAA repped Iglesias is a top comedy touring act - his Fluffy Shop Tour sold more than 122,000 tickets in 70 cities – and he did voice work on Disney Channel’s The Emperor’s New School. He stars and hosts the new Comedy Central show Gabriel Iglesias Presents: Stand-Up Revolution, which will premiere October 6th and will feature Ozomatli as the house band.
Pictured here is rapper Rick Ross and his Dj on stage performing at the BET Awards 2011 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Photo: Kevin Kwan
The second season of Idris Elba’s Luther hasn’t aired on BBC America for stateside audiences yet (that’s coming late next month; UK audiences saw all season 2 episodes already earlier this year). BBC One controller Danny Cohen announced at the ongoing Edinburgh TV Festival that a 3rd season has been ordered! Season 2 reportedly outperformed season 1, on average, attracting over 5 million viewers and was well received by critics. No word yet as to how many episodes season 3 will have, or when it will air, though I’d expect it’ll be sometime in mid 2012. Idris’ next project will be Pacific Rim which is scheduled to begin principal photography in October; but, as of right now, he hasn’t signed on to anything after that. So, he could very well go into Luther season 3 production shortly after that. Idris has already expressed his desire for a big screen version of Luther. “The ultimate ‘Luther’ story will unfold on the big screen,” he said in an interview a couple of months ago. Not sure if that’ll ever happen; but at least what we can expect to see is a 3rd season.
Idris Elba Not wasting any time, or waiting to see what the box office results for Colombiana are, actress Zoe Saldana is already on the move, this time, not only will she be starring, but she’ll also produce a supernatural thriller titled Dominion. The project is already set up at Paramount, so it looks like this is moving full speed ahead. Dean McCreary and Chester Hastings are writing the script, and plot details aren’t fully public yet. The Hollywood Reporter says the film “centers on a woman (Saldana) who is half-human, half-angel.” Stay tuned as more will sure follow!
Zoe Saldana Fans of NBC’s sitcom Parenthood might be happy to know that actor D.B. Woodside is joining the series’ cast in a fiveepisode story arc, playing a Dr. Joseph Prestidge, who is described as “an Ivy League-educated doctor and potential love interest for Joy Bryant’s Jasmine.” We discovered that Joy Bryant’s character (Jasmine) is already in a relationship with a fellow named Crosby (played by Dax Shepard); however, when season 3 begins next month, something happens that pushes them apart, as they realize that maybe they aren’t best for each other. Parenthood returns for season 3 on Tuesday, September 13.
Pictured here is R&B singer Alicia Keys on stage performing at the BET Awards 2011 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Photo: Kevin Kwan
Palmer Williams, Jr.
Not only did news break a couple of weeks ago that Tyler Perry has managed to partner with Lionsgate for an eventual launch of a network, but we just discovered that actor/writer and director Perry will go on a national tour this fall with a new play he wrote and will direct titled The Haves and The Have Nots. He doesn’t act in this one though; strictly a behind the stage effort this time. The story follows the life of a wealthy family who have everything they need and most of what they want. The characters are often preoccupied with superficial things, until they are forced to become involved with their housekeeper. When the poverty stricken maid is forced to ask for help, the family gets a chance to see how the other half lives. While coming to the rescue of the needy, it soon becomes painfully clear, who is really in need of saving. It also stars Palmer Williams Jr. and a supporting cast of powerhouse singers, and comedians. The powerful stage play features brand new music written by Perry, and delivers enough laughs to keep audiences laughing for the rest of the year.
Isaiah Mustafa Maybe forever to be known as The Old Spice Guy, actor Isaiah Mustafa has signed on for a recurring role on ABC’s upcoming Charlie’s Angels reboot. Mustafa will play a character named Detective Ray Goodson, described as “a hunky lawman who used to date Angel Kate (Annie Ilonzeh),” aka, the black Angel. Mustafa’s Detective Goodson will make his appearance on 4th episode of the series, with expected tension to likely continue throughout the series, for as long as he’s featured, between his character and black Angel Kate. ABC’s Charlie’s Angels premieres Thursday, September 22nd at 8/7 PM.
We just discovered that actress Debbie Allen will soon appear as Catherine Avery, mother of Dr. Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. Allen, who has previously directed three installments of the medical drama, will also direct a midseason episode. Since her role in the 1980s series Fame as the character Lydia Grant, Allen has become a legendary dancer, choreographer, actor and director. As of late, she has directed such series as Hellcats, Everybody Hates Chris, Girlfriends, and All of Us, among others. Grey’s returns for its eighth season on Thursday, Sept. 22 on ABC.
Pictured here is R&B singers and actors Michelle Williams and Ne-Yo backstage at the BET Awards 2011 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Photo: Kevin Kwan
We just discovered that actor Anthony Mackie and rapper Xzibit are “in Talks” for Prison Escape film, a thriller titled Liberty Lane. Film and unconfirmed casting details have just been released by K5 Media Group - the company handling worldwide sales for the project. The prison break drama currently in pre-production will be directed by Ezna Sands from a script written by Sands with Dean Zanuck and Scott Fisher producing. Anthony Mackie is rumored for the role of Arthur and Xzibit for a character named Trojan, according to K5 Media Group. Cillian Murphy is also rumored to star, perhaps in the lead role of Woody King. The film’s synopsis states: Con artist Woody King rarely loses his cool even when faced with sharing a prison cell with a fearsome cop killer and prison yard enforcer Arthur Malveaux with whom he must share a cell. But Woody finds himself uncharacteristically and deeply touched when he learns that Arthur’s son is dying but doesn’t know it because he can’t read his son’s letters. Ignoring the huge risks Woody persuades Arthur to join him in a prison break in order to reunite the man with his son before it is too late. Mackie and Xzibit worked together in 2008’s American Violet, starring Nicole Beharie and Alfre Woodard. The film is set for release in 2012.
Exzibit Despite the fact that he’s a reigning two-time NBA scoring champ, with a strong following in the basketball world, Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is not the first name that comes to mind when most casual fans think of superstar players. That could soon change, with word that Durant is likely to sign on to star in a yet-to-be-named Warner Brothers Pictures film. Film production is expected to begin in mid-September, with a shooting location having been narrowed down to either Oklahoma City or Baton Rouge, LA. That’s all that’s known thus far is that the film will have a basketball-centered subplot. Durant is known for being one of the more reserved players in a league full of loud and sometimes unpredictable personalities. So there is already some skepticism being expressed with regard to the level of acting ability he may possess.
It’s turning out to be one helluva year for comedian Mike Epps! At the beginning of the year, Epps launched his Mike Epps and Friends comedy show/tour that was filmed and broadcast on Showtime. As the year progressed, so did Epps. Recently we discovered that Epps has made some power moves in his film career as he just recently landed in the new remake of the film Sparkle with Jordan Sparks and Whitney Houston! If you are not familiar with the old film, it is a classic 1976 film that is loosely based of the story of the Supremes. He even continues to keep up appearances as he is the Host of this year’s BET’s Hip Hop Awards schedule for September.
Pictured here is former record executive Kevin Lyles and Television Producer James Dubose at the after party for Tyler Perryâ€™s Big Happy Family in Hollywood. Photo: Frank Holder
Hart Releases The 1st Theatrical Stand Up Film In Years & We Talk To Him About His Journey To Becoming A Superstar!
Story: Frank Holder | Photos: Tim Alexander | Location: Modani Showroom
Story: Frank Holder What can be said about the smallest gut in Hollywood with the biggest stature? Is there anything that can be said that hasn’t been already mentioned? With his HOT year developing in the books even as we write this, from his Hosting the BET Awards 2011 (and being one of the best hosts since the shows inception) to his opening weekend of Laugh At My Pain, comedian KEVIN HART continues to defy the odds! The Philadelphian native has not only embraced his new found fame, but by bringing his pain to the screen and allowing us into his life from his recent divorce, to his tumultuous childhood, he leaves nothing out of bounds. With this style of comedy, we not only laugh at him, we laugh with him. Hart makes fun of himself at any chance he can and he draws you in to his likeable persona and once you are drawn in, you are done! Hart’s personality and his fame is a sight for sore eyes because you can not help but love him, his comedy, and his story telling on stage. We got a chance to sit down with him several weeks ago and we asked him about several things and he opened up about his stardom and his current rise to fame. Here is an except of the interview; Humor Mill: We just got a chance to sit down with comedian Kevin Hart who recently had a weekend where he caught up with comedian and actor Eddie Murphy with his touring numbers. How do you feel about that Kev? Kevin Hart: Blessed and positive. I am only following the footsteps that the people before me left, which is a great place to be in. They set a pattern and I am just thankful that it is working out the way that it is. Humor Mill: Eighteen months ago did you image that you would be selling out arenas? Kevin Hart: I can’t say that I didn’t imagine it because that would then mean that you don’t have goals. I definitely have goals for myself in doing what I do and those goals are high. I definitely wanted to be performing in arenas and when you look at people like Murphy, and Rock, and Dice, these guys are legends because they have done things that are monumental such as selling out Madison Square Garden to doing football like stadiums, so of course as an artist performer, entertainer, you want to get to that level and to be finally getting there I am just excited about it. But I won’t sit here and say I never though that it would happen because I di and I wanted to achieve the same thing that those before me did.
â€œâ€Ś I definitely wanted to be performing in arenas, and when you look at people like Murphy, Rock, and Dice, these guys are legends because they have done things that are monumental, such as selling out Madison Square Garden to doing football like stadiums. So of course as an artist, performer, entertainer, you want to get to that level and to be finally getting there I am just excited about it.â€?
Photos: Tim Alexander Humor Mill: Seriously Funny, now Laugh AT My Pain… Anything else coming out? Those are two back to back comedy tours that you did. Anything else coming out that we can look forward to? Kevin Hart: Well, you know comedy is what fuels my engine. Right now I am getting offers for television and movies but you know I have had some campaigns come up that I have been loyal to like the Jordan campaign, the Ford campaign, my tour has just been filmed as a movie and has kept me crazy busy and I am working on the marketing, producing and publishing side. In the meantime I might do a TV show or a movie but like I said my focus for me is my stand up., that’s what is fueling my career and that seems to be what is getting me to the next level. I don’t want to turn my back on what got me here. Humor Mill: A couple more questions here… Kevin Hart the business man most people don’t know about, can you explain to people what is going on behind the scenes with your brand, your name? Kevin Hart: In order to become a big name or to build your brand you have to stay “in house”. What I mean by that is that you have to self produce, to create for yourself, to create revenue for yourself. So I started a company, Hartbeat Productions, and through my company I will be Executive Producing, directing and starring in future films and projects for myself that now because of the relationships that I have made and because of the revenue that I have made on the road, now I am able to go to the studios and ask for certain things and I know I can get them because they will say ‘this guys track record speaks for itself, he has a following and since he has a following our investment will seem to come back’. You know, I am just working on building my brand right now. Humor Mill: Can you tell everybody out there what you have planned in your immediate future? Is there another tour? Another film? Kevin Hart: I have a film dropping called 35 & Ticking that is gonna drop real soon, I have Laugh AT My Pain coming out of course, and I am about to shoot a television show with FOX, my show with Comedy Central (I don’t know what is happening with that yet), like I said the Jordan campaign, the Ford campaign – we are about to shoot more ads for those. Other than that, nothing… Go to the sitehttp://www.humormillmag.com to see the complete interview!
Kimberli is a fitness coach with a focus on personal fitness, group training and nutritional counseling. She fell in love with fitness training after having children. She had a desire to maintain her weight and stay fit. After faithfully putting in the hard work at the gym, she felt she had something to share, that’s when Faith N Fitness Mind, Body and Soul was born. Earlier this year Kim introduced her podcast on iTunes and has had a great response. She also has a product that will fall under the development of the K-Russ brand. You will hear Kimberli on the air this upcoming week along with her cohost Juliannah Richmond on WOVA Café, and is also working on a second show to air over the next few weeks . Kimberli will host the radio show along with her husband NBA Great, Bryon Russell. More to come… Humor Mill will have the updates as they progress.
“… I am able to go to the studios and ask for certain things, and I know I can get them because they will say ‘this guys track record speaks for itself, he has a following and since he has a following our investment will come back’... You know, I am just working on building my brand right now.”
Katt was scheduled to host the Comedy Central Flavor Flav Roast. Flav was a friend of his and fellow roasters included Snoop, Ice T and Sommore so it should have been cool, but something wasn't right. We felt it the moment we pulled onto the lot for rehearsal. The guards almost had smirks across their faces. The antenna went up nights before when Red Grant (at the time an employee for Comedy Central) had met at the office along with myself, Lena and two writers from the network. Katt was too busy to attend. (He'd often ditch Lena related events to go hide out at an anonymous hotel room and do whatever he chose to do without supervision). Too bad. Red mentioned racial jokes down at the Comedy Central offices, but failed to elaborate because the two writers cut him off. “C’mon Redd – y’know we’re just joking down there” Another 800 pound gorilla was when Red offered to read us some of the jokes and the two coincidentally white writers cut him off again “The host isn’t supposed to know the jokes ahead of time.” Why not I thought, but since it wasn’t my meeting and I lacked authority to discuss anything beyond gags and humor, those warnings was not addressed. The only one who could’ve piped up was Lena and she did not. So the five of us put our heads together and ironed out the show. On that August 9th of '07 the rehearsal seemed relatively uneventful. Katt read his prepared lines from the teleprompter. Snoop and the other black roasters went over theirs and all was well until we noticed the white roasting crew of Jeff Ross, Lisa Lampanelli and Greg Giraldo had shown up for rehearsal, but hadn't rehearsed. They said their hellos, then got back into the limo and left. Katt smelled a rat and sent me to get a script. Initially the teleprompter operator resisted; using the line that the host never got a full script. It made the shows more spontaneous. I smiled and demanded a copy, but before I could get out of the door with it, the underling's actions were over-ridden by his superior who entered and wanted to know what was going on and why did I have a script and I soon didn't have a script. So we enlisted the services of Red, who was skittish about sneaking a script out of the production trailer until Katt reminded him of where his loyalty should lie. Once we read the full script we understood why they didn't want us to have it.
Katt instructed me to wait for him at the beach office. When he arrived at 1:30am he was furious. The script was not as much a roast of Flav, but repudiation, and of black people in general. The white comics were going to blast all things black followed up by the black comics annihilating all things Flav. It was to be a coonfest. Katt decided we needed to make some changes and we stayed up all night downing Crunk and revising. We researched the white roasters and discovered they were employees of Comedy Central and then investigated their backgrounds for dirt. We used all we could. We barely managed to cram in an hour worth of sleep before the taping. We were too mad to be tired. Jeff Ross tried to be friendly on the lot and as we walked behind him Katt uttered, “Dead man walking.” In the studio Katt went to work and lit into every white comedian before calling Flav a flying monkey as he descended from the rafters on a crane. The unprepared white roasters were in shock. Who flipped the script? Katt made it clear he had and let them know their plot didn't work. Flav never caught on and frankly he was so tore up he wouldn't have. Flav was just glad to be Flav. Flav had gained national attention as the hype man for Public Enemy; once the conscience of black hip hop. Their searing lyrics about king and chief having a big beef was empowering and educating young AfricanAmerican youth. Couldn't have that. Not when there was an alternative – gangsta rap. So at the crossroads of a music genre infiltration the record companies decided to nix diversity and push the sounds that promoted killing other blacks while calling your woman a bitch and /or ho. Want to get your racial pride on – go to a Sharpton rally. So PE was pushed to the back burner and damn near off the stove. Flav (William J Drayton Jr.), Terminator X (Norman Rogers), Professor Griff (Richard Griffin) and MC Chuck D (Carlton Douglas Ridenour) had to find other ways to send out their message. Chuck produced other artists and founded a hip hop supersite. Terminator X quit hip hop in '03 to run an ostrich farm in North Carolina, but returned to cut an album in 2010 for 2011 release. Professor Griff joined the Nation of Islam and formed his own group, The Asiatic Disciples. Flav copped a drug habit and pumped out multiple kids. Times had changed. In his Act II Flav had risen from the ashes to become a hit machine for VH1 spawning three shows. On the plane ride home he was going up and down the aisles making people laugh and reciting his catch phrase, “Flav-or Flav” to all who'd listen. Yet Comedy Central and its minions sought to make him a modern day Stepin Fetchit. Satisfied we'd done good, Katt kicked back only to go into panic when the network threatened to sue him the following week for violating his contract. He'd done the right thing wrong and for the first time ever I saw Katt Williams scared. The thought of losing all he'd worked for terrified him. He had so many people's lives in his hands (most notably the kids) and letting them all down wasn't an option. With head lowered and spirit humbled Katt swore if he got out of the situation he'd be much more careful with his actions.
Viola Davis is an American actress who is known primarily as a stage actress, Davis won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play and a Drama Desk Award for her role in King Hedley II and she won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for her role in the 2010 production of Fences. She won a second Drama Desk Award for Intimate Apparel (2004). Some of her biggest films include Traffic, Antwone Fisher, and Solaris but her eight-minute-long performance in the film adaptation of John Patrick Shanley's Doubt garnered several honors, including a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Davis was born on her grandmother's farm in St. Matthews, South Carolina, the second youngest of six children. Her mother, Mae Alice, was a maid, factory worker, and homemaker, and her father, Dan Davis, was a horse trainer. Her family moved to Central Falls, Rhode Island when she was two months old. Davis has described herself as having "lived in abject poverty and dysfunction" during her childhood. Davis credits in part her involvement in the arts at her Alma mater, Central Falls High School, for her love of stage acting. Davis majored in theatre at Rhode Island College, graduating in 1988; in 2002 she received an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from the college. She was involved in the federal TRIO Upward Bound and TRIO Student Support Services programs. While Davis was a teenager, her talent was recognized by Bernard Masterson when, as director of Young People's School for the Performing Arts in Rhode Island, he awarded Davis a scholarship into that program. She also attended the Juilliard School for four years, characterizing the experience as a "hot mess". In 2001, she was awarded the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play for her portrayal of Tonya in King Hedley II, a "35-year-old mother fighting eloquently for the right to abort a pregnancy." She has also received two Drama Desk Awards, for her work in King Hedley II and, in 2004, for her work in an off-Broadway production of Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage Davis appears in numerous films, including three films directed by Steven Soderbergh - Out of Sight, Solaris and Traffic, as well as Syriana, which Soderbergh produced. Viola is also the uncredited voice of the parole board interrogator who questions Danny Ocean (George Clooney) in the first scene in Ocean's Eleven. She also gave brief performances in the films Kate & Leopold and Antwone Fisher. Her television work includes a recurring role in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; a starring role in the short-lived Traveler and a special guest appearance in "Badge", a Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode. In 2008, Davis played Mrs. Miller in the film adaption to the Broadway play, Doubt with Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams. She was nominated for several awards for this performance, including a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
On June 30, 2009, Davis was inducted into The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. On June 13, 2010, Davis won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for her role as Rose Maxson in a revival of August Wilson's Fences. She is the second African-American woman to win the award, after Phylicia RashÄ d. Davis played the role of Dr. Minerva in It's Kind of a Funny Story, a coming-of-age film written and directed by Anna Boden with Ryan Fleck, adapted from the 2006 novel by Ned Vizzini In August 2011, Davis joined Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain, and Bryce Dallas Howard in DreamWorks' production of The Help in which she played the stalwart domestic, "Aibileen Clark." The film was directed by Tate Taylor, and produced by Brunson Green, Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan, and Mark Radcliffe. Her role has garnered her critical acclaim, and has started buzz for various awards nominations.
When I was younger I was real promiscuous. I slept around a lot. I dangled both sides of the fence and I would like to share my sex life with you. I lost my virginity to a brother named History. When History introduced me to his family I started sleeping with his brother named Past that had a twin named Present. Present had a girl named Future that he kept to himself but he introduced me to a sexy lil sista named Misery and boy did she love company. When I would hook up with Misery she always had people with her. I mean this sista attracted a guy named Unconfident, a side chick named Low Self Esteem, and a buga-boo named Doubt. Well me being as selfish as I was didn't dig that much of a crowd. So I started to flirt with a guy named Happiness but we never hooked up. Happiness was sexy but I wanted a bad boy. So I started sexing Sadness. Sadness was a beast in the bedroom. He knew all the right things to do to keep me around. We would get high off self pity everyday and we drank this poison called abuse. I mean Sadness had me strung out and addicted but you know that sucker left me for Misery. So I was out there strung out on self pity and addicted to abuse when a nice old lady named Dedication and her husband named Motivation took me into there home and nursed me back from my addiction with this medication the old lady kept calling Jesus. Well Jesus started making me feel much better. Made me feel like a brand new woman. When I was able to care for myself Dedication and Motivation set me into the world with a purse full of Jesus and told me I could always come back if I ever ran out because they had plenty and wouldn't charge me a thing for it. A while passed and I went back to show Dedication and Motivation how well I was doing on my own. When I knocked at the door Motivation embraced me and he called Dedication to see how well I was doing. Dedication said I would like to introduce you to our son Will Power. Now yall this brother was so fine I mean he reminded me of that sexy brother named Happiness that I never hooked up with. Will Power had eyes like his daddy Motivation, he had a smile like his mother Dedication, (his mom seemed to think that Will Power favored his grandpa Devotion more), and he had that same sex appeal as Happiness. I mean when we met it was like love at first sight and some how I knew my sex life would never be the same. Today Will Power and I are about to give birth to our first child a little girl we will call VICTORY.
Comedian TK Kirkland Photographer: Krysta Jabczenski
Thankfully, Laugh at My Pain lives up to only half of its title: it is certainly all about the laughs in the film document of Kevin Hart's latest best selling stand-up comedy tour act though upon first glance there looks to be some potential pain --n the form of padding. The routine itself lasts around an hour, the usual length of his previous popular TV/DVD specials, so Hart and director Leslie Small first bring the film closer to a standard feature length with an opening documentary segment that follows Hart on a cheeky trip to his native Philadelphia, where his visits to places such as his childhood home and old high school are interspersed with talking head interview bites with friends, family, and Hart himself on how he got his start. But what could be taken as fluffy filler only of interest to existing fans actually rather cannily informs the main material that follows; one sage bit of advice recounted in the introductory section was for his jokes to have some seed of truth, and Hart's routine proper shows that in action. While Hart's energy, timing, and delivery of course play a large part in generating the many laughs to be had once he takes the mic, the material connects all the more due to its basis in Hart's real life experiences--and, as suggested by the title, not always from the most pleasant of circumstances and situations, and the biggest, most biting laughs come from childhood recollections of the antics of his drug-addicted father. Less fluidly incorporated into the film to boost the run time is a closing scripted heist comedy short that, while featuring some choice moments and a memorable cameo turn by Taraji P. Henson (someone give her a comedy starring vehicle now!), is somewhat of a comedown from hilarious high Hart leaves from the live stage--but that high lingers long after the entire film has ended. Grade: B
Do you have that one good, girlfriend that you can share everything with? She knows your innermost secrets? She is probably somewhat of a mind-reader, because when you haven’t said a word… she has already figured out the problem, solution and given you the next steps to take to make it all better! I don’t know about you, but she is the one who you go to dinner with and you both end up fighting over who is going to pay the bill. (yes, that kinda friend). I’d like to introduce you to Mrs. Stomique “Stormy” James and Mrs. Trevencia “Tre” Knight. Well, there’s also the girlfriends who are able to pull up the rear and fall right into place. They are there to catch you when you fall. They know what’s up by the look on your face. They look at you, then follow up with a look at the bestie’s face… they can sum it all up from there. These two lovely ladies are Ms. Gabrielle “Gabby” Bryant and Ms. Jordan Miles. This circle is tight, no matter who’s married, dating or single… the girls gather every other week to spill the tea and it is absolutely a time of laughter, tears and all that in between. Excerpt: Trevencia says “I love you ladies, there’s nothing better than these times hanging with you three… except when I’m curled up with my baby… then you three… well, then my baby girls, but you THREE are right there at the top of the list!” Now the men, their bonds are just as tight as the women. They hold it down on the job, on the court and after hours. They play hard! Now don’t be fooled, for those of you who don’t think men spill the tea… they do! I’d even go so far to say they gossip – they just don’t have a name for it yet! The men in this circle are close and will go to bat for one another, if a situation has to be handled, they don’t mind rolling with a brother! Don’t be confused, these men are corporate men, well established men… some married – happily, some single, dating and some that play just a little too hard. These men would be Mrs. Nicholas James, Det. Justin Knight, Det. Jaxon Jimerson, Joshua Washington and Londyn Coles. Excerpt: Justin says “What’s up with Stormy… I know you got something planned. I could hear Tre on the phone with her last night. They were chatting it up…. giggling like little school girls. Man, she’s looking forward to it. I don’t know how you’ll top the 6 month anniversary, but I know you will! Hit me up later.” Nicholas says “Man, I can’t say just yet… but it’s a little something. Just a little something.” Stay tuned for more of Circle of Friends!
*Special thanks to my inspiration (Frank), my bestie, Tracey & Krich Casting
Pictured here is R&B singer Mary J. Blige on stage performing at the BET Awards 2011 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Photo: Kevin Kwan
Brown Bettie Knows Best ~I may not be funny, but I sure know what is. I was at a dinner party the other night. I was a little nervous because, well, 1) I was the “only one” at the party and 2) I hadn’t made time to get a mani/pedi; I felt self-conscious about shaking hands confidently with my nails un-did when I knew I was going to be surrounded by women with their nails did and 3) I had a HUGE cold sore hanging off my lip like an adult tarantula. Therefore, it was only natural that when I sat down at my assigned table full of already-seated guests, that my knees expertly knocked into the table which caused not a little, but a massive tidal wave. Six water glasses clinked, swayed, then overflowed and thoroughly soaked the table cloth, napkins and the pretty *paper* menus neatly tucked under each plate. “Helloooo!” Luckily, I’m funny, so I quickly quipped up something like, “Oh, I think we just had an earthquake. At our table, only.” Hardee-har-har. It broke the ice, and perhaps made all of us feel at ease, I’m sure. But, I was still mortified as I quickly plucked at my water-logged napkin, laid it on my lap and swiftly sat on my hands…all while smiling my winningest smile and willing the tarantula on my lip to fall the f**k off. We exchanged pleasantries and as we were mostly strangers, began to introduce our lives to one another. All had children and I laughingly mentioned that I didn’t have any children, but that I had a cat. Saying that used to make me feel better, but this time, it didn’t. One of the women said to me, “Having children isn’t for everyone”…I was like, “Wait, wait, I do want them. I do!” Don’t I? I guess I’m a late bloomer; I didn’t have the love-of-my-life boyfriend at 18, 22, 25, 35 or … now… who would have activated a family with me like Wonder Twin power. Plus, I’ve been very very busy being a big time Entertainment Professional; have been for over 20 years – it says so on my Linked In profile – so it must be true. So. I sat there with a damp lap, looked at these people and started thinking about choices. …the choices we make that propel our lives forward, backwards, sideways, etc. and how the time lapse involved makes those choices more or less weighty. It’s like having chosen the Blue Pill over the Red Pill, but it is a time-release capsule and now you have to wait and see what the effect of your choice will be. You feel me? We laughed and talked about the funny things kids do; I thought about how my seventeen-month old nephew likes to play dead when he doesn’t get his way. To show how unhappy he is, he literally loses his spine, crumples his legs and with no sound, no focus in the eyes, simply tumbles to the ground. He rolls over and lays spread eagle on the sidewalk, carpet, grass, doesn’t matter. And just lays there. Staring. Between the tidal wave, raggedy nails, tarantula and having a cat as my kid, I wanted to do the same. Just slump out of my chair, topple onto the floor and lay spread eagle while staring into nothingness. At Easter dinner my sister-in-law told us about a friend who was having whatever that amnio-testing stuff is done and how the expectant mother was so nervous because, you know, EVERYTHING CAN GO WRONG WHEN YOU HAVE KIDS AFTER AGE THIRTY-FIVE. There was a brief pause as (I felt) my family kinda hold their breaths as they looked at the 40 year-old white elephant at the table. I just put my head down and looked really closely at my broccoli and cheddar casserole hoping that I wouldn’t catch a side glance from any of them trying to look into my eyes to see how that comment affected me. It took a moment before I could/would look up again…. You know, technically, I’m pretty happy I chose the Blue Pill. I have alotta bounce to my 40-ounce and have enjoyed my life thoroughly thus far. I’m admitting that the time-release capsule is giving me a purple haze, though. I’d like to have a family and all that stuff (you know, so can I have even more bounce to my ounce) and maybe, probably I will. But, in the meantime, I guess, I’ll have to be confident knowing there is a place for me at the table, too. I’ll be the girl who bumps the table and makes others feel comfortable through her weirdo internal awkwardness all while joining in on the laughter called “Life”. Peppur (www.peppurchambers.com) is an actor, writer and creator/ performer of Harlem’s Night Cabaret performed by the sultry, sassy, sophisticated and sometimes funny, Brown Betties. She is currently working on, “The Brown Betties Guide: How to Look for Love In All The Wrong Places.” www.brownbetties.com Email her at email@example.com.
Pictured here is R&B singer Kelly Rowland and host Free, Kevin Hart and Tigger at the taping of the BET Awards 2011 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Photo: Kevin Kwan
Photo: Danielle Wooten
Comedian Dannon Green during our photo shoot in Hollywood .
An extremely versatile actor/comedian/scriptwriter, Dannon Green is known for his signature stand up comedy line "I don't want no trouble". He made his television debut on Apollo Comedy Hour, and is continuously making a name for himself. Hailing from Manhattan, New York and Philadelphia, Dannon possesses mega personality and the ability to keep you laughing. He is a talented comedian and actor who has been in various films, television sitcoms, and national commercials. He has graced the sets of UPN's sitcoms “Moesha”, “Girlfriends”, and “One On One”, and has worked on the WB sitcom “All About The Anderson's” staring Anthony Anderson and Nickelodeon’s “Just Jordan” staring Little JJ. He has also been in the critically acclaimed series, “The Shield”, “Everybody Hates Chris” staring Chris Rock, as well as the Starz channel’s hit stand up comedy series “Martin Lawrence’s First Amendment”.
Photo: Danielle Wooten
As for films, Dannon has been featured in HBO’s films Butter, Supreme Sanction, and Desert Thunder. Green was also featured in the film, Baby Boy that was directed by John Singleton. He's also featured in the film The Luau that stars Brian Hooks and Faizon Love. Dannon is also featured in new films just released “Hired Gun” starring Michael Madsen and “Devils Dawn” staring Tony Todd. He has also been featured on BET’s “Comic View” and TV One “The Funny Spot” hosted by Tony Rock, and was featured “Comics Unleashed” with Dick Gregory hosted by Byron Allen. He just released his first Comedy DVD “I Don’t Want No Trouble” and is currently working on his New Book “Never Look Back” which is a story about his life. He also can be seen in the most recent Mcdonald’s titled “The Barber shop”. Although he gets some of his comedy from other people’s experiences, mostly he gets inspiration from his life experience, a soap opera in and of itself. Ironically, it is his life experience that has given him a competitive edge to be a talented, ambitious, and a promising star. Extremely strong minded and determined at such a young age, Dannon, made it through all the drama, which included the death of his paternal and adopted mother and eventually made it to graduate school at the Ohio State University where he earned his Masters in computer animation. He also currently works at Five Acres a home for foster children. In 1989-1990 he became a two - time Golden Glove champion in boxing, and he is also an avid golfer. Dannon has also completed two screenplays, and is looking forward to
Pictured here is rapper Drake on stage performing at the BET Awards 2011 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Photo- Kevin Kwan
Pictured here is comedian Michael Colyar and Brooke on tour in Kuwait as they entertained the troops doing several comedy shows. Photo- Unknown
Praise God! It’s 2011 and we forged through another one. You are to be congratulated. My condolences go out to those of you who lost loved ones in 2010. Though not easy, we must press on. We remain here to go about the work we were put here to complete-to glorify our creator, to make our own lives significant and to help others. We can all do a better job of that in 2011. Speaking of significance, I don’t know which has more: the fact that we’re obviously stronger, tougher and readier than ever to face the blessings and the challenges of 2011, or that, against seemingly all odds, we all didn’t totally “lose it” on that rollercoaster ride that was 2010. We made it, and we’re not alone. America made it too. Lots of people think that America is on its last leg, that its days on top are numbered. Some equate it to the ancient Roman Empire. “Rome fell,” they say. “It happened from within, as well as from without. Ultimately, America faces the same fate.” “Ultimately,” that may be true. This nation has a lot to answer for and what goes around truly does come around. I don’t know about you but I take comfort in two things: the definition of the word “ultimately” and the age-old adage that, “Rome didn’t fall in a day.” America has had a good run, going on 235 years. On the other had, Rome lasted for almost 2000 years! There are many things that I have issues with regarding this country but being on top is not one of them! If you read my column, you know I don’t bite my tongue. I don’t dance around the issues. I call it like I see it. Keepin’ it real, what I see right now is that I’m still glad to be hear! I’m not going to watch the news that much in 2011. The news will have you believing that America is on its way out and that other countries aren’t going to make it either. I have a news flash for the news networks. The whole world made it! The world is ever evolving. I don’t know what’s coming. Tomorrow is not promised but I know that until the man up stairs, the one who really controls all of this says so, the world will keep on turning. I don’t know what is to become of places like Tunisia, Egypt and other countries on the brink of revolution, as they redefine what their nations are going to be all about. But at least hopefully, if others can stay out of their affairs, (hint-hint-America) they’ll have a chance to control their own destinies. To the chagrin of many-a-detractor President Barack Obama made it to 2011, Hawaii birth records and all! Then again, so did Sarah Palin, John McCain and the ultra-conservative Tea Party Movement. Yes, by the end of the year, it was Obama’s mid-term and the Republicans had emerged victorious. They look strong for the 2012 elections. The Democrats made it too, if you call mere survival “making it.” But as President Obama described the mass political debacle, they “took a shellacking” in the process. Rampant joblessness is still here. The most crippling, most devastating recession this nation has experienced since The Great Depression, unfortunately is still here too. So is Wall Street and greedy stock and commodity traders. Ravenous lenders and merciless banks-yes, they’re definitely still here.
Perhaps amidst all the bad news, the fact that the American middle-class is facing extinction may be the most troubling. I know that I’m supposed to be the Comedy Doctor but there wasn’t a whole lot of funny in 2010. Maybe my mission in 2011 won’t be to be funny or find funny or to make funny. Maybe, in 2011 my job will be to help restore funny-put it back in its proper place of prominence in our lives and in our greater society. In the San Francisco Bay Area, we’ve initiated what we hope will become a national movement. We started in Oakland. Like many other urban destinations, “The Town”, as it is affectionately referred to by its residents, is a city that’s been bogged-down the last few years with more than its share of negativity-much of it stemming from the two usual suspects: the criminals and the police-those sworn “to serve and protect.” Many Bay Area cities including: Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco, even the tiny municipalities of Fairfield and Antioch and others, desperately need some comic relief. That’s why we launched Bay Area S.M.I.L.E. (Spreading More Infectious Laughter Everyday). Next year, we’re marching on to Southern California. After that, the world! Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I tend to get real excited about saving the world. But you do get the point, right? People need a comedy retreat, a laugh break, similar to how they need a sick day at work or better yet, a “floating holiday.” Do they still have those? The Bible says that, “Laughter does the heart good like medicine.” 2010 Bay Area Black Comedy Competition Champion Nate Jackson, also reminds us that scientists have found that laughter releases endorphins in our bodies, chemicals that give us a sense of pleasure and well being. In turn, that positive energy aids the body in the healing process. Speeding up cell regeneration and actually promoting healing throughout the body, mind and spirit. Laughter is indeed the best medicine! So, like any good doctor worth his patient’s trust, I’m going to make a diagnosis and prognosis for what’s ailing us and for what our country needs in 2011, because everybody knows, we’re not feeling our best. The diagnosis: We’re suffering from a condition called P.R.E.S.S. (NOTE: I made this up-Post Regressive Emotional Stress Syndrome). Here are the symptoms: 1.) Sudden, unprovoked outbursts of profanity, e.g. “cursing a Negro out,” etc. 2.) Having fewer than 7 outbursts of laughter each day 3.) A less than stellar love life 4.) Regrets of being stuck in a dead-end job 5.) You just want to slap somebody for no particular reason If you suffer from any three of the above, guess what? You’ve got it!
My prognosis is simple but it does take a certain level of commitment on your part. Take this prescription I’m about to give you for 90 days. Finish the prescription completely; even if symptoms subside (you’ve heard this before, right?) 1.) Put your phone down! 2.) Stop playing so many video games and doing so much web surfing. 3.) Watch a TV sitcom-preferably an old-school sitcom-one that’ll have you cracking up from start to finish. 4.) Patronize your favorite comedy club at least once per week and observe the two drink minimum rule (of course, don’t drink and drive) 5.) Make someone else laugh at least 7 times per day, everyday. If you follow my instructions and don’t deviate from the prescribed schedule, you’re going to feel better and everybody around will feel better too. You may not have more money in your pocket. Your bills may not miraculously disappear but you’ll have greater inner and outer peace and chances are you won’t hurt anybody in the process. Happy New Year! Let’s get it in, in 2011! Thanks to all of you for reading my column. It’s my pleasure to share my insights with all of you. Hopefully, I made you smile and made you think. Remember, this is merely the way I see it. Live your life! May God bless you and yours abundantly. Remember to S.M.I.L.E.-Spread More Infectious Laughter Everyday. Holla at your doctor! ### Tony Spires is a filmmaker, poet, musician, award-winning playwright acclaimed director, event producer, personal manager, and featured columnist for The Humor Mill Magazine. He is also co-founder of Full Vision Arts Foundation and artistic director of Vision’s Kids Performing Arts Ensemble. Known as The Comedy Doctor in comedy circles, he is perhaps best known as the founder of the nationally reputed Bay Area Black Comedy Competition & Festival: http://www.BlackComedyCompetition.com and as writer/director/producer of the acclaimed feature film, “Tears Of A Clown” available on DVD. Email Tony at: ComedyDoctor@BlackComedyCompetition.com. Visit his youth Arts Organization at: http://www.FullVisionArts.org.