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RUNNING TIME: 300 minutes
•Honkey in the Hood music video
No pitch could match the simple excellence that Showtime’s own publicity department came up with: “it’s the honkies meet the homies!” Simple, succinct brilliance.
Rich Vos, Laurie Kilmartin, Joey Kola, Cory Kahaney and other assorted white folk.
The good folks at Showtime were watching episodes of Showtime at the Apollo and Def Comedy Jam one day and became alarmed at the startling lack of white comedians performing. As we all know, it’s very difficult to find a white comedian on television in our day and age. With such comedic luminaries as Carlos Mencia out there, the white man’s comedy is quickly becoming overshadowed. A white man may be forced to search for as long as thirty seconds to find a white funnyman on the airwaves. Clearly, something must be done.
Hoards of comedians lacking melanin have been assembled in this Showtime series to tickle your funny bone. They’re performing in front of an “urban” audience, so they presumably have to bring some serious comedy skills to be not be strung up and killed on the stage. Please ignore the fact that several of the comedians have two X chromosomes or aren’t of the Caucasian persuasion.
Some of the comedians seem to be too eaten up with the premise of white boys trying to make people in the hood laugh. Instead of actually telling jokes, they spend upwards of ten minutes building up their own urban credibility to prove why they can hang in the hood. After suffering through ten minutes of posturing, what do you get in return? More often than not, you get some groundbreaking “people in the hood talk like this, people outside the hood talk like this” jokes. Bravo!
The best comedians are the ones who merely trot out to the stage and do their normal acts without any stupid posturing for the crowd. “Cringe” comedians like Rich Vos and Laurie Kilmartin are funny no matter what background you come from. The show would benefit greatly from booing the stupid hacks with their crooked baseball caps off the stage and just bringing in top notch stand-up talent, but that would destroy the show’s gimmick. If gimmicks like this are necessary in order to get people to indulge in stand-up comedy, the performance art is in a tight spot.
Stand-up comedy performances have to be tightly edited in order to squeeze them into neat little blocks, so a lot of jokes hit the cutting room floor in the editing process. Those jokes are preserved on this DVD set so you can see the types of jokes that weren’t funny enough to make it on the air. With some of the lesser skilled comedians, it’s downright frightening to imagine the things that weren’t deemed funny enough for the eyes of viewers. To experience these jokes through the magic of DVD is akin to the cinema torture from A Clockwork Orange.
Each episode of White Boyz in the Hood opens with the Honkey in the Hood music video in which extremely white men wearing ascots ride their bicycles into the Harlem and throw down. It’s short and inoffensive as the opening of a television show, but it’s hard to fathom anyone wanting to watch an entire extended music video of it. It would be the same thing as watching a five minute extended remix of the Fresh Prince opening theme that followed Will Smith into the house. On second thought, that would be fantastic.