On this day in comedy on May 9, 1987, Uptown Comedy Express premiered.
Taped Live at the Ebony Showcase Theater in Los Angeles as part of the On Location series, this 1-hour comedy special was produced by Eddie Murphy Productions and featured standup and sketch performances by up & coming comedians Chris Rock, Marsha Warfield, Barry Sobel, Arsenio Hall and Robert Townsend. The quintet portrayed night club employees with the MC played by Ray Murphy (Eddie Murphy’s Uncle Ray).
Directed by Russ Petranto, Uptown Comedy Express was written by Ilunga Dell, Margaret Oberman and the five featured comedians. There are uncredited cameos by Jasmine Guy, Paul Mooney, Magic Johnson, Gladys Knight and Eddie Murphy as audience members. Mark Corry and Clint Smith were the producers of the special and played servers on the show. Eddie Murphy was executive producer with musical guests; Eddie Murphy favorites – The Busboys.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
Check out this clip: