On this day in comedy on March 9, 1990, House Party was released by New Line Cinema
Written and directed by Harvard alumni, Reginald Hudlin and based on his award-winning student film, House Party stars rappers, Kid and Play as two buddies out for a good time. That prospect becomes reality when Play announces his parents are leaving for a while and he’s going to throw a party at the house. His friend Bilal (Martin Lawrence) will be the DJ and the only thing that can stop them is Kid’s Pops (Robin Harris), who has banned him from going out and being a parent himself he just might make trouble. The only other thing is a threesome of thugs out to get Kid which is definitely trouble.
Well, Kid gets past his Pops and sneaks out. Then he gets past the thugs, who don’t get past the cops and get arrested several times while trying to get Kid, who is busy avoiding all manners of obstacles to get to the party. When he finally makes it there it’s crackin. After showing off his dance moves with Play, Kid hooks up with Sharane (A. J. Johnson), but really wants to be with Sydney (Tisha Campbell). As in most movies the love situation works itself out so well that Kid and Campbell are about to have sex, but his condom is too old and besides he’s got to get going. Campbell’s parents come home and Kid is back on the streets running to avoid trouble. Too late. The cops catch him and throw him in jail. His friends bail him out and he sneaks into his house just in time for Pops to catch him and whoop his butt with a belt.
House Party is a comedy classic. Besides great music provided by Marcus Miller and Lenny White, the film was a critical and box office success. On a budget of $2.5 million the film grossed $26,385,627. It spawned four sequels (two theatrical, two straight to DVD) and the soundtrack released on Motown Records was also a hit reaching #20 on the Top R&B/ Hip-Hop Albums chart.
Produced by Reginald’s brother, Warrington Hudlin and partner, Gerald T. Olsen, House Party featured the talents of Paul Anthony, Bow-Legged Lou and B-Fine (from Full Force), Darryl “Chill” Mitchell, Kelly Jo Minter, BeBe Drake, George Clinton and John Witherspoon.
House Party was the last film appearance of pivotal and influential standup comedian, Robin Harris, who passed away nine days after its release.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
Check out this clip: