On This Day In Comedy… In 1992 ‘Russell Simmons’s Def Comedy Jam’ Premiered On HBO


On this day in comedy on July 1, 1992, “Def Comedy Jam” premiered on HBO, 1992

Produced by rap mogul, Russell Simmons, the series had its original run from this date in ‘92 until January 1, 1997.   Based on the formula established at the Comedy Act Theater in Los Angeles, California, the show was originally set to have that club’s MC, Robin Harris as host, but after his untimely death Martin Lawrence was tapped for that role.   The show went on to defy all odds. Despite its raw, in-your-face barrage of 3 black comedians, it not only became must see TV every Friday night; it also changed the comedy landscape in film and television for years. Relative unknowns before their “Def Comedy Jam” exposure, comedians such as Steve Harvey, Jamie Foxx, Bernie Mac, Chris Tucker and others dominated the mediums.

The show was criticized for excessive foul language and negative representations of African Americans by letter writers and celebrities like Bill Cosby; at the time known as “America’s Dad”.   However, the public embraced it and it returned on HBO’s fall lineup in 2006.  It produced a spinoff called Loco Slam and has been spoofed on In Living Color, Robert Townsend’s Townsend Television and Saturday Night Live.

By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton


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The Humor Mill Magazine is a on line digital magazine, website and TV show that’s about the Urban Comic & Urban Hollywood for the general audience. Its for comedians/actors who are looking for that outlet to be seen, and its also about the under-served Urban Hollywood scene. The Humor Mill Magazine features comedy, music and movie news, while we also discuss some important issues. We also feature comics who have been on the scene for a while but haven’t quite become a household name yet. We also feature articles on Hollywood actors who we see all the time but just don’t know their name yet. All that, plus what’s going down for the week in the latest issue, The Humor Mill covers it all as it keeps you IN THE KNOW!


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