On This Day In Comedy- In 1945 Director, Producer, Stan Lathan Was Born!


Director, producer, Stan Lathan was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

While attending Boston University in 1968 to gain a master’s degree in arts, Lathan instead obtained his destiny when he was recruited by television station WGBH-TV to help create and direct the country’s first magazine show entirely produced by, for, and about African Americans– Say Brother.  It was an effort to calm civil rights tensions.

His big break came in 1973 when he was brought to Los Angeles to direct Sanford & Son.   From there he hit the fast track, helming Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice, Cagney & Lacey, Frank’s Place, Roc and others. He also directed the 1984 feature film Beat Street.

Lathan saw more pilots than LAX as the man behind the launching of Martin, Moesha, The Parkers, The Steve Harvey Show, Amen, South Central, Cedric the Entertainer Presents, All of Us, Eve!, The Soul Man and Real Husbands of Hollywood.

In 1989, Stan Lathan partnered with Russell Simmons to create Def Comedy Jam.  The duo then expanded the brand and garnered a Peabody Award for their series “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry” and Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam on Broadway for which they won a Tony Award for best special theatrical event.

This multi-talented comedy icon is also a master producer, having served as EP and director of Dave Chappelle’s comedy specials Killin’ Them Softly for HBO and For What It’s Worth for Showtime, “Cedric The Entertainer: Taking You Higher” for HBO—and It’s Black Entertainment—a two-hour musical documentary for Showtime.

Lathan and Simmons created Run’s House that spawned a spinoff, Daddy’s Girls. They executive-produced Running Russell Simmons and Russell Simmons Presents: The Ruckus for Comedy Central.

In 2013 Stan Lathan received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Caucus for Producers, Writers and Directors. He has received six NAACP Image Awards and in 2014 was honored by the Directors Guild of America.

By Darryl ‘D’ Militant’ Littleton

About author / Humor Mill

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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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