In Living Color

Tru TV

TruTV Launches New Sketch Comedy Series Titled ‘Friends Of The People’!

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — “Are you brothers? Or twins?” a reporter asked comedians Keith and Kenny Lucas.

“Both, I think,” replied Keith (or was it Kenny?) in a way that made everyone laugh.

The Lucas twins were gathered with five fellow funny people at the summer TV critics’ tour to talk about their new sketch-comedy series, “Friends of the People.”

Among other ways, the show is distinguished by the network it will air on, truTV, where it premieres Oct. 28 for a 10-episode season.

TruTV is broadening its focus in a new upbeat direction, adding not just comedy but, among a slate of upcoming projects, a wacky competition series, “Fake Off,” which pits teams against each other to re-enact famous moments in pop culture. Yet another series, “Branson Famous,” goes behind the scenes of a long-running variety show in Branson, Missouri, for what the network bills as TV’s first-ever reality musical.

Other shows include “Kart Life,” which takes viewers into the world of kart racing, and “The Shake Up,” a competition series that pits bar owners against each other to learn who can mix it up best.

The seven-strong “Friends of the People” troupe is reminiscent of the racially diverse cast of Fox’s “In Living Color” sketch show of two decades ago. The young comedic “Friends” include five black men, a white man and a white woman, who came to the series as a fully formed unit: They had known and performed with one another for years.

“We were all at the Montreal Comedy Festival, and we were bored,” Jermaine Fowler said. “We thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to put together a show?'”

“We were all good friends and respected each other,” Kevin Barnett said.

“We were together a lot, so why not get paid to do it?” cracked Keith Lucas.

Chris Linn, truTV president, acknowledged that his network might not have been the obvious choice for this series to call home.

“But we want truTV to be a creator-driven network,” he said. “We told them, ‘We’re gonna give you some general parameters. Then run with it.'”

Jennifer Bartels agreed with the rest of the cast that truTV has given the show creative freedom. And as the lone woman in the group, she said she felt like just one of the guys (who also include Lil Rel Howery and Josh Rabinowitz), as both a performer and a writer.

“A writers room can be a competitive place, not like a warm hug at all,” she noted. “But ours is a supportive room.”

And their common goal, all agreed, is to mine laughs, with no particular focus on racial issues.

Showrunner Neil Punsalan pointed to “In Living Color” as a show he loved watching 20 years ago.

“It didn’t feel like a show about race. It was just funny,” he said. “And I think that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Damon wayans

Damon Wayans Confronts Diabetes Diagnosis With Comedy!

Damon Wayans – star of “In Living Color,” “My Wife and Kids,” films like “Major Payne,” and one of the sillier siblings in the Wayans comedy dynasty – is now answering to Damon Wayans Sr.

But Wayans, who returns to standup at The Comedy Zone in Charlotte, North Carolina, this weekend doesn’t mind “taking second stage” to his oldest son, who stars as Coach on Fox’s “New Girl” after a run as a regular on ABC’s critically acclaimed but canceled “Happy Endings.”

“Junior is such a great guy,” Wayans says. “He’s the new and improved model. It’s a beautiful thing. That’s what you train your children to do. He’s an inspiration to his brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews who say it’s too hard living up to the family name. He had it tough being Damon Wayans Jr. I would take him on the road with me, and he would have a hard time when he came out. People would heckle him – ‘You ain’t Damon Wayans!’ He earned it.”

“The other thing is,” he adds. “I’m happy he’s out of my pocket.”

Comedy is in the Wayans’ DNA.

“You don’t have a choice as a Wayans,” Damon Sr. says. “The Wayans kids, my brothers’ and sisters’ children can’t help but absorb it, but there’s that fear factor that keeps them from doing it. They have the gift, whether they use it or not.”

Wayans stood out from his siblings with outright silly characters, like “In Living Color’s” Homey D. Clown.

“Having nine brothers and sisters, you have to stand out,” he says. “In order to get on the stage with me and Shawn and Marlon and Keenan and Kim, you have to be funny. We’re not going to let you in the conversation. We used to freeze each other. You’d try to say something funny, and they’d all stand there like, ‘That’s not funny.’ ”

It wasn’t funny when Wayans was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in early 2013.

“It tripped me out. My sugar was at 538,” he says. “The beautiful thing about having family that has diabetes is knowing what not to do. I got an uncle that thinks insulin is supposed to enable him to eat cake. He’s standing over the dessert tray with his needle locked and loaded. He doesn’t even use the alcohol swab. He just sticks the needle straight through his clothes.”

Instead of that route, Wayans adopted a paleo diet.

“No fruit, alcohol, soda, cake,” he says. He was off insulin within a month.

“I honestly don’t know if (my doctors) were impressed,” Wayans says. “I was at the hospital, and they said, ‘Don’t worry about nothing. You can still eat whatever you want, just take your insulin.’ I’m from the streets of New York. I know a drug deal when I hear one.”

Wayans had retired from standup, but his struggle gave him a reason to return.

“I had to go on stage and talk about it,” he says. “It keeps me from being negative and self-absorbed. I tried to walk away from standup, but it’s been my therapy – my way of expressing anger, disappointments and fears and celebrating my hopes. It helps to regulate my thought process.

“When I watch comedians who used to be funny in movies and stuff, if they’re not funny anymore, it’s because they aren’t exercising that comedic muscle. … There’s nothing like doing standup for a live audience because you have to adapt.”

By Courtney Devores- Correspondent; The Charlotte Observer

 

Torrei

VH1 Makes It Official; Atlanta Exes To Launch With Torrei Hart & Tameka Raymond!

Right before the holidays, we reported the news that VH1 was moving forward with the show Atlanta Exes that would be lead by sketch comedy star Torrei Hart, ex-wife of comedy star Kevin Hart and Tameka Raymond, ex of Usher. Well, VH1 made it official with the release below:

NEW YORK, NY – January 29, 2014 – This summer, VH1′s “Hollywood Exes” sorority will charter a new chapter in ‘The ATL’ with the premiere of “Atlanta Exes.” As the thriving music and entertainment capital of the South, Atlanta provides the ideal backdrop and group of ex-wives for the franchise’s extension. The cast, featuring the once significant others of an elite list of A-list men, has no shortage of fabulousness, ambition, love, and drama.

“Atlanta Exes” stars Tameka Raymond, who once enjoyed the perks and privileges that come with being married to an international music superstar, and now dedicates much of her time to the charitable foundation she started in memory of her late son Kile, interior designer to the stars Christina Johnson (ex-wife of Cee-Lo Green), and author and businesswoman Monyetta Shaw (ex-fiancé of Ne-Yo), who is busy penning a children’s book series based on the lively personality of her toddler. Also starring are entrepreneur Sheree Buchanan (ex-wife of former pro football player Ray Buchanan), who co-owns a dessert catering company and also has a business that specializes in creating custom bedazzled hookah pipes, and actress, comedian, and producer Torrei Hart (ex-wife of Kevin Hart). “Atlanta Exes” premieres summer 2014 on VH1.

This Spring, be sure to catch up with the original “Hollywood Exes” when Shanna Moakler (ex-wife of Travis Barker) joins returning cast members Nicole Murphy, Mayte Garcia, Sheree Fletcher, Andrea Kelly, Jessica Canseco, and Shamicka Lawrence. Actress/model Moakler is a former Miss USA, and is perhaps best known for the 2005-06 hit MTV reality series “Meet the Barkers” which chronicled her life and that of then husband and Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker. Her signature humor, energy, and enthusiasm are sure to shake up the dynamic amongst the women. Last season saw the ladies exploring new avenues in life, finding love, and getting into some trouble along the way. “Hollywood Exes” season 3 premieres on VH1 Wednesday, April 30 at 9:00 PM ET/ PT on VH1.

“It is exciting that the continued success of “Hollywood Exes” has allowed us to expand this popular franchise into additional cities,” stated Susan Levison, EVP Original Programming & Production, VH1. “Atlanta is truly enjoying a moment in the spotlight, so taking the ‘Exes’ brand down South was a natural evolution for VH1. This dynamic cast truly defines what it means to be a ‘mover and shaker’ in the Atlanta social scene, and we look forward to giving our viewers a look into their unique world.”

“We are thrilled that Hollywood Exes has found a loyal audience, and optimistic that the Atlanta series will do the same,” offered Pamela Healey, General Manager, Shed Media US. ”These are strong, successful women living very glamorous lives, with an entry point all of us can relate to – and answering the age-old question: what becomes of the broken hearted.”

“The key players at VH1 and Shed Media US have been nothing less than super supportive of our vision at Lynch-Dyson Entertainment,” said Vernon Lynch and Jeff Dyson. “From “Hollywood Exes” and now the expansion of the franchise to “Atlanta Exes,” we thank VH1 for trusting and allowing us the autonomy to cast and create our brand of ‘Reel-Good-Feel-Good’ reality programming for their network.”

“Hollywood Exes” is executive produced by Pam Healey, Lisa Shannon and Leah Hariton for Shed Media US. Vernon Lynch and Jeff Dyson for Lynch-Dyson Entertainment also serve as executive producers. Nicole Murphy is executive producer. Susan Levison, Jill Holmes, and Laurel Stier are executive producers for VH1.

“Atlanta Exes” is executive produced by Pam Healey, Lisa Shannon, Sean Rankine and Elizabeth Voorhees for Shed Media US. Vernon Lynch and Jeff Dyson for Lynch-Dyson Entertainment also serve as executive producers. Susan Levison, Jill Holmes, and Laurel Stier are executive producers for VH1.

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Damon Wayans

Damon Wayans Launches New Innovative App!

According to Marlon Wayans’ Twitter page, big brother Damon Wayans has created an app, Diddeo, that allows users to make their very own music video using music from their phone.

The app is very easy to use. Jjust add your name, select an avatar and the app will walk you through to choose a music selection from you library, then all that’s left is to record your video. Save it and share with friends on YouTube, email or nearby devices using blue tooth connection. Simple and easy. So grab your iPhone’s and get creative!

The fun app is only available in the Apple app store and it’s free.

(Source: Rolling Out)

Ride

A ‘Ride Along’ Sequel Underway!

According to our sources, we discovered the news that Universal Studios is already in the planning stages of producing a sequel to Ride Along, the film that starred Kevin Hart and Ice Cube.

The news comes as no surprise as Universal witnessed the film break the bank this weekend by becoming the number 1 film released on the Martin Luther King holiday weekend with a total of almost $48 million at the box office.

So far, the Tim Story directed film is set to be released next January, probably around the same weekend, and as we hear will bring back the entire principal cast.

Stay tuned as this story is developing.

Epps

Comedian Mike Epps Spoofs Richard Sherman’s Rant!

Comedian Mike Epps is at it again when it comes to dropping sketches, and this time he’s pranking the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks Cornerback Richard Sherman.

If you happened to witness the NFC championship game on Sunday then you witnessed the Seattle Seahawks defeat the San Francisco 49ers in the Championship game, with Sherman contesting a last second effort by the Niners to win the game in the end zone.

After Sherman blocked the last second pass, he immediately provoked Wide Reciever Michael Crabtree and the two got into a jawing match. A few minutes later, the cameras where in Sherman’s face and he went ballistic on the reporter Erin Edwards. Twitter went crazy, and after that many spoofs have emerged.

Check out Epps version below;

Sasheer

Sasheer Zamata Finally Debuts On ‘Saturday Night Live’!

In the much anticipated performance of the weekend (in the African American community anyway), comedic actress Sasheer Zamata finally made her debut performance on NBC’s Saturday Night Live and was featured in several sketches. The musical guest and featured host of the evening was rapper Drake who also was featured in the sketches. Check out one of the sketches below and tell us your thoughts below!

Lil Duval Talks New Shows, New Projects On ‘Ride Along’ Red Carpet!

Here is an interview we conducted with Lil Duval (Of MTV’s Guy Code, and Aint That America fame) on the red carpet for the new film Ride Along that stars Kevin Hart and Ice Cube and opens nationwide on January 17th.

Duval talks about his upcoming projects plus the new season of Aint That America and more!

Check it out below!

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Melanie

Comedian Melanie Comarcho Launches A Web Series ‘Hot Chocolate TV’!

We just discovered the news that veteran comedian Melanie Comarcho has launched her first web series titled Hot Chocolate TV where she discusses the latest of what is going on in entertainment.

Leave a comment below and follow us on Twitter @thehumormill

Mo News

Mo’Nique Stars & Exec Produces A New Film Titled ‘Blackbird’!

The news has just been dropped that Mo’Nique is about to jump back into a feature film, one that she is starring in and Executive Producing.  The new independent film, titled Blackbird also stars actor Isaiah Washington an adaptation of book written by Larry Duplechan.

Check out the exclusive that was just dropped by Deadline below;

EXCLUSIVE: In her first screen starring turn since the ferocious portrayal as an abusive mother in 2009′s Precious won her the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, Mo’Nique has joined Isaiah Washington in the Patrik Ian Polk-directed Blackbird, an adaptation of the novel by Larry Duplechan. Deadline revealed last fall that Washington took the lead in this indie off his turn as the DC sniper in Blue Caprice got him a Gotham Award nom. The pic just shot in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Mo’Nique is also exec producer with her husband, Sidney Hicks, through Hicks Media. Newcomer Julian Walker plays a high-schooler, the star singer in the church choir, who feels like a misfit in his high school and who struggles with his sexual awakening and the realization he is gay, something that doesn’t land well in a small religiously conservative Mississippi town. This coincides with his younger sister going missing and his parents splitting up. Mo’Nique plays another character who’s not going to win mother of the year awards; she plays the youth’s heartbroken mom, who blames her son’s lifestyle revelation for his sister going missing. Washington plays his supportive father trying his best to help his son’s transition to manhood.

“Blackbird is a film about the choices people are forced to make as they struggle to figure out how to be themselves,” Hicks said. “And why should just being who you are be a struggle? Since Mo’Nique won the Oscar, we have received a flood of scripts, but nothing captured our attention until Isaiah, who we have a high level of respect for, sent us Blackbird. We became instant fans of Patrik-Ian Polk and knew we had to get behind this important film.”

Polk is producing through Tall Skinny Black Boy Productions, Keith Brown through Kbiz Entertainment, Washington through his Coalhouse Productions, and Carol Ann Shine. Terrell Tilford, Gary L. Gray, Kevin Allesee, Torrey Lamaar, Nikki Jane and D. Woods round out the cast. Worldwide sales for the film are being handled by Hicks Media and attorney Ricky Anderson of Anderson & Smith.