The Humor Mill

On This Day In Comedy… In 1996 ‘Don’t Be a Menace’ Was Released By Miramax!



On this day in comedy on January 12, 1996, Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood was released by Miramax.

Produced by Keenen Ivory Wayans from a Shawn & Marlon Wayans script, this film is a parody of hood flicks.   The main celluloid classics from the ghetto to get the spoof treatment are Menace II Society and Boyz n the Hood.    The interweaving storyline of a young black youth delivered by his mother to his father to be raised by a male role model surrounded by questionable role models in the way of friends and the threat of thuggery and hopelessness, gun play and racial insensitivity, sexual promiscuity, and self-hatred.   Yeah, it’s all there.

This hilarious movie was directed by Paris Barclay and stars Shawn Wayans as Tray that kid dropped off by his mama (Vivica A. Fox) to his Similac smelling daddy (Lahmard Tate).   Marlon Wayans is his crazy, 2nd Amendment abusing homeboy; Chris Spencer is the militant with a love of white meat (women) and Suli McCullough is the requisite hood flick brother in a wheel chair,   Darrel Heath channels the brother fresh out of prison who still acts like he’s in and Tracey Cherelle Jones has the role as the round away girl everybody has rolled with, but Tray is the latest honoree and newest baby’s daddy (as he was informed she was pregnant seconds after their first intercourse).  There’s acrobatic Korean liquor store owners, overly possessive gangbangers, weed smoking, break-dancing senior citizens, black cops who hate black people, a wise neighborhood mailman filled with sage wisdom, horny hood skanks, hornier hood crackheads and of course – The Man (and a freckly faced one at that).

Since this is a comedy – it’s all good at the end.  That included the film itself.   Though the critics didn’t care for it, the ticket buying public approved.   On a budget of $3.8 million the film with the title too long to type again made $20,109,115 domestically.

By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton

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