The Humor Mill

'Phunny Business: A Black Comedy' Premieres On Showtime! Check Out Our Review!

Posted Feb 18, 2012

Every once in a while a film comes along that will inspire you, excite you, and leave you wanting more. Rarely, if ever, is that film a documentary.

Plus, how rare is it to even see a film that ignites a story based in urban comedy that just needed to be told? With all of those thoughts in mind, let me introduce to you the film titled Phunny Business: A Black Comedy. Directed by John Davies and written by Davies with Raymond C. Lambert, this film takes all of those statements to task.

Interview with JB Smoove

Now, let me set the record straight; I do NOT like, nor do I love documentaries. I can honestly say I am not a fan of these types of films. So approaching this film I went into it thinking that I was going to be bored out of my mind. Initially, I was prepared to see a documentary about how the Chicago comedy club known as All Jokes Aside– a legendary club in the comedy world- assisted in launching the career of several comedians that we know today who are super stars. YAWN….

I was right… And I was wrong. Yes that film does showcase the early careers of comedians like Bernie Mac, Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx, Mo’Nique, Steve Harvey, Cedric The Entertainer, Bill Bellamy, DL Hughly, Mike Epps, Craig Robnson, JB Smoove, Adelle Givens, Aries Spears, Tommy Davidson and many, many, more.

Interview with Steve Harvey

But that’s the top layer of the film; the real ‘grit’ of the film is the journey and insight that the film takes you on from the opening sequence when club owners Raymond Lambert and James Alexander (and eventually Mary Lindsay) defied politics, racism, and more to start All Jokes Aside. The film explores their plight as Chicago’s hottest comedy club owners as they shook the city to its core with the success of opening such a monumental comedy club, and how it all came crashing down rapidly at the height of urban comedy, and how they lost.

Interview with Cedric The Entertainer

Phunny Business: A Black Comedy is not really a comedy, but more of a dramedy, as it’s a film that documents a chapter in not only black comedy history, but in black history.  You will laugh because the clips from the comedians on stage set that premise and its written very well, but you will also be in suspense as you watch the film unfold as you quickly find yourself rooting for the David of the story, who’s fighting the Goliath that we all know as the city of Chicago.

When Showtime premieres this film on Thursday February 23rd at 8:30 PM, sit down with a friend or a loved one and be prepared to watch a very entertaining documentary about one man who fought against all odds to keep his striving business successful, and eventually lost.

For more info on Phunny Business: A Black Comedy, A Davies/Brody Film, check out

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