DAR Films: 10 Of The Best Comedies In Black Cinema

By @TrueGodImmortal 

In the comedy world, black films have mostly become cult classics. Usually, these films don't gross as much as the white cast centered comedies, but they hold a richer history for us. While the Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow brand of humor might appeal to a more "mainstream" sense of humor, we have some classic films that had not only our people in tears laughing, but the rest of the world. Today, we look at the best black comedy films ever, 10 to be exact. No, they're not necessarily in order, but the final two choices are what I consider the two greatest ever. Just a FYI.

*House Party (1991)

-At the height of their popularity as artists, Kid N' Play took on a heavy task: leading a comedy franchise. While I wasn't a huge fan of theirs as a kid, I always had a love for the film work they did. House Party is a seminal release in our culture and the dances still live on from this film and cemented Kid N Play as legends. Plus, who could forget Martin Lawrence as Bilal? SWITCH!

*Boomerang (1992)

-One of my personal favorite movies is a story of karma, love, lost love, a bit of comeuppance and tables turning, all rolled into a hilarious film. Eddie Murphy was the king of comedy in the 80s and early 90s, and this was one of his final classics before the sharp decline started consistently. As Marcus Graham, he would meet beautiful women, including Lela Rochon and Robin Givens (in his best role), and eventually he fell for Robin's character Jacqueline before she broke his heart in a way. He would realize that Halle Berry's character Angela is really the one for him, but the best part of the comedy is the journey to arrive at the point. From Grace Jones in her most hilarious role to Martin Lawrence and David Alan Grier providing great supporting roles, and Eartha Kitt as Lady Eloise (MARRRRRCUSSSS DARLING), this has everything you'd want from a comedy and then some.

*I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988)

-Satire and parody is what the Wayans specialize in and this is where it really began. It couldn't be done any better in reality than this. Keenan Ivory Wayans takes and puts a hilarious spin on black films of the 70s and the over exaggerated aspect of them. My favorite scene? It has to be Chris Rock asking for one rib. Not one rib platter. One rib. Hilarious.

*Car Wash (1976)

-I can't lie... the humor here doesn't always hit the mark for me, but I'd be lying if I didn't say this was a classic. It's the essential 70s black comedy and the funniest from this decade so it's only right that we pay homage and have it on this list. It would be criminal not to have on the list. Any movie with Pryor and Carlin in it has to be greatness.

*Don't Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In the Hood (1996)

-Another Wayans parody makes the list. After the slew of "hood movies" with the "reality of the ghetto" shown in the toughest form, the Wayans took a shot at parodying these films with this cult classic. The title is obviously a play on the biggest films of that trend, and with Shawn and Marlon starring in this, it has more than enough laughs. From Dashiki and her kids to the righteous "Afrocentric" brother who can't get enough of his "milk of magnesia", this film is absolutely side splitting hilarity throughout the duration.

*Life (1999)

-I remember counting Eddie Murphy out. After some terrible movies, like Metro and Dr. Doolittle, he came back with a classic R rated comedy alongside Martin Lawrence that I can quote all day long. Based on two men wrongly accused of murder and getting life in prison, the premise is legit darker than expected and shows a sadder reality underneath the laughs, which was greatly executed. The years pass, prisoners die, and Martin and Eddie as Claude and Ray struggle for decades before finally seeing freedom just before it's too late. As dark as that is in a way, it's overlooked because the whole time you're laughing at the interaction between Eddie and Martin. If only these two could get together again and go back to the essence.

*Harlem Nights (1989)

-This movie was never my personal favorite coming up. I loved the other films from Eddie more and that still holds true, but this movie is one of the best assembled films ever in terms of cast. With Redd Foxx, Richard Pryor, Della Reese, Arsenio Hall, and many more in the cast, the film is full of laughs and hilarity. The story is a bit ridiculous and the action is even more over the top, but the laughs don't stop regardless and that's what makes this film one of the greatest comedies in black cinema.

*Hollywood Shuffle (1987)

-Robert Townsend is an underrated director. He has put together some great films and some clunkers, but he's always done things on his terms and this movie is no different. A look at the hustle and bustle that it requires to get into Hollywood for black actors and stars, this movie is a true satirical film, but this time, it's a parody of the industry it was released in, especially considering how the industry treats black people. The stereotypes. The typecast. It is all there and prevalent in this film and it's great. Kudos to Robert.

*Friday (1995)

-This is the GOAT, well tied at least. The movie is what broke Chris Tucker through the wall and allowed him to become a star. It elevated Ice Cube and started a franchise. This movie is the one. It's hilarious, extremely quotable, and has a cast of characters that you'll remember. Smokey, Deebo, Craig, Craig's family, Bernie Mac in his role as a weed smoking, Ms. Parker loving pastor, Nia Long as Debbie, Felicia the local drug addict who wants to "borrow" everything, and Stanley, who wants you to stay off his grass. How could one forget Faizon Love as Big Worm, the toughest dude with rollers in his hair ever? This movie was honestly ridiculous in premise, and revolves around one simple yet crazy day, yet this movie is one of the best comedies I've ever watched, black cinema or otherwise.

*Coming to America (1988)

-The greatest comedy ever. Ever. Ever. I don't care what else would fit in the description as great, this is the best and it's not even close IMO. Eddie Murphy as Prince Akeem and Arsenio Hall as his sidekick Semmi is really the best comedic chemistry I've ever witnessed. That's saying a lot, but I mean it. The film is in many ways a romantic comedy, as Akeem goes to the US from his land of Zamunda to find a queen with a mind of her own. From Randy Watson to the barbershop chronicles to the nightclub adventures of Akeem and Semmi to the various roles both Eddie and Arsenio play, this movie is top to bottom a classic and IMO, the greatest comedy of all time, hands down. Period.



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