Last week the question of who will play Barack Obama on Saturday Night Live was the cause of much speculation. It’s ultimate answer being the part-Venezulean, part-Japanese, non-African-American Fred Armisen has caused a little controversy. Some argue that there must be one African American comic out there who would be a great fit for the role.
Though my questions are more about the problems with anyone making a funny Obama impression right now, I can see why some might be disappointed. SNL currently has one African American cast member, and no matter how good Kenan Thompson might be, there’s a lot of the African American experience that just naturally won’t make it to air with only one representative of color.
For those in New York City bothered by SNL’s decision and looking for an alternative, tonight is the last night of The Black Comedy Experiment, a festival of African American comics which is committed to reflect the diversity within that community. A lot of talented young comics are performing, a reflection of that there’s as many ways to be funny and black as there are being funny and white (or any race for that matter). Among the shows tonight:
- “Mystery Up at Negro Creek” - a one man show by Baron Vaughn of Best Week Ever and Shoot the Messneger. 7PM
- “Laughing Liberally” - featuring comics with progressive politics and hosted by Baratunde Thurston of The Onion at 8:30PM
- “Shades of Black” featuring the aforementioned Vaughn, Michelle Buteau, Jordan Carlos and Black Comedy Experiment founder Elon James White at 10PM.
All of the shows take place at The Tank at Collective Unconscious.