colbert’s black friend speaks up…

February 6, 2007 at 10:27 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Jordan Carlos : My Shtick? Being Black :

Entering the comedy world as a black man means you always stand out, even during off hours, such as one Christmas evening in New York at my first holiday comedy mixer. All of Gotham’s comedic glitterati were there. I cornered a “Daily Show” writer, doing my best to get the inside track on a possible actor/writer gig. We broached the subject of black correspondents. He told me that they “tried a black guy once, but it didn’t work out.” I nearly threw my imported beer in his face. Tried it once and it didn’t work? You say that about Toyotas, not a whole race of people. But to date, comedy writing is pretty whitewashed. As of this season, “Saturday Night Live” has no black writers. “The Daily Show” also doesn’t have any, and neither does “The Colbert Report,” a show on which I’ve played Stephen Colbert’s black friend “Alan,” a member of the staff. That’s right. “The Colbert Report” had to hire an actor to play a black person who works on the show.

I’ve been noticing a similar thing lately, that most of the comedy shows, rock shows, lectures and readings I’ve been going to are made of mostly white audiences. In Portland, that was fairly expected, given the demographics of the city, but when I moved to New York, I honestly expected audiences to be a little more mixed. To be sure, the streets and shopping around are more multicultural experiences, escpecially in Brooklyn and LES, but not cultural experiences themselves. There’s a longer post to be written about this, alas, not right now…


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  1. That’s because NYC got honkyfied! I mean, haven’t they kicked out all those pesky non-Sex in the City types out of Manhattan by now?

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