Segments in this Video

Comedic Genius (02:47)


Whites wore blackface and portrayed blacks as dimwitted and child-like. The Biograph Company hired Bert Williams to appear in "A Natural Born Gambler."

Early Comedians (04:35)

In "Open the Door, Richard" Stepin Fetchit portrayed a lazy man. "Amos and Andy" was a favorite of the 1952-1953 television season. Pigmeat Markham, Nipsey Russell, Red Foxx, Dick Gregory, Richard Pryor, and Jackie "Moms" Mabley appeared at the Apollo Theater.

Comedic Presence (04:30)

In "The Watermelon Man," Godfrey Cambridge portrayed a black man who turned white overnight. Russell appeared on "Can You Dig It?" Comedians found their place in television talk and game shows.

Racial Bias (04:44)

Bill Cosby appeared on "Tony Brown's Journal" in 1988. The comedian discussed racial discrimination, comedy, and flops at the box office.

Talented Impressionist (06:20)

Authorities convicted and incarcerated George Kirby for selling heroin. The comedian performed "King Heroin" a poem he wrote about drug addiction. Kirby imitated James Cagney, Ronald Reagan, Peter Lorre, and John Wayne.

Drug Addiction (03:16)

No leading performers wanted Kirby to open their show. The comedian turned to selling drugs out of desperation. Pryor thanked God for becoming sober after his cocaine addiction.

Credits: Legends of Comedy (00:07)

Credits: Legends of Comedy

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Legends of Comedy

3-Year Streaming Price: $49.95



This program from Tony Brown's Journal features a tribute to comedy with a litany of entertainers, such as Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Dick Gregory, George Kirby, Nipsey Russell, and Moms Mabley.

Length: 27 minutes

Item#: BVL167302

Copyright date: ©1999

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.