BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Kevin Hart, J.B. Smoove bring original docuseries to Audible

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By Bill Vaughan

Entertainment Writer

Audible, the leading creator and provider of premium audio storytelling, has tapped comics Kevin Hart and J.B. Smoove for a couple of groundbreaking original series.

“Summer of ’85,” produced by Philadelphia native Hart (who narrates) and Charlamagne Tha God’s SBH Productions, connects to events that rocked his hometown: Mayor W. Wilson Goode’s May 13 decision to bomb the headquarters of MOVE, a controversial city-based radical communal organization; and the July 13 Live Aid concert, where international rock royalty convened in Philly to raise money for victims of the Ethiopian famine.

Separated by just two months and eight miles, these events would showcase both the best and the worst of the so-called city of Brotherly Love: One would raise millions of dollars for famine victims in Africa, while the other would lead to the death of 11 members of MOVE, including five children, who had all taken the last name of their leader, John Africa.

Created by Chris Morrow, it features candid interviews with participants such as Patti LaBelle, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Bob Geldof and Mike Africa Jr., as the series explores the complex history that resulted in these outlier events paired by proximity and a combustible mix of ego, altruism, prejudice, utopian dreams and human frailty.

“Funny My Way,” narrated by Smoove (“Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Real Husbands of Hollywood”) pays homage to six iconic Black comedians who have broken barriers in the entertainment industry, talking about the everyday struggles in the Black community, fighting for equality while being their authentic, raw selves.

Executive produced by Team Coco and AYR Media, this docuseries uses interviews and archival clips from TV shows, comedy albums and talk shows to celebrate the lives and work of Paul Mooney, Flip Wilson, Rudy Ray Moore, Moms Mabley, Dick Gregory and Redd Foxx across the six episodes.

For more information, visit audible.com.

TASTY QUIP: “I have learned a very big lesson here and that’s 43 year olds shouldn’t try and connect to or relate to 25 year olds. It’s like oil and water. It just doesn’t mix. I guess I’m really out here GROWN GROWN and tryna keep up with these youngsters is not my life or my world.” – TYRESE GIBSON speaking on the breakup with his ex-girlfriend on IG (since deleted)

CLIPPETTES: Jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington blows Aug. 5 at The Ford; as Angela Winbush, Shirley Murdock, Cherrelle, Evelyn “Champagne” King sing at the Saban Theatre

Communications mogul Byron Allen’s latest buy, the defunct Black News Channel, will be rebranded as theGrio after his previously acquired African American website

Shaquille O’Neal, aka Diesel, headlines Shaq’s Bass All Stars with Whipped Cream, YehMe2, Chee, and Celo at the Hollywood Palladium on Aug. 6; while Bruce Hornsby plays the Troubadour; and the two-day Taste of Inglewood Jazz Festival begins with Eric Benet, Chrisette Michelle, Eric Roberson, Kindred The Family Soul, Sy Smith, Frank McComb and much more at Edward Vincent Jr. Park

New songs by R&B stars Chaka Khan (“Woman Like Me”) and Meli’sa Morgan (“Footprints Of An Angel”) were released this week

The inaugural Just Jazz Sunday Brunch DTLA with sax man Teodross Avery kicks off Aug. 7, from noon to 4 p.m. at Strada Eateria & Bar; while the 22nd annual Valley Film Festival screens “Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story” starring Ledisi at Laemmle’s Noho 7

That evening, Maze, featuring Frankie Beverly, The Whispers and Jody Watley are at Microsoft Theater; Ivan Neville & His Phunky Friends jam at Venice West; 85 South, DC Young Fly, Karlous Miller and Chico Bean bring the laughs at The Forum; and Jazz Is Dead presents Ghanaian music legend Ebo Taylor in his first U.S. performances ever for two nights at the Lodge Room

“Forecast,” the new album from Jazz Funk Soul (Everette Harp, Jeff Lorber & Paul Jackson Jr.) features a tribute to group’s co-founder, the late guitarist Chuck Loeb, and guest turns by Paul Jackson Jr. and Marcus Miller …

Aug. 9 has trumpeter Terence Blanchard at The Ford leading both his electric ensemble E-Collective and Turtle Island Quartet in a tribute to jazz giant Wayne Shorter

Jussie Smollett (the “Empire” actor who made his directorial debut with “B-Boy Blues”) continues his stellar comeback year with the single “Some Things” which reached No. 1 on Apple iTunes R&B chart

Trombone Shorty’s Voodoo Threauxdown with his group Orleans Avenue, Tank & the Bangas, Big Freedia, Cyril Neville: The Uptown Ruler, George Porter Jr. & Dumpstaphunk, and The Soul Rebels rouses the Hollywood Bowl on Aug 10

Kenan Thompson (“Saturday Night Live”) gets his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Aug. 11 at 11:30 a.m. (6627 Hollywood Blvd, near Cherokee)

Stax legend Booker T. Jones continues the 25th anniversary season of free sunset concerts at the Skirball Cultural Center on Aug. 11; as Maxwell stops at the Pacific Amphitheatre; and Jazz Is Dead returns with Joel Ross & James Brandon Lewis at the Lodge Room

“Secret Society 2: Never Enough” starring Reyna Love, Vivica A. Fox, Blac Chyna and Jeremy Meeks had its Atlanta premiere last week and is now available to rent or buy through Prime Video.

TASTY QUIP:Nichelle [Nichols] was the first Black person I’d ever seen who made it to the future. She was head of communications. [“Star Trek”] and this woman was a beacon that said, ‘Yes, we’ll be there.’ And it just made me feel like that was an amazing thing, and she helped propel other women to go into space. I was lucky enough to spend time with her over the years. She was my friend and she’ll be missed.” – WHOOPI GOLDBERG on “The View”

TC ON TV: Aug. 5 – “Prey” (Hulu): Set in the Comanche Nation 300 years ago, this novel new prequel in the “Predator” series of films finds the alien facing a young woman warrior (Amber Midthunder). “Stowaway” (AMC+): That guy Frank Grillo (“Captain America: Civil War,” “Black & White”) and Ruby Rose (“Batwoman”) star in this survival heist film set on a boat. “The Sandman” (Netflix): The long-awaited adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s award-winning comic series is here with Tom Sturridge as the title character, aka Dream. Gwendoline Christie (“Game of Thrones”) as Lucifer and Kirby Howell-Baptiste (“Killing Eve”) as Death are featured. “Jesus Sepulveda: Mr. Tough Life” (HBO Latino): Showcasing one of the youngest and most exciting L.A. Latinx comedians.

Aug. 6 – “About Her Business” (BET Her): Black women entrepreneurs and their successful businesses take the spotlight with guests including Fawn Weaver, Valyncia, Denise Woodward and Tressa Smallwood. “Urban Beauty TV” (BET Her): “Wedding Edition”

Aug. 7 – “Delicious Miss Brown” (Food): Kardea Brown, who recently hosted the grand opening of Gee & Juan Smalls’ Atlanta outpost of their Virgil’s West Midtown Gullah Kitchen & Bar, creates the menu for a “Jazzed Up Supper Club.” “37th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards” (BET/BET Her): Jekalyn Carr and Kierra Sheard host with performances by Kirk Franklin, Erica Campbell, Maverick City Music, Marvin Sapp, Tye Tribbett, Le’Andria Johnson, Brian Courtney Wilson, Rudy Currence, Chrisette Michele, James Fortune and more. “United States of America” (CNN): “Asian Americans In The Spotlight”

Aug. 8 – “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” (VH1): Rasheesa Frost, Karlie Redd, Yung Joc, Mimi Faust, Erica Mena and more step up for the opener, to be followed by the season premiere of “Love & Hip Hop: Miami.” “World of Flavor with Big Moe Cason” (NGC): “Gumbo, Gator, and Grillin’”

Aug. 9 – “America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston (PBS): “Minnesota: A Better World” “The Murder Inc. Story” (BET): A five-part documentary series on New York City mastermind Irving “Irv Gotti” Lorenzo and his record label which launched Ja Rule, Ashanti, Lloyd, Charli Baltimore, and others. “Tales” (BET): Stories told in popular hip hop and rap songs are transformed into short films opening this season with “Fight The Power.” “Password” (NBC): Keke Palmer hosts this new update of the classic game show with guests Jon Hamm and Jimmy Fallon.

Aug. 10 – “I Am Groot” (Disney+): A series of animated shorts on the sapling who grew to become one of “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.” “Locke & Key” (Netflix): The final season of the tantalizing fantasy family thriller. “Live with Kelly & Ryan” (ABC): Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Aug. 11 – “Faking It: R. Kelly” (Disc+): The latest look at the R&B superstar revealed to be a sexual predator. “Ms. Pat Show” (BET+): The bawdy sitcom is back for another round. “Send Help” (AllBlk): This coming-of-age dark comedy series stars Jean Elie (“Insecure,” “Colin in Black & White”) as a once hot first-generation Haitian American actor struggling to remain relevant in Hollywood. “It’s Compliplated” (Food): Hosted by vegan foodie, actress and best-selling author Tabitha Brown, four chefs compete to create dishes that will please judge Maneet Chauhan (“Chopped”) and a rotating panel of guest judges, each with a very particular palate and tricky food requirements.

END QUOTE: “Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within” – JAMES BALDWIN

As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly one million weekly readers. Bill Vaughan may be reached at tastyclips@yahoo.com, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.

 

 

 

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