Despite the fact that Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam premiered on HBO in 1992, Netflix will celebrate a milestone by airing a 25th anniversary special later this month as a tribute to the original show. For those unaware, Def Comedy Jam was the spot for launching the careers of many African-American comedians including Dave Chappelle, Monique, and Mike Epps. Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos spoke of his passion for the upcoming event.
“We’ve been doing stand-up comedy particularly in the last couple of years. This felt like a natural home for [the special] to keep the legacy going and keep the history going.”
Tiffany Haddish remembered her initial struggle in the world of comedy and how Def Jam gave her an opportunity to get where she is today.
“I feel grateful and thankful and honored that they even thought to call me out of all the people they could’ve called. They called me. It feels good. I remember when I was trying to get on Def Jam, and I submitted a tape, and then I was showing up at all the auditions, and they wouldn’t let me get on stage, and then somebody saw that tape and said we got to get her on, and when they gave me the opportunity, I lit that ass up. I will always light it up if they give me a chance to.”
Simmons wants the younger generation of viewers watching this special to see where the original stars got their start, but also wants people to see that
“There is a wealth of other talent that is still underserved and is still not getting a break. We’re doing six more episodes on HBO. I want to be able to expose [these comedians] and then maybe Hollywood will see them for what they are worth.”
I for one can not wait to see what is sure to be nothing short of hilarious.