Obama Brings Radical Change —for Black Comedians

Hope infuses acts built on raging at system
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2008 2:41 PM CST
Chris Rock played a black presidential candidate in 2003's "Head of State," giving comedic treatment to possible assassination attempts.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The 2008 election was a game-changer for many facets of US society, and not least for black comedians, the LA Times reports. Many have made careers out of lampooning and railing against a system that seems stacked against them. “Now, there’s this self-made black man, and they don’t want to undermine the possibility of hope,” says a professor.

Many are using stage time to vent anxieties about Barack Obama’s future. One comedian, for example, announced he was doing a sketch on Obama’s inauguration, then fell as if shot. But everyone is stepping gingerly. “We have a new responsibility,” said one comic. “You don’t want your sound bite to be the one that brings Obama down.”