Def Comedy Jam: D.L. Hughley

Hughley Season
Available at Amazon.com

Another new season in a new era for urban comedy on HBO.

Back in 2006, legendary hip-hop entrepreneur Russell Simmons brought back Def Comedy Jam after a 10-year absence from HBO. The stand-up comedy series used to be known for showcasing up-and-coming urban comedians, and Simmons hoped to restore that tradition for a new generation of viewers on HBO. After the first season was a success it was time for a new season. Coinciding with the final season of HBO’s critically-acclaimed series, The Wire, another new season of Def Comedy Jam premiered in early 2008.

Basically, every urban comedian today that has become a “big star” in the world of comedy got their start on Def Comedy Jam back in the early-to-mid 1990s. Dave Chappelle, Jamie Foxx, Chris Rock, Chris Tucker, Steve Harvey, and D.L. Hughley are just some of the comedians to grace the stages. Martin Lawrence was the iconic host of the first incarnation. Last season, Mike Epps took over. For this new season, D.L. Hughley returns as the host. Other than the host and the lineup of comedians, everything else looks and feels the same as it was 15 years ago and even last year.

D.L. Hughley was another excellent choice to host this show. He is well-known to most of America as he briefly had his own prime time television show. However, his style of comedy is completely different than Mike Epps and even Martin Lawrence. While both Epps and Lawrence have this “crazy” style of comedy, D.L. Hughley sticks to a more traditional approach. That doesn’t make him any less funny, though. Hughley has a solid repertoire of jokes. He doesn’t need to resort to crazy antics on stage to make people laugh. His jokes are enough to accomplish that.

The comedians featured during this season of Def Comedy Jam are once again a mix of familiar faces and not so familiar faces. You will recognize some comedians from different shows like Patrice O’Neal (The Office) and Deray Davis (MTV’s Nick Cannon Presents Wild N’ Out). Others you will recognize from the previous season like Capone, Tony Roberts, and Earthquake. Others have been performing stand-up for years without much exposure, and some are even brand new. To top things off, you might even recognize one comedian from his famous comedian father (last name Wayans, first name Damon). It’s a good mix of comedians and the majority of them are funny. To be honest, though, not one comedian stands out above them all like Katt Williams did last year. That’s not to say that there can’t be a breakout comedian like Katt Williams in this group, but none had that same kind of vibe after watching all of them.

Def Comedy Jam is still one of the best places to catch the next generation of urban comedians. Like any compilation of different comedians on one DVD set, there are sure to be some comedians that viewers will like more than others. But Russell Simmons has an “eye” for comedic talent, and as a result you will be laughing constantly during this season. There are even enough jokes from host, D.L. Hughley, in between performances to satisfy Hughley fans. If you enjoy urban comedy but don’t have HBO, this season is a must-buy on DVD.

Episodes:

Disc One:

Episode 1:

Performances By:
– Damon Jr.
– Vincent Oshana
– Gina Yashere
– Capone

Episode 2:

Performances By:
– Gilson Lubin
– Vanessa Fraction
– Patrice O’Neal

Episode 3:

Performances By:
– Smokey
– Tiffany Haddish
– Big Rome
– Tony Roberts

Episode 4:

Performances By:
– Roy Wood Jr.
– Kyle Groom
– Russell Peters

Episode 5:

Performances By:
– Wil Sylvince
– Cory Fernandez
– Ted Carpenter

Disc Two:

Episode 6:

Performances By:
– Kelly “K-Dubb” Walker
– DeRay Davis
– Vargus Mason
– Earthquake

Episode 7:

Performances By:
– David Arnold
– Gerard
– Timmy Hall
– Rasheed

Episode 8:

Performances By:
– Malik S.
– David Raibon
– B. Cole
– Gerald Kelly

Episode 9:

Performances By:
– Damon Williams
– Sean Larkins
– B-Phlat
– TuRae

Episode 10:

Performances By:
– Marcus Combs
– Alex Scott
– Ali
– Chris Thomas

The video is given in widescreen color with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, which is enhanced for 16X9 TVs. The transfer is decent enough. A little better than what you would find on HBO, but there didn’t need to be much improvement to the video since this is HBO. No problems at all.

The audio included is in English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound. No problems here either. The comedians are crisply and clearly heard, which is all you need to have for a show like this.

Bonus Sketches:

“Patrice on America 1” – More jokes from Patrice O’Neal.

“Patrice on America 2” – See above.

“NOD on America” – NOD stands for N**** on Demand and it’s pretty
funny. Basically, it’s a spoof on the belief that white people can’t say the “N” word. So they have an African-American say it for them when they are talking to other African-Americans.

“Every Black Show” – Basically a spoof on a urban sitcom with common stereotypes found in “every black show”.

“Young Comedians” – Tony Roberts tries to be a great example for “young comedians” to follow, but that doesn’t work out so well. Earthquake chimes in at the end with a couple more backstage jokes.

If you like urban comedy, then you have to at least rent this. I would even say purchase it, but only if you like a lot of these comedians. If you only like a few, then you probably don’t want to purchase this. D.L. Hughley fans might want to consider adding this to their collection, because he does throw out his own jokes in between performances. Overall, it’s a solid comedy DVD.

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HBO Home Video presents Def Comedy Jam: D.L. Hughley. Created by Russell Simmons and Stan Lathan. Starring D.L. Hughley and many other stand-up comedians. Running time: 300 minutes. NOT RATED. Released on DVD: March 11, 2008. Available at Amazon.com.

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