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The Second City Network Joins In On The Recent Interest In Everything Slavery-Themed (Are You Laughing?)

The Second City Network Joins In On The Recent Interest In Everything Slavery-Themed (Are You Laughing?)

The highly anticipated Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained . . . Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years A Slave . . . the controversial adidas “slavery-chain” sneakers.  The piece of American history that many Americans don’t like to talk about is suddenly the talk of the town.  And the famous Second City comedy improv troupe, which has in the past done sketches featuring slavery-themes, has decided to foray into familiar territory with one of their latest, titled, If Credit Card Companies Told The Truth.

Their website claims that “The Second City is the leading brand in improv-based sketch comedy.”

Now, I’m all for a good laugh, and I can take a joke as well as the next guy.  But is this latest Second City sketch bordering on distasteful, or am I being overly sensitive?  And are we to blame for agreeing to participate in such sketches in the first place?

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I understand the concept, metaphorically, but it was poorly executed. The focus was on the black experience of slavery and the black experience of financial debt. However, in the final seconds of the sketch, their was a group of white, latino, and asian "slaves" singing the "massa card" spiritual. I guess this was supposed to mean that "we are all slaves" to the financial system… blah. Wasn't funny to me. However, if someone like Paul Mooney, Dave Chapelle, or even Key & Kel (on a good day) would have done this skit, would we think it was funny then? Can a joke about antibellum slavery = millennial financial debt and bondage be done right? I don't know.

Charles Judson

Considering how credit cards can put people in debt for decades and Black folks and minorities are often the most targeted groups in the country for high interest credit cards and the like (especially as more states outlaw or limit pay day loans and similar practices), I'm not sure how this is out of bounds. Some of the practices of banks and credit card institutions can at times be equated with a form of economic sharecropping. I understand the comments and reactions, but we seem to be skipping right over our present reality, especially in light of our current high as hell unemployment rate. Economically, Black folk are still the proverbial canary in the coal mine.

karen marie mason

some bullshit.


It just wasn't funny, or cutting edge. More like Meh . . .

Terri Jeann

Nothing about slavery is funny to me except hanging a slave-holder by the balls from a tree!!!


Not quite ready to start laughing about slavery. If our minds are still awash with it and since there are real slaves still enduring this injustice on the planet today, it's very hard to make a joke. Of course, the writers are clueless. I could see them in the writers room, just laughing…and laughing…


Not feeling this and re-thinking taking improv classes w/ them.


IF IT'S FUNNY — IT'S FUNNY. Listen, I am begining to believe white folks know black folks better than they know themselves… or at least they ain't afraid to talk about it. I'm serious, look at this–> "Years ago, when the first Shaft movies came out and the Superfly movies came out, I was very much for them, because I felt that this was a possibility for the African-Americans to take over… and then the African-American INTELLECTUALS came out against these movies… And I thought that that was a mistake. So consequently what you have now is all these excellent African-American actors playing second banana to the white action heroes… ~ Andrew Sarris. UT OH, he bruised a few egos — didn't he? So maybe… just maybe… sometimes… sometimes when you least expect it, you might be elected, and some black folks should "lighten up & "stop hatin"! I'm serious, doesn't get tired tired tired talking about how the white man uses us? And how soon we forget. It was funny as hell when we were chuck-chuck-chuckling down the road in balls laughter while pointing fingers at white folks. Remember that brilliant web series The Unwritten Rule? Yeah, surely y'all remember TWO DAYS AGO? White folks were the butt of every damn joke, and now we cry "oh me, oh my, why dey do us so bad?". And wait, er'body was laughing their asses off @DearWhitePeople. OH YEAH… 105 comments of chucklebuck laughter — and praise. And who said we focus too much on race? Well, that's true to. In the last week alone, S&A has posted over 100 brilliant thought provoking posts, but one post on orange velcro tennis shoe "shackles" received more comments than all the others COMBINED! But you know what, it's not all black folk's fault. I mean, I have to be fair about this. I was talking with an S&A writer/contributor and they said – ….."remember, there were over ***8 (last time I looked) 'likes'. It's just, the people who 'like' a piece use that as their comment. So, the people who disagree take over the comment section. Keep yourself in the arena" . Now that makes sense. Nevertheless, when I go to a movie theater (especially a comedy), nothing annoys me more than a crying baby. So some black folks should check themselves before they…


SMH… it boils down to Black folks really having ZERO, economic or political power. I'm not talking about potential power, but rather how we currently use our resources. It's this lack of power that allows businesses and media, to ridicule, belittle, and profit off our misery. As mentioned, no way in hell would the Jewish community be subject to this type of humour..


Wow… I agree with you Tambay. Hollywood does anything it wants to. Oh well, most black people are too busy "chasing da paper" and "grindin" & "hustlin" to be worried bout it. I wonder how many lighten up & "stop hatin" comments we're gonna have on here today? If I do remember history correct, the Jews had the whole easy going attitude about Hitler until they were shipped off to Krakaw and Auschwitz. SMDH really hard!


"What's the last four digits of your SS#? – WHACK!"
That was kinda funny, and true. However, when trying to analyze how appropriate this is, ask yourself, "Would they have done the same with the Holocaust?"
"You made a late payment on that oven you bought?? – Well, off to the showers with you! Mein Herr!" Somehow I don't think so. It's past time for a black filmmaker to show the REAL deal of slavery. Rape, murder, torture, everything. In 3D. And win an Oscar, like all the other movies and documentaries about the Holocaust tend to do.

the black police

It has begun… (or continued, really)

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