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Celebrating Black Comedy: The 85 South Show

In the spirit of Black History Month, I’d like to tell you all a joke: if you’re cheese with no crackers, what are you? Answer: crackalackin! As your thunderous laughter decrescendos, I hope you hear me when I say; I am not a comedian (yes yes, you’ve caught me lackin). Unlike the Dave Chapelle’s and Wanda Sykes's of the world, my jokes are corny and stolen (shoutout KevOnStage)一 however, all I hope to do is make you laugh, and until then, I will keep crackin’ jokes. If, for some odd and illegitimate reason,  you don’t like my jokes, then you might enjoy those of Wild N’ Out’s own Karlous Miller, Chico Bean, and DC YoungFly: the co-hosts of the 85 South Show.

Debuting in 2015, the 85 South show is a podcast turned traveling live show of improv comedy, co-hosted by Karlous Miller, Jamal “Chico” Bean, and John Whitfield aka DC YoungFly. Best known for their tenure on the hit MTV improv comedy series, Wild N’ Out, the three comedians joined forces after building an amicable relationship both on and off  the set of the show and paving the way for the nascency of the 85 South crew. 85 South produces shows weekly on Youtube, usually accompanied by a guest. The co-hosts will sling questions at guests and provoke meaningful conversation, discuss their own grievances, or offer advice; there is no strict format or structure to the show - it is pure, unfiltered, organic comedy. No topic is off limits for the 85 South crew, and though their opinions may be controversial to some, they never lack for producing laughs from anyone who is willing to watch and listen. 

Beyond the chuckles, tears, and laughs, the 85 South show has become a pillar of Black success. Though the weekly 85 South show podcast attracts the most attention, the 85 South crew is not short of motivation, and has continued to expand its sphere of influence in the Black community. The 85 South Black Market series showcases the achievements of Black community leaders and entrepreneurs both within and beyond Atlanta, Georgia, the presiding residence of the 85 South show studio. The Eighty Vybe series provides exposure for Black musical artists, rappers and musicians who would otherwise not get such publicity. For their contributions to the community, and unapologetic embrace of raw, raunchy and unadulterated Black comedy, the 85 South show is more than just a comedy and business troup. They’ve become community leaders who, with their influence, continue to strengthen the relationship between Black people, culture, and success. 

The 85 South show is but another blip in the already alluring history of Black comedy, and as they continue to dominate the space, one can only imagine how they will further revolutionize the art. As a favor to yourself, I would recommend that any viewer consume some of the 85 South show content; they are authentic Black comedians, who have progressed the realm of Black comedy further. As a tribute to the Black comedians who have come before them, appreciate them now, while they are still chuckling, crying, and laughing.

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