Five Recurring Black Comedy Characters Who Need To Die


Lebron James isn't having the greatest week. His Cavs are struggling and now the Progressive ad featuring him as "Flobron" is receiving heat.


From The Root:

One quick look at the Instagram comments on Progressive’s page shows that some people feel the ad campaign is derogatory to black men. Instagram user generalsdaughter wrote:

There were absolutely NO OTHER CONCEPTS that could have been shot for this ad? It just HAD to come down to a black male athlete in drag?  #agenda #emasculation #itsinthecontract

Now, is this concept offensive? I don't know. I'm not the best person to answer that sort of question. But, I do know one thing: This concept just isn't funny enough to be used as often as it is. I just can't think of a time I've seen a Black man and thought to myself: "You know what would be hilarious? Him in a dress!!" But, again, it keeps happening.

Anyway, thinking about this brought to mind a few more consistently unfunny comedy characters who either frequently appear in Black movies or are frequently played Black actors/actresses; recurring tropes that seem to get less and less funny every time they're used and probably need to die.

1. The big Black man in drag

Can still draw laughs, but is funny the same way the McRib is tasty. Even if enjoying it you can't help but think it was made with bat meat.


2. The big, mean Black woman scaring everyone with her big, mean Black woman-ness

I can not find an instance when this has ever been funny. Seriously, is it never not not funny. I have no idea why comedy writers keep relying on it. But it keeps happening. And keeps happening. And keeps happening.


3. The super, duper horny perpetually single Black woman scaring everyone with her super, duper horny perpetually single Black woman-ness

Because no one has ever actually said "I want to sop him up with some biscuits and gravy!" except for every super, duper horny perpetually single Black woman character who's ever been on screen. (Maybe your great aunt said it once too, but it doesn't count because she was talking about Roberto Clemente)


4. The bumbling thug

Thugs can be funny. I mean, I heard someone say "Young Thug is the future of rap" the other day and it made me choke on my orange juice. But the idiot crooks who can't shoot straight — let's just call them "Plexicos" — is a comedic crutch relied on a bit too much.  Barbershop — which remains one of the most underrated movies ever — almost derailed the entire picture by focusing too much screen time on a couple neighborhood thugs no one gave a damn about trying to do something no one gave a damn about.


5. The currently incarcerated or recently released inmate with one mission in life: rape men

Ok, I'll admit that Charlie Murphy's "Tyree" from The Chappelle Show's Real World parody was hilarious. I actually just took a 10 minute break from writing this to watch that sketch again. But the "don't drop the soap" joke is only funny if you don't think about what's actually implied to happen if the soap is dropped.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)



1. The big Black man in drag

Lord Jamar is that you? This is a non issue.

However this:
5. The currently incarcerated or recently released inmate with one mission in life: rape men

This and everything surrounding incarceration in this country is a MAJOR issue. It's not funny and it's actually designed to handcuff (pun intended) our people.
Luckily we're voting for representation that will address this issue…. oh, wait……