*In honor of Black History Month Showtime has been highlighting every Thursday and Friday black comedians. I was invited to the red carpeted premiere event for “LAFFMOBB presents Red Grant: Caught Red Handed” on Showtime. The comedy special re-airs Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 12:30 a.m.
A flow of comedians associated with LAFFMOBB came through in support of Red, such as Rudy Rush and Roz G – who also have comedy specials presented by LAFFMOBB to air on Showtime. Also there were Keith Mitchell, comedian Tiffany Baker, rapper Lil G, Interscopes’ The Mutants, comedian Thomas Ward, Tony Rock, and LAFFMOBB creator Bob Sumner. But the man of the hour, that night, at the Rolling Stone Lounge in Hollywood was Red Grant.
Grant, a Washington, DC native, has allot going on. His comedic skills are a familiar face on BET’s “Comic View;” on “Martin Lawrence 1st Amendment;” on Comedy Central with his “Comedy Central presents Red Grant” half-hour show, and on Showtime for their reality show “Reality Bites Back.” Red has produced seven shows and pilots for the Viacom Network reaching over six million people world-wide, and has sold over 500,000 DVDs.
As an actor Red Grant has starred opposite Katt Williams in American Hustle, the made-for-television movie Wonder Girls, co-starred in the film House Arrest with Stacey Dash, Roy Fegan, Jennifer Chu, Chico Benymon, Cory Blevins and Aki Aleng. Grant also owns a film company, MOVIEOS, which has already partnered with Lionsgate and Artisan.
When I asked him what advice he would give to up-and-coming comedians Grant said, “Make sure you practice your material…and make sure you pray.”
MPT to premiere “American Masters Cab Calloway: Sketches” Monday, February 27, 2012
*“It came from the book by Alan Shipton,” said Camay Calloway Murphy about her father the legendary entertainer Cab Calloway, known for the “Hot Swing” sound, the “Jump” genre (the first defined genre) and the Zoot Suit. “Through the book there was a lot of interest, on the part of Gail (the director); to do a different type of documentary…She brought in an artist”
The documentary Camay is referring to will air on Maryland Public Television on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 10:00 p.m. EST, titled “American Masters Cab Calloway: Sketches.”
“This is a foreign made film,” said producer/director Gail Levin about the documentary. “Some guy in Paris was smitten with Cab, it emanated from him. I worked with him before and he called me into direct. No one (in America) wanted to support it. Production financing came from Europe.”
Levin said the response from the documentary, “American Masters Cab Calloway: Sketches,” has been great. So far it has already won a French Documentary Award.
Cab, a Maryland native, was a trend setter world-wide. Known for his style of dance and singing, but most of all he was known for his style of dress. His Zoot Suit – a style derived from fashion items from all around the world – still has its influence on society today.
“His style is an American style of dress dating back to 1930s – 1940s,” said Christopher Brooks, grandson of Cab Calloway, son to Camay Murphy and director of the Cab Calloway Orchestra. “It combines numerous elements from multiple cultures Britain (shoes), France (watch), Egypt (shirt), Germany (jacket), and American slave wear (the hat) and Native Indian (the father).”
“I’m the oldest daughter,” Camay pointed out. “I sought-of enjoyed the height of his career in the 30s and 40s…I was in junior and senior high school. I had the opportunity to go to the Cotton Club and other major venues …and meet people like Bill Robinson. He set the time. He was receptive to what the trend was, what appealed to the general audience.”
The 4th Annual Valentine Oscar Lounge & Party event by PR guru Doris Bergman a spectacular success
*I was honored to cover the 4th Annual Valentine Oscar Lounge & Party event produced by public relations guru Doris Bergman, in association with Michelle Lee Faulkner, and it was a spectacular success. Not only was everyone gracious and pleasant but the line of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities were coming in steady – from beginning to end. The attraction, aside from plenty of food to eat, drinks and good company, was the free gifts – even media people like myself received very large gift bags.
The invitation only event was held at the Café’ La Boheme in West Hollywood. Guests were asked to bring slightly worn clothing to donate to Operation Dress Up! – a student run California non-profit organization
While there I had the pleasure of seeing actress Kimberly Elise (Beloved, The Color Purple), Thomas Gibbs (“Criminal Minds”), Deidra Hall (“Days of Our Lives”), Jazz guitarist Kevin Eubanks, Chris McDonald (“Harris’ Law”), and Eric Roberts (“Burn Notice,” “Criminal Minds: Suspect) – to name a few.
The list of companies that provided the free gifts and services were about as many as the guests that arrived, they even took up two levels at the Cafe’. The companies there included, but not limited to, LYON Fine Jewelry, Art Lewin & Co. Custom Clothiers, Michael Marcus Cosmetics, Twisted Silver, lingerie by Dulcenea, Nail Glam, Blue Angel Ultra Premium Vodka, Leon Cigars and the cuisine created by a five-star executive chef, Christine Banta.
(Eunice Moseley is a syndicated entertainment columnist, www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com)