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Subject: Black Hack Stand-Up Comedy FAQ

This article was archived around: Mon, 17 Feb 97 04:00:43 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: comedy-faq
All FAQs posted in: alt.comedy.standup
Source: Usenet Version

THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BLACK HACK STAND-UP COMEDY BY Steve Silberberg THE BBBBB L AAA CCCCC K K B B L A A C K K BBBBB L AAAAA C KKK B B L A A C K K BBBBB LLLLL A A CCCCC K K H H AAA CCCCC K K H H A A C K K HHHHH AAAAA C KKK H H A A C K K H H A A CCCCC K K FAQ HACK (from the British word Hack-neyed) adj. Over used and thus cheapened, trite. (From THE AMERICAN COLLEGE DICTIONARY) INDEX 1.Who or what is a Black Hack? 2.Where do you find Black Hacks? 3.Staples of the Black Hack 1.The rap music intro 4.The Black Hack and Whitey 1.Are you afraid of me? 2.Don't listen, white people 3.Jungle fever 5.Black Hack cliché repository 1.I'm gonna kick yo' ass! 2.My old lady's a ho' 3.The N Word 6.Typical Black Hack topics 1.Back in the 'hood 2.We used to get whupped 3.We were so po' . . . 7.Impressions 1.Michael Jackson 2.Urkel 3.Rerun 8.Propogating stereotypes 1.I'm out stealing your shit right now 2.Can I have some of your fried chicken? 3.Ax, Bee-atch, Ah gots ta, and assorted jive. 9.Insults 1.Yo mama is so . . . 10.Persona 1.Naming yourself 2.Naming your dick 11.Workin' blue - - profanity 1.Dicks 2.Eating pussy 3.Grabbing your body parts 12.Topics untouched by black hacks 1.Observational humor 2.Politics 3.Props 13.Wait a Second... I be a Black Hack! Section 1. Who or what is a Black Hack? Black Hacks don't have to be African American. But the overwhelming majority are. When you watch a black hack, you get the uneasy feeling that you're watching a third rate Richard Pryor. Black hacks are generally not considered "clean" acts. Black hacks often have to emasculate their performances to play for network TV. This demonstrates how heavily they rely on profanity and use it as a crutch. Obviously, not all blacks are hacks. However, the second you see one reach for their groin, you've found a live one. (This is true irrespective of race). Section 2: Where do you find black hacks? Everywhere. Check out Def Comedy Jam, Evening at the Apollo, or BET. In Living Color was a notable exception to this. The other venues regularly showcase a wide assortment of black hacks. But you can also find them in most comedy clubs. You could sit in the bathroom for an entire show and know when the black hack is on stage by listening for rap music. Section 3: Staples of the Black Hack Originality is not the forte of the Black Hack. Usually their acts can be traced back to Bill Cosby, Eddie Murphy, or Richard Pryor. However, none of these artists seem to be responsible for the ubiquitous . . . 3a Rap music intro Say, here's something that's never been done before. As you're introduced, walk on stage and have the club play rap music! Then, when you're on stage, dance a bit, and tell the audience to put their hands together. Will the innovation never cease? Now this may seem to you like an original idea, but it's so common, that audiences are surprised when they don't hear it. If you don't want to be a black hack, don't do it. Section 4: The Black Hack and Whitey Many blacks perform before mixed race or all white audiences. Society has put an unnatural tension between white audiences and black comics. Some black comedians play upon this well. Others are just black hacks. 4a. Are you afraid of me? Black hacks like to play upon the threat of violence. Usually a black hack can get a laugh by picking a lily white woman out of the audience and saying, "Don't be scared". This hack works really well if the comic is about as threatening as Gary Coleman. 4b. Don't listen, white people! Sometimes a black hack can lose a white audience when they get into using jive. A good way to pull them back is by telling them not to listen. I'm not sure who started it, but Shirley Hemphill is the first I saw do it. It works pretty well. 4c. Jungle Fever Interracial couples are a feeding frenzy for the black hack. It starts out with a comment about jungle fever. Eventually, it becomes, "Since you'll never go back, try me" or some other obvious pick-up attempt. Audiences love it every time they see it. Section 5: Black Hack cliché repository Black hacks use the same hackneyed clichés to win over their audiences. The following are used so often, you'd think it was a mantra. 5a. I'm gonna kick yo' ass! Black Hacks say this more than Eddie Murphy says, "dick". I am in utter amazement and disbelief at how many times an audience will laugh at the EXACT SAME hack punch line. A talented black hack can get an audience to laugh at this particular line 40, maybe 50 times in a single performance. 5b My old lady's a ho' Most black hacks are apparently related to a whore. Although truly innovative black hacks are also related to a bitch. Section 6: Typical Black Hack topics Black hacks tend to congregate around a few popular topics. Microbiology is not one of these topics. To be fair, microbiology is not a popular topic among whites either. 6a. Back in the 'hood OK, so you grew up in the 'hood. What's that? It was tough? What a surprise. 6b. We used to get whupped We all know every black hack was whupped as a kid. And each was whupped in a very unique way, right? Come on. This is a rehash of Bill Cosby's "belt" routine. 6c. We were so po' Even Monty Python has done this routine to the limit. (We lived in a paper bag, etc. etc.) 6d. The N Word Use this in reference to yourself or an audience member. Use it over and over and over again. The laughs are yours for the taking because it is so taboo. Section 7: Impressions Like White Hacks, Black Hacks have their own repertoire of hack impressions. 7a. Michael Jackson Let's see now. Move your hips, sing in a falsetto voice, and as a topper, touch yourself! Then tell a joke about molesting children. 7b. Urkel I actually tend to like Urkel impressions, even though they're hack. So feel free to do as many of these as you want! 7c. Rerun You're a fat black hack with a hat. You're Rerun. Section 8: Propagating stereotypes We all know the stereotypes. Blacks play basketball, eat watermelon, and break dance. Black hacks have not overlooked this. 8a. I'm out stealing your shit right now. The idea here is to talk to someone in the audience and find out where they live. Once you have found out their location, tell them that you're going out to rob their house during the show. Or tell them that your buddy is out stealing their car right now. Here are some examples. You get the idea. Don't worry,... as long as I'm on stage ... your house is safe. Wouldn't you rather see me on stage than coming thru your bedroom window?!! Last time I was in lights this bright I was in a line up!! 8b. Can I have some of your fried chicken? This is an example of self-deprecating humor. Black hacks try to fit the stereotype to get a few laughs. Alas, it usually works. 8c. Ax, Bee-atch, Ah gots ta, and assorted jive. Slip into some jive and the audience is right there with you. Whatever you do, make sure not to use proper English, lest your act suffer from an outbreak of audience comprehension. Section 9: Insults Insults are key to determining King Cock amongst black hacks. The loudest, biggest put down wins the prize. Sometimes they're original. But usually they refer to... 9a. Yo' mama is so... Usually followed by ugly or fat. She scares Jabba the Hut. Her car has stretch marks. It looks like someone put a fire out on her face with an ice pick. Yeah, I know this kind of put down can be funny, but towards the end, did you EVER laugh at any of Johnny Carson's "It was so hot" jokes? Doubt it. It's been done repeatedly, even if the punch line is clever. Section 10: Persona Many Black Hacks (and white ones) develop a persona integral to their success. This persona has absolutely nothing to do with their performance. It's hack, in much the same way that many rock groups, composed primarily of rich, upper class kids, wear long hair and appear rebellious. 10a. Naming Yourself If you want to create a persona, give yourself a name, like Hamburger. When you say something outrageous, follow it up with your name. I'm not even sure why this is funny, but audiences seem to love it. At least Carrot Top doesn't say "Oh, Carrot Top, Uh Huh" after every punch line. 10b. Naming your dick I'll bet nobody in the history of mankind has ever named their dick. You call yours "Little Mike Tyson"? Ha ha ha ha ha! Section 11: Workin Blue -- Profanity Profanity. Now THAT'S funny. Remember, the nastier your act, the more a thinking audience respects you. A black hack's act is entirely incomplete without gratuitous, ubiquitous profanity. Every other sentence in such an act can contain the word "fuck" and people will still think it's be funny. Come on. Not only is it not funny, it's major hack. An occasional dick joke is great, as is a well placed swear word. But the black hack never feels that working blue and using the same swear words repeatedly, is limiting. I don't really know why. 11a. Dicks My ho's lips are sooo big ... they almost fit around my dick. OK, so blacks have huge wangs. And I'll bet YOU'RE the only one ever to notice that! Grab your dick a lot on stage! Go ahead. Everybody's doing it, so do it and get your share of laughs at this cerebral approach to comedy. 11b. Eating Pussy Always remember to include the most detailed, graphic description of cunnilingus. Spare no expense here. The more vivid the description, with the most analogies to tuna, tacos, and watermelon, the better. Talk about how your friends do it. Talk about how lesbians do it. Talk about how yo' mama does it. Say anything about it you can, AS LONG AS YOU TALK ABOUT EATING PUSSY! 11c. Grab your body parts. We've already mentioned how hacks grab their dicks. But grabbing your ass is hack too. Or your breasts. Section 12: Topics Untouched by Black Hacks Believe it or not, black hacks steer entirely clear of some subject matter. If you hear any of these topics on stage, your performer is likely not a black hack. 12a. Observational Humor Why is it that door screens always look like they have that weird pattern on them? I don't really know, but for what it's worth neither does the black hack. For whatever reason, black hacks have no interest in observational humor (which has become hack itself). Seinfeld can rest easy. 12b. Politics Did you hear the one about Strom Thurmond? Not in a black hack's act. For some reason, the black hacks steer entirely clear of politics. 12c. Props Black hacks don't use props. Thank God for small miracles. Section 13: Wait a Second... I be a Black Hack! I have no advice for you other than to say, try your act without profanity. If it's not working, start writing new material. That way you won't be limited to non-network TV roles. Many thanks goes out to: Steven Rosenthal stevenr@cinenet.net for all their help in putting this together. This FAQ is Copyright (C) 1995 by Steven J. Silberberg, and is made available as a service to the Internet community. It may not be sold in any medium, including electronic, CD-ROM, or database, packaged with any commercial product, or published in print, without the explicit, written permission of the author and FAQ maintainer, Steven J. Silberberg ---------------- Steve Silberberg mailto:stevebo@onramp.net http://rampages.onramp.net/~stevebo/ Suburban America is the melting pot of lowest common denominator gastronomical mediocrity. -- Holly Moore