Strong Black Lead

Strong Black Lead

Strong Black Laughs is a weekly show brought to you by Netflix and Strong Black Lead that brings you the black champions of comedy. Every Tuesday, host Janelle James sits down with the comedians who’ve made us rethink our lives and the world around us, and most of all, made us laugh our asses off. And don’t worry! Strong Black Legends will be back next year.... Show More

Episodes

January 28, 2020 30 min

Janelle James hangs with Nicole Byer to talk about the fundamentals of twerking, not being a fan of children, embracing fat jokes, how her Netflix hit “Nailed It!” inspires hecklers, why you should always ask for more money, and what she’s learned about relationships and herself from hosting her podcast, “Why Won’t You Date Me?”

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January 21, 2020 40 min

Janelle James sits down with Roy Wood Jr. to chat about growing up in Alabama, bombing his first “Daily Show” audition, how almost going to prison paved the way for his career in comedy, and how making it in the entertainment industry is just like becoming Batman.

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January 14, 2020 28 min

Janelle James hangs out with Kim Coles to chat about growing up in Brooklyn, reenacting “Roots” in the high school cafeteria, the grueling audition process for “In Living Color,” how comedy is a superpower, why she hates hot sauce, and whether she’s down for a “Living Single” reboot.

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January 7, 2020 26 min

Janelle James kicks it with Bruce Bruce to talk about eating Snoop Dogg’s food on set, convincing Kevin Hart not to quit standup, how he ended up being referenced on Notorious B.I.G.’s “Hypnotize,” and how he went from being booed four times at the Apollo to becoming a legend.

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December 17, 2019 26 min

Janelle James hangs with Kym Whitley to chat about getting kicked off of Soul Train, her rude high school superlative, doing improv with Larry David, what it was like to star in “Next Friday,” and how some janky teeth scored her a big role.

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December 10, 2019 36 min

Janelle James sits down with Sherri Shepherd to chat about growing up super religious, how she went from being a legal secretary with legal problems to becoming a booked-and-blessed comedian, how her famous “Ham!” scene in “30 Rock” came to be, why Netflix’s “Mr. Iglesias” is important to youngsters, and how she scored a job on “The View” partly because of Rosie O’Donnell’s breast.

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December 3, 2019 42 min

Janelle James hangs with Marlon Wayans to get into what it’s like coming from a comedy dynasty, being heckled by Chris Rock, how he almost played Robin in “Batman Returns,” whether he’s interested in a “White Chicks” sequel, and how every movie he’s ever been in prepared him to play seven characters in Netflix’s “Sextuplets.”

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November 26, 2019 19 min

Janelle James sits down with Mike Epps to talk about his breakout role as Day-Day in "Next Friday," his new Netflix special "Only One Mike," what it was like to star alongside Eddie Murphy in Netflix's "Dolemite Is My Name," and how he managed to turn a tough childhood into comedy gold.

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November 19, 2019 35 min

We're kicking off Strong Black Laughs with the OG Bad Girl of Comedy, Luenell! Host Janelle James chats with Luenell about going from sleeping in a Denny's parking lot to being booked and blessed, licking Borat's finger, that time she robbed a bank, and what it felt like starring alongside Eddie Murphy in Netflix's "Dolemite Is My Name" and the "Coming to America" sequel.

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November 12, 2019 8 min

Strong Black Legends will be back next year. In the meantime, a brand spanking new show called Strong Black Laughs is here to bring you the black champions of comedy and take your mind off all the bullshit. The pre-legend herself, Tracy Clayton, sat down with host Janelle James to get a taste of what’s to come.

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April 16, 2019 52 min

This week, Tracy speaks with the multi-talented actor and director Robert Townsend. They talk about the classic "Hollywood Shuffle," his love of superheroes, and directing Beyoncé in the cult classic "Carmen: A Hip Hopera." Also, Tracy shares her love of Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold.

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April 9, 2019 38 min

This week, Tracy speaks with comedic bombshell, Jackée Harry. They talk about her roots as a dramatic actress, her iconic roles from 227 to Sister, Sister, and whether or not Jackée is going to adopt Tracy. Also, Tracy gives it up to Ricky Thompson and self-care instagram. Success! 

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April 2, 2019 50 min

This week, Tracy talks to comedic genius and our honorary step-daddy, John Witherspoon. They talk about his hustle, being the Father of Black Hollywood, and what the success of “Friday” taught him about money. Also, Tracy gives it up to Gospel music.

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March 26, 2019 40 min

This week, Tracy talks to Hollywood legend Margaret Avery. They talk about the Blaxploitation movement of the 70’s, what it was like starring as Gabrielle Union’s mother in “Being Mary Jane,” and her iconic role as Shug Avery in The Color Purple. Also, Tracy channels Maya Angelou and the lingo that all black mothers seem to use.

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March 19, 2019 43 min

This week, Tracy speaks to actor/director/producer Bill Duke! He spills behind the scenes details on what it was like directing "Sister Act 2," shares the small moments that had a major impact on his life, and even gives Tracy a live acting lesson. Also, Tracy gives it up to the boy and girl groups we all grew up on and desperately miss.

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March 12, 2019 74 min

This week, Tracy speaks with triple threat Jason Weaver! He talks about being handpicked by Sir Elton John to sing in the original "Lion King," the dramatic oral history of his feature on Chingy’s “One Call Away,” and dishes on that one time he took Beyoncé to the prom (on "Smart Guy"). Also, Tracy smooths it out for a tribute to the soundtrack for the grown and sexy - The Quiet Storm.

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March 5, 2019 50 min

This week, Tracy speaks with Hollywood legend Loretta Devine. She talks about what it’s like to have a resume THAT long,  “Dreamgirls,” “Waiting to Exhale” and her new Netflix show “Family Reunion.” Plus, Tracy gives flowers to Leon, the hardest working man in Black Hollywood.

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February 26, 2019 40 min

This week, Tracy honors legend and everyone's pretend uncle, Garrett Morris! He shares all kinds of stories from what it was like growing up in New Orleans to being the first black cast member ever on "Saturday Night Live". He also shares behind the scenes moments from Martin and The Jamie Foxx Show. Then, Tracy ends the episode with a very special shout-out to baby hair.

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February 19, 2019 40 min

Tracy speaks to Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth Carter! She spills all the deets on what it was like to design costumes on everything from Spike Lee's "School Daze" to "Baby Boy," "BAPS," and "Black Panther". Also, Tracy gives a special shout out to the plastic your grandma put on her couch so she didn't have to fight you!

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February 12, 2019 39 min

Welcome to the first episode of Strong Black Legends!

In this episode, Tracy speaks to television and film icon, Lynn Whitfield! They talk about her early inspirations, her memories from films she’s starred in like “The Josephine Baker Story” and “Eve’s Bayou”, and hitting a classy twerk. Plus, Tracy tackles the age-old question: "Do you got McDonald’s Money?"

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