The current state of social affairs has me flipping between comedy and drama to laugh to keep myself from crying and then actually cry so that I keep my sense of humanity during all this change.
The Hollywood Improv has some of the best comedy acts the art has to offer, and its weekly MonDeRays show is especially entertaining.
Long before I saw South Side of Chicago native DeRay Davis at the Hollywood Improv, his comedy kept me laughing. Now I watch him as a stone-cold gangster on Snowfall.
DeRay Davis transforms from his “Hood Hero” stand-up persona to a stone-cold killer who comes to be an entrusted member by central character Franklin Saint — played by Damson Idris — as the story of Snowfall develops.
DeRay Davis has successfully done the one thing that every great comedian-turned-actor must do: master the art of not acting.
Comedians are loved for their physicality and quick, big emotional reactions. It works well in stand-up and comedic film projects; however, Davis steps his game up as Peaches.
FX’s Snowfall is a crack origin story that brings audiences to understand the CIA’s key involvement in the 1980s crack epidemic that targeted African American communities.
With Davis's affinity for thinking big, it makes sense that Snowfall is a project that speaks to him. He is a man with a vision for what he wants his legacy to be, and it is etched into the way he chooses his work.
By 1996, Jamie Foxx had worked his way into starring in his own television show.
The actor from Terrell, Texas, with immense talent starred in Any Given Sunday in 1999 alongside LL Cool J.
Foxx also happens to be a former high school quarterback. The film was surrounded by rumors that the two were beefing on set and that a fight even took place. In an interview with Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes on Showtime Sports, Foxx describes his "beef" with LL Cool J as a thing that makes the film so good. It was a friendly competition that worked well for a film about football.
Jamie Foxx’s work in Ray and Just Mercy put my emotions in absolute shambles.
Roger Ebert: The movie would be worth seeing simply for the sound of the music and the sight of Jamie Foxx performing it.
Watching Jamie Foxx’s perform as Ray Charles’ joy, suffering, and everything in between has pulled just about every tear out of me each time that I’ve watched it.
But it doesn’t stop there. Jamie Foxx stars in Just Mercy alongside Michael B. Jordan, bringing the ills of mass incarceration to the silver screen, and it hit me where it hurts.
To say that Jamie Foxx’s performance was heartfelt is an understatement as he portrays a man who receives the rescue of exoneration.
In Just Mercy, Jamie Foxx gives a face to the invisibilization of mass incarceration.
Steve Martin teaches comedy.
There are so many Steve Martin classics to choose from, but the Father of the Bride film franchise takes the cake for laugh-cry moments.
Steve Martin’s performance as George Banks alongside Williams-Paisley as his daughter Annie is a story about a family that struggles to out-grow old dynamics.
His over-the-top facial expressions while fighting to accept his daughter's maturity are met with such low-stakes reactions from Keaton and Williams-Paisley that it makes Martin’s character appear even more ridiculous. Like the scene where Annie’s fiancé touches her knee, and her father George’s eyes nearly burst out of his head, no one notices.
Father of the Bride is a family film with a touching message about a father’s love for his daughter, and his duty to protect and provide for her.
Steve Martin’s drama-dey acting is showcased incredibly well in the Hulu series Only Murders in the Building.
Steve Martin is hysterical as Charles-Haden Savage.
Some of the most emotional scenes from Martin include ones where Charles describes his relationship with his previous lady.
Real Husbands of Hollywood is a certain kind of magic.
Real Husbands of Hollywood has played such a significant role alongside the development of Kevin Hart’s career that it even manifested a joint comedy tour with comedic mastermind Chris Rock.
In November 2021, Kevin Hart spoke to CBS News about his recent Netflix series True Story, which also stars Hollywood OG Wesley Snipes.
True Story is an almost Shakesperian story of two brothers.
Comedy King Kevin Hart relies on reality.
“In the book, Hart recounts how his father broke into his mother’s house to steal money. Another time, he robbed Robert Hart’s barbershop and crashed his car,” says Lang.
Eventually, Hart chose to heal his relationship with his father — making him a better man and a better actor.
The way that Kevin Hart connects with his character Kid in True Story is evident in how "in genre" his performance is, despite being known as the guy who makes people smile using family trauma.
Jim Carrey’s most talked-about work just may be his performance in the now-infamous film The Truman Show.
Jim Carrey performs as a man whose sense of peace is shattered, as he goes through a mental breakdown that unveils itself to truly be a breakthrough right before the audience's eyes, and it is stunning.
The range of emotions portrayed is no easy feat. Carrey is anxious around his wife, wildly free with his lover, and out-of-pocket with his neighbors once the jig is up. The film inspired a number of parodies, including one of my favorite episodes of Boy Meets World.
The Canadian-born US citizen has brought audiences laughs through In Living Color, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dumb and Dumber, and The Mask. However, Fun With Dick and Jane is a hidden gem.
One of his most tear-jerking performances can be seen in the romantic sci-fi film Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind.
The story depicts a love so strong, so meant to be that this couple perhaps unknowingly saves their relationship by trying to erase it.
Williams’ performance in the 1993 film Mrs. Doubtfire captured the hearts of families who gathered to watch the story about a father who fights to protect his role in the lives of his children.
Robin Williams delivers a no-holds-barred performance in Mrs. Doubtfire.
Actress Lisa Jakub on working with Robin Williams: "He was very open about his issues with mental wellness. He taught me it was OK to be vulnerable. What was most meaningful to me was to see that human beneath the comedic act."
Williams brings this true story to life with his light.
The real Dr. Patch Adams says he never charged money for patients in the clinic.
Williams gives Patch Adams a theatrical air that communicates the love behind his work.
Deon Cole's comedy is centered on uplifting people while making them laugh.
Early in his career, Deon Cole appeared in Ice Cube’s Barbershop, alongside fellow South Side of Chicago comedian DeRay Davis.
Cole plays the role of customer Darrel in the 2002 film Barbershop. By 2007, he joined the cast of Nick Cannon’s Short Circuitz, where “Nick Cannon and a troupe of actors perform a series of brief topical sketches, impersonations, and parodies.”
In 2009, Deon Cole made three appearances on The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien and later on 35 episodes on Conan.