One of my all-time favorite culture bloggers is Thembi. She’s always coming up with brilliant concepts and rocking the socks off ’em. And she’s funny as hell.
The other night, Thembi explored a phenomenon familiar to fans of old black sitcoms: the “talent showcase” episode.
Most black sitcoms, at some point, contrived an excuse to have their characters singing and dancing (or “cooning it up,” as Thembi would say) in a competitive or exhibitionary context.
So Thembi put together a smorgasbord of clips from “Good Times,” “Martin,” “227,” “A Different World” and “The Cosby Show” to illustrate the point.
Ahh... sweet memories.
I add here a 2-minute clip of my own: Fred “Rerun” Berry throwing down on “What’s Happening!!” in an audition for “The Gong Show.”
If you want to watch this entire 1978 episode, it’s embedded at the bottom of this page, via the magic of Hulu.