This list contains the Top 10 funniest African-American comedy movies of all time. Consideration for this list consists of three factors: (A) The movie has to be very funny. (B) The movie has to have a predominately African American cast or an African American starring in the lead role. And (C), The movie must not portray any negative images of African Americans. So now that you know the guidelines, let the top 10 debate begin!
10. Which Way Is Up?
Which Way is Up? is a 1977 comedy starring Richard Pryor. Pryor plays three roles: an orange picker named Leroy Jones, his father and a Reverend who gets the orange picker’s wife pregnant. When Leroy finds out that the Reverend Lenox Thomas has got his wife pregnant, he makes the moves on the reverend’s wife.
Boomerang is a 1992 romantic comedy starring Eddie Murphy. Murphy, who also co-wrote the script, stars as Marcus Graham, a hotshot advertising executive who also happens to be an insatiable womanizer and male chauvinist. Thus, he is hardly prepared when his new boss Jacqueline, played by Robin Givens, enters the picture. In terms of things romantic, Jacqueline is essentially a female version of Marcus, and for the first time in his life, he is receiving the treatment he usually delivers to others, at times to much comic effect. Martin Lawrence, Halle Berry, David Alan Grier and Chris Rock also co-star.
Friday is a 1995 comedy starring Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Nia Long, Bernie Mac, Tommy Lister, Jr. and John Witherspoon. The film revolves around 16 hours in the lives of Craig Jones (Ice Cube) and Smokey (Chris Tucker), who must pay a drug dealer $200 on Friday night by 10:00PM on the dot. The film also marks the first film appearance of Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile).
7. Beverly Hills Cop 2
Beverly Hills Cop II is a 1987 action-comedy film starring Eddie Murphy. It is the first sequel in the Beverly Hills Cop series. Murphy returns as Detroit police detective Axel Foley, who returns to Beverly Hills, California to track down a group of international munitions smugglers involved in a series of armed robberies. He reunites with Beverly Hills detectives Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) and John Taggart (John Ashton) to stop the gang after their friend, Captain Andrew Bogomil (Ronny Cox), is a victim to one of their crimes.
6. Coming to America
Coming to America is a 1988 comedy based on a story by Eddie Murphy. Murphy, who also stars in the film, plays an African prince, who heads to the United States in hopes of finding a woman he can marry. In the movie, Murphy and co-star Arsenio Hall showcase their talents by playing multiple characters. The movie also stars John Amos, and James Earl Jones.
5. I’m Gonna Git You Sucka
I’m Gonna Git You Sucka is a humorous 1988 mock blaxploitation film written, directed and starring Keenen Ivory Wayans. Featured in this comedy are several African American actors who were part of the blaxploitation phenomenon; including Jim Brown, Bernie Casey, Antonio Fargas and Isaac Hayes. The movie centers around Jack Spade (Keenen Ivory Wayans) who returns from the Army to his old neighborhood following the death of his brother, Junebug. The police determine Junebug’s death to be the result of an “OG”, or “Over Gold” — the victim has overdosed on gold chains. A brief image of Junebug is shown featuring him covered, head-to-toe, with gold chains. Jack seeks revenge for his brother’s death.
4. Uptown Saturday Night
Uptown Saturday Night is a 1974 comedy directed by Sidney Poitier. Poitier also stars in this film, along with Bill Cosby and Harry Belafonte. In the movie, Steve Jackson (Sidney Poitier), a blue-collar worker at a steel mill, has just begun a two-weeks-long vacation. He is convinced by his friend Wardell Franklin (Bill Cosby) to go to a party that Saturday night at Madame Senobia’s, an uptown nightclub. While the two are at the party, the club is robbed. The masked bandits steal their money and jewelry, including Steve’s wallet. The following day, while Steve is at home reading his newspaper, he learns he has won the lottery. However, he realizes that the lottery ticket was in the wallet that was stolen from him, and Steve and Wardell spend the remainder of the film tracking down his wallet by consulting with crooked politicians, fake detectives, con-artists, and underworld crime bosses.
3. Hollywood Shuffle
Hollywood Shuffle is a comedy released in 1987 that satirizes the stereotyping of African Americans in both film and television. It was directed and produced by Robert Townsend, and written by Robert Townsend and Keenan Ivory Wayans. The movie focuses on Bobby (Townsend) and his quest to succeed as a Hollywood actor. He is stuck working at a fast-food stand with some hilarious and demented characters who consistently try to destroy his plans for the future. When he finally gets a break, he is forced to question his own morality. Should he join the system and play stereotypical roles? Or should he refuse, risking his dream of becoming an actor?
2. Beverly Hill’s Cop
Beverly Hills Cop is a 1984 action-comedy movie starring Eddie Murphy. Murphy stars as Axel Foley, a street-smart Detroit cop, who heads to Beverly Hills, California to solve the death of his best friend. This first film in the Beverly Hills Cop series shot Murphy to international stardom, won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Motion Picture, and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical. It earned an estimated $234 million at the box office, making it the biggest hit of 1984 (ahead of Ghostbusters).
1.Let’s Do It Again
Let’s Do It Again is a 1975 comedy starring Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby, Jimmie Walker and John Amos. Poitier also directed. The film is about blue-collar workers who decide to rig a boxing match to raise money for their fraternal lodge. This was the second film pairing of Poitier and Cosby following Uptown Saturday Night, and followed by A Piece of the Action (1977). Although their characters have different names in each film, the three Poitier-Cosby pictures are considered to be a trilogy. Of the three, Let’s Do It Again has been the most successful both critically and commercially.