Comedy Central has resurrected the 1920s-era Harlem Renaissance via “The New Negroes,” its combination stand-up/history series created and hosted by Baron Vaughn.
In-between sets from African-American comics such as Shalewa Sharpe, George Wallace, Sasheer Zamata and Donnell Rawlings, the Friday-night series (11 p.m. on both Comedy Central and BET) ruminates on various movements in African American art with Vaughn (“Grace and Frankie”) and co-host Mike Eagle.
The aim is to “showcase all these different kinds of people that are under the identification of blackness,” says Vaughn, 38, who lives in LA with his wife and kids. The idea came from a now-defunct comedy festival in Portland, Ore. in which Vaughn was involved.
“I had done [the festival] a bunch of years in a row and had become part of the group of people that helped select comedians,” he says. “And when I saw the [African-American comedians] I did not know, my first instinct was, ‘I want to meet them, I want to find out what their experience has been and where they’re from.’ I thought to myself, ‘If I did a show that was all the black comedians, the irony is that would have more range than any other show.’”