Never before has a comedian decided to produce a Pay-Per-View stand-up comedy special. Who’s got the balls to do something like that, anyway. Paul Mooney does. And we were there to see it go down. Here’s what you could expect once it hits your television.
Paul Mooney held the taping of his upcoming Pay-Per-View comedy special, “The Godfather of Comedy,” at the Cobb Energy Centre in Atlanta on Aug. 31. Always one to break new ground in the business, the stage veteran is the first comedian ever to have a Pay-Per-View special; in the end, he delivered with a predictably scathing, unfiltered performance, likely to draw controversy and drive sales.
Comedian Guy Torry hosted the evening, and Atlanta-based comedians Tony Tone, Pierre, and Rickey Smiley all contributed solid guest spots to warm up the crowd. However, much like with a Pay-Per-View prize fight, it was obvious when the evening’s main event had arrived. The lights turned off, only to rise again upon a bejeweled Mooney, donned in a three-piece suit and fedora and sitting behind a desk. He patiently waited for the trio of multiracial twenty-somethings in skin tight dresses who came on stage to escort him to an elevated chair. That would turn out to be home base– where he proceeded to perform an hour of quintessential Mooney.
As one would expect in these turbulent times of political and racial division, economic struggle and pop-culture craziness, Mooney held no punches as he spoke his mind and cleared his chest in the “fuck you if you’re offended, motherfucker” kind of way that only Mooney can. Pull off. In between calling Sarah Palin a “hoe, slut, tramp, bitch,” and taking everyone from Dr. Laura and Mel Gibson, to Chris Brown and Lindsay Lohan to task, Mooney saved his most venomous commentary for Tiger Woods.
“Tiger is an embarrassment to every black man on the planet. He has no game at all, no pimp game at all. He is such a little punk. Give me $1 billion and a press conference in the morning… ‘yea those white bitches sucked my dick, and you can too!’ “
People come to Paul Mooney shows hungry for the social defiance and purposefully offensive viewpoints that his trademarked style of comedy offers. But his anger is not hyperbole, or simply an artistic muse from which he draws his material. You can still feel the anger emanating off his tongue as he recalls growing up in a bitterly segregated Louisiana during the Civil Rights era.
“They can sick the German Shepherds on us, we got pitbulls. I don’t give a fuck about those dogs. I’ll choke the shit out of it and feed it to a Chinese family.”
Whether Mooney is berating Obama’s critics (because that’s what he’s expected to do), or protesting South Africa’s hosting of the World Cup on account of their apartheid past, Mooney makes you think, feel and laugh (sometimes begrudgingly), during the entire special. Mooney’s views certainly aren’t for everyone, and his comedy isn’t for the faint of heart or thin (white) of skin— but that’s part of what makes him one of the most important social critics of the last few decades.
If you’re not familiar with Mooney’s work, get yourself a taste with the video below.