Please Watch the Docu Series on the Influential Comedy Night “Phat Tuesdays”

Phat Tuesdays was a historic weekly comedy show that should be mentioned in the same breaths, when talking comedy history, as Hot Tub with Kurt and Kristen or The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail. It’s unfortunately not as the racial divisions in comedy, as elsewhere in the world, still hold.

Sadly, stand-up comedy has been very segregated and remains so in several regards. From the get go scores of years ago, the division between white comedians (mostly men at that too) and everyone else has been an ever evolving barrier. As such, many black comedians created their own scene/circuit where they could not only make space for themselves as artists in comedy, but entertain their own. The for-us-by-us mentality has been woven through so much of black art and performance for so long. It’s that spirit that carried Guy Torry’s Phat Tuesdays to The Comedy Store and had it thrive for a decade.

The eponymous doc Phat Tuesdays: The Era of Hip Hop Comedy from Reginald Hudlin tells that story in how influential and prolific that night was for black comedians of all backgrounds, for The Comedy Store (it kept the club alive during one of its darkest decades), comedy in general, and for the culture. Interviews featuring Phat Tuesdays architect Guy Torry, his brother Joe Torry, Tommy Davidson, Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer, Dave Chappelle, Luenell, Kym Whitley, and so many more paint a wondrous picture of a Comedy Store milestone that was a spark for so many of the most beloved black comedians and similar nights and shows across the entire country.

In fact, it’s such a milestone that it’s egregious that Mike Binder’s Showtime docu-series about The Comedy Store glosses over Phat Tuesdays as almost if it was a small footnote. You might watch this and wonder why this story exists separately from the narrative of comedy history/The Comedy Store that praises the days of Pryor and Carlin. We sincerely hope that you watching can make that division fade, even if just a little.

All three episodes of Phat Tuesdays: the Hip Hop Era of Comedy are now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.