Bert Williams in blackfaceMuseum of the Moving Image (NYC), in collaboration with Warrington Hudlin’s Black Filmmaker Foundation (BFF), presents "The Color of Comedy," a forum that will explore how comedy is used as an artistic tool to address what are deemed uncomfortable and contentious social issues.

Set to take place on Saturday, February 6, 2016, from 1pm-5pm, hosted and curated by Hudlin, the program will feature a screening of Harry Belafonte’s groundbreaking 1967 ABC-TV special "A Time for Laughter: A Look at Negro Humor in America," which will be followed by a town hall forum of comedians of color whose comedy is rooted in the aforementioned social issues.

Tickets are $20 ($15 for members). Advance tickets are available online at

The full program lineup is below:

– Part 1 (1:002:30 p.m.)
"A Time for Laughter: A Look at Negro Humor in America"
Courtesy of Harry Belafonte Enterprises and the Paley Center for Media, the Museum will present a rare public screening of Harry Belafonte’s groundbreaking 1967 ABC-TV special. Featuring narration by Sidney Poitier, the program’s extraordinary cast included Dick Gregory, Redd Foxx, George Kirby, Moms Mabley, Pigmeat Markham, Godfrey Cambridge, and a young Richard Pryor. This TV special was rooted in and reflective of the U.S. civil rights movement of the 1960s. 

– Part Two (3:005:00 p.m.)
Town Hall Discussion with Comedians of Color
This session presents an open discussion forum with a multicultural group of comedians whose humor continues the tradition of comedy as an artistic means of social commentary. Each of the participating comedians will be introduced by a video clip of their work. With M.C. & Interlocutor Warrington Hudlin, participating artists include: 

Joyelle Nicole Johnson ( has opened for Dave Chappelle and Hannibal Buress. She finished third in the She-Devil Comedy Festival in 2013, and was a top ten finalist for NBC’s StandUp for Diversity competition. 

— Leighann Lord ( is a veteran stand-up comedian seen on HBO, Comedy Central, and The View. She is the author of Dict Jokes and Real Women Do It Standing Up; and is a co-host of StarTalk Radio, with Neil deGrasse Tyson.

— Mugga ( has appeared on Russell Simmons’s Def Comedy Jam, performed on the Def Jam Tour, and appeared in the Academy Award-winning film Precious.

— Freddie Ricks has appeared on The Apollo Comedy Hour, BET’s Comedic View, and Russell Simmons’s Def Comedy Jam. He has appeared in films such as Shaft (with Samuel L. Jackson and Vanessa Williams), Baby Boy, and Stray.

— Alaudin Ullah ( is an actor, writer, and comedian of South Asian descent. He was a co-founder and host of the multi-ethnic stand up show Colorblind. Ullah voiced several characters in the award winning animated film Sita Sings the Blues.

— Ruperto Vanderpool was featured on It’s Showtime at the Apollo, Galavision’s Que Locos, and SiTV’s Latino Laugh Festival: The Show. Film credits include the 2004 film The Cookout.

— Tim Wynn ( is a writer and series regular on the HBO series Straight Up.

— Mike Yard ( is a winner of Comedy Central’s Get Up Stand Up competition and is currently a leading contributor to The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore on Comedy Central.

"Changing the Picture," sponsored by Time Warner Inc., is an ongoing monthly series that celebrates and explores the work of film and television artists of color who are bringing diverse voices to the screen. This year’s February program, "The Color of Comedy," builds on the success of "Massa’ Gaze" (2014), screenings and discussions around the representation of slavery on screen, and "Endangered by the Moving Image" (2015), a town-hall style discussion about criminalization of the black image on screen.