by Apollonia Jordan
The Black Repertory Group Theatre, located in the heart of Berkeley, is the birthplace where many musicians and comedians got their start. Sean Vaughn Scott has been taking care of the theatre, which was headed by his grandmother and mother and passed down to him. He makes sure that he showcases the talent of young people in the Bay Area.
“This theatre was built and founded so that Black people could have an opportunity to discover or rediscover their Black heritage,” Sean stated to me before the Paul Mooney Comedy show, adding, “I wish more people who showcased their talent here would come and give back to the community like Paul is doing.”
From Dec. 26 through New Year’s Eve, the Black Rep will be showcasing a comedy show with the godfather of comedy himself, Paul Mooney. Paul is coming back to the Bay Area showing love to the theatre that helped him achieve his goals of being a great comedian and kicking off the national tour of his new show, “Black Man … in the White House!”
I had the opportunity to see Godfather Paul Mooney in action and I couldn’t stop laughing. Paul opened the show saying Merry Christmas and Happy Kwanzaa to everyone, followed by, “Black people, we had a great gift for Christmas; we got Obama!”
The background of the stage displayed the White House and the oval office. A painting of Obama hung on the back wall of the stage scene, with balloons hung at the top of the stage spelling out Obama. In the far right corner of the stage, an Amerikkkan flag grabbed my attention. The flag had a brown tint, which symbolized the new color theme of the White House. Paul Mooney also gave a tribute to the late Eartha Kitt, who passed away Christmas Day.
Paul will have you laughing your socks off! He got on everybody from Oprah to Condoleezza to Britney. Some people – well, white people – may find some of his comedy offensive, but the only word I can describe it with is real.
Paul is as real as real can get. “Forget saying ‘pulling the race card’; I’m pulling the reality card,” Paul yelled from the center of the stage during his show. “I lived through this and I know what it is to be looked down upon as a Black person. That’s why I don’t give a damn about a dog, I come from the days where the white folks used dogs to attack us, so fuck a dog.”
I had a chance to speak with Paul before the show and here is a little bit of what he had to say …
Apollonia: Hey Paul, how are you doing and how was your Christmas?
Paul: I’m doing great the day after Christmas. My Christmas was great. Did you hear about that white Santa Claus who went in that house and killed all them people?
Apollonia: No, I didn’t hear about that.
Paul: Oh yeah, he was separated from his wife and he knew they have Christmas parties every year. He dressed up like Santa Claus and shot the wife, the kids and the dog and burnt their bodies. So, when James Brown said Santa Claus is coming to the hood, I hope he don’t come this way.
Apollonia: I know your show tonight will be somewhat based on Obama and a Black man being in the White House.
Paul: Black is the new white … Oh, it’s the best! I’m glad I have lived long enough to be able to see this. I am very happy for the young people because now they can see that they’re able to change America and that they have a voice. America is great. It’s the people who run it who are scary, but what it stands for is a beautiful thing.
For us as Black people, it’s Gods work; it’s unreal. I have to pinch myself every morning because it’s almost like a movie. It makes you greedy too because a Black president is not enough for me; I want a Black vice president too. White folks get to get all white. I want it to be all Black.
Apollonia: I had said jokingly to my friends that Obama should paint the White House Black.
Paul: Well, he doesn’t have to because slaves built the White House so it’s already Black. It was ordained. We didn’t build that house for white folks. Slaves knew the future and they built it for us. White folks took it; now we’re taking it back.
Apollonia: So with Obama in the White House now, do you feel things will get better for inner city communities and that he will make a difference for Black youth?
Paul: Everybody is saying that Obama is half white. They’re asking themselves is he Black enough? Is he white enough? He’s not either; Obama is half African. His name is Obama, OK? not Toby.
He’s perfect for America. He looks like Malcolm X, talks like Martin Luther King and he’s got them big white-man ears. He’s perfect.
I love the fact that he picked the whitest white man to be his vice president. Biden is so white he makes Obama look like Wesley Snipes. I also love all the minorities he’s picking for his house; it’s just too funny. You can tell by the expressions on Bush’s face that he doesn’t like it. I hope Bush doesn’t burn that White House down.
The Paul Mooney Comedy Show is the 10th annual fundraiser for the youth program at the Black Repertory Theatre. They give back to the youth of the community by hosting talents shows and teaching theatre arts. Donations are gladly appreciated. You can donate at the door or contact Sean V. Scott at (925) 812-2787. Donations are tax deductible.
Bay View staff writer Apollonia Jordan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.