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Quincy Newell has meticulously sculpted the quintessential business model, transforming mediocrity into unsurpassed accomplishment for his predecessors and peers. Newell now steps into his own, leading a revolution in film production, distribution and home entertainment, as the Executive Vice President and General Manager for Codeblack Entertainment, a multimedia film and television entity created out of the necessity for African American leaders in the executive arena.

From the Sundance catalog: “Timely, insightful, and downright funny, ‘Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy’ is a sweeping account of the evolution of black comedy in America. Inspired by comedian Darryl Littleton’s book, directors Robert Townsend and Quincy Newell have crafted a no-holds-barred documentary that is both an insider’s take and a critical examination of the cultural influence of black comedy.Townsend and Newell enrich this hilarious and spectacularly archived film by including interviews with prominent scholars, politicians, cultural critics, and a host of notable comics, including Bill Cosby, Chris Rock, Keenan Ivory Wayans, and Eddie Griffin. ‘Why We Laugh’ tracks the way black comedy has evolved from Stepin Fetchit and minstrels in blackface to the politically tinged humor of Dick Gregory, and from the television success of Good Times and The Jeffersons to the big-screen accomplishments of stars like Eddie Murphy and Whoopi Goldberg. Townsend and Newell turn a perceptive eye on the controversial career of Dave Chapelle and the implications of corporate efforts to capitalize on the massive successes of Russell Simmons’s Def Comedy Jam and Spike Lee’s The Original Kings of Comedy.”

Why We Laugh

Sundance Film Festival Documentary Competition

Director: Robert Townsend

Screenwriter: Quincy Newell, John Long, based on the book “Black Comedians on Black Comedy” by Darryl Littleton

Executive Producers: Jeff Clanagan, Richard Foos

Producers: Quincy Newell, Robert Townsend, Darryl Littleton, Angela Northington

Cinematographer: Johnny Simmons

Editors: Skip Robinson, Agusta Einarsdottir

U.S.A.,  2008, 95 mins., color

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