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Arts and Entertainment

Dave Chappelle, Kevin Hart, Martin Lawrence Lead All-Star Lineup For Netflix's New 'Def Comedy Jam' Special

(From left to right, photos by Jason Merritt/Getty Images, Kevin Winter/Getty Images, Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)
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Def Comedy Jam made its debut on HBO in 1992 and opened the doors for a host of major black comics that included the likes of Martin Lawrence, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Tracy Morgan, and the late Bernie Mac.

Producer Russell Simmons aimed for a platform where comics could cut loose and connect with a broader audience—a move that didn't sit well with some. "In direct opposition to the intentionally dignified Cosby Show, Def Comedy Jam was intentionally undignified," notes the Paley Center, who adds that Cosby had "spoke publicly against host Martin Lawrence and the series, calling it a “minstrel show.”"

But the series' legacy has endured, even if it's been off the air for more than 10 years. Now, a new Netflix special will honor the 25th anniversary of Def Comedy. It'll invite a slew of Def Comedy old-timers and newcomers to perform on-stage. The lineup is a powerhouse, to say the least. As noted in the teaser trailer below (which was released just today) the roster will include Chappelle, Lawrence, Morgan, Kevin Hart, Bill Bellamy, Cedric the Entertainer, Eddie Griffin, Craig Robinson, JB Smoove, Mike Epps, Tiffany Haddish, D.L. Hughley, Katt Williams, Kid Capri and Adele Givens. There's also Steve Harvey, which gets an ugh from us. But OK.
Def Comedy Jam 25 will air sometime in the fall.

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And if that's not enough Def news for you, there'll be a reboot called All Def Comedy that's in the pipeline. Also, Simmons is reportedly looking into reviving the Def Poetry Jam series.

Here are some select clips of the Def Comedy performers: