Archive for June, 2007

The Formula

Posted in "Tyler Perry", coon, Madea, Medea, Uncle Tom on June 19, 2007 by tomwars

It’s amazing how many truly talentless people are becoming rich these days. Tyler Perry and hiscontemporaries seem to have a formula for success. Unfortunately it includes extreme levels of tomming, but who cares these days since we don’t have a black leader to lead us anyway.

“Only in America” Don King would say (himself having only the talent to exploit other black men in the ring). We could discuss singers all day long (Lord knows I could talk about Cassie’s talentless ass, both literally and figuratively speaking, for hours), and how it’s no longer a requirement to sing (even though SING is the keyword in SINGer). I could also spend tons of time discussing the state of black literature, and all these “Urban Fiction” novels that are being produced with piss poor grammar written on a 3rd grade level, ironically, sold in Afrocentric Bookstores (there will be an article about this in an upcoming Tomwars Report). But I’ll reserve this space today for something far more heinous occurring in black culture (I use the word culture loosely). The destruction of black theater.

As I type this, Lorriane Hansberry must be rolling over in her grave. She, along with the countless black playwrights and authors who have come before us must be shaking their heads at how we’ve abused their legacy. Black theater has now turned into a cooning session in which black folk pay $50-$125 to see has been actors, singers, and comedians perform black face routines for black crowds who put on their Sunday best to prance down to the one theater in town that will house the performance. What’s odd is if they truly want to see cooning at it’s pinnacle they could easily turn on MTV, and BET and watch the latest Dipset or Lil John video for free. But alas, I guess it’s more important to feel as though we did something “cultured.” And it appears that we are the only ones that are doing this. Never do you see a Jewish production entitled: “Bah Mitzvahs and Bagels: A Coming of Age Story,” or an Asian production called “Me and My Chopsticks: A Love Story.” Yet, every time you turn on the “black” radio station (black is in quotations because 90% of the time the black stations are owned by white parent companies *cough* Clear Channel*cough*) there is a new stage performance sweeping through the country playing up black stereotypes.

The main culprit these days of course is Tyler Perry. Tyler Perry has created a character named “Madea” who is the stereotypical strong black matriarch who gives great advice, and will kick some ass if need be. Perry however falls into a long list of black male performers who have dressed as a woman for a few laughs, tears, and a pay check (see Eddie Murphy, Ving Rhames, Wesley Snipes and others), at the risk of completely emasculating themselves (Peace to Dave Chappelle for refusing to do a drag part). The African-American male through out the world has always been looked at as the epitome of masculinity (yes, another stereotype) up until recent years (see the male characters in Perry’s plays). Perry breaks out of one stereotype (super masculine black male), to play another stereotype (strong black matriarch), to protect women from the “No-Good Player” black man (yet another stereotype) and has audiences laughing about it while he laughs all the way to the bank.

Many supporters of the show discount the blatant step and fetch cooning that goes on since Tyler Perry manages to slide in a love story, and/or a moral in each of his plays. That’s not to mention the obligatory Bible-thumping song about the struggle Perry manages to slide in each of his performances for the countless steroid Christians who attend his plays, only to step over homeless people on their way back to the car. Tyler Perry has all the bases covered it seems.

When it comes to attracting black folks to his performances, Tyler Perry and his contemporaries seems to have nailed it.

  • Character for Angry Black Women – CHECK
  • Late 80’s/Early 90’s Singer so people can sit back and reminisce or just go because they want to see what the person looks like right now – CHECK
  • Out of work black actor who use to have sex appeal to the women back in the day, but horny old ladies still dream of fucking him – CHECK
  • Person who reminds you of your ignorant uncle, or the ignorant uncle your friends tell you about – CHECK
  • Has been female singer who can actually sing her ass off and should still be selling records but Cassie and Rihanna are instead – CHECK
  • Strong Black Matriarch who gives great advice, and has funny one line jokes – CHECK
  • The “Nigga” who just ain’t shit – CHECK
  • One of the Winans who sanctifies the play with their mere appearance – CHECK
Welp, that about covers it all. Wait, maybe I can get paid too. Maybe, JUST MAYBE, I can come up with a witty theatrical performance using the above stated formula, with a catchy, yet subtly demeaning title. BY THE LOVE OF WILLIE LYNCH I’VE GOT IT!!!

Sweet! We got Irma P. Hall as Mama. She plays that role so great (see Soul Food the movie, and Nothing to Lose -sidenote- it was funny as shit when she slapped Tim Robbins around, whups, Black women slapping is another stereotype. DAMN IT!). Cole from Martin (I’m never calling him by his real name. Just not gonna happen) can lighten things up with his really funny urban jokes, and utter stupidity when it comes to the opposite sex. Chante Moore can channel all the rage and bitterness from her Kadeem Hardison relationship and give a riveting performance as “Bitter Black Woman” that could possibly rival her performance in the blockbuster play “What Men Don’t Tell.” Adebisi from Oz fucked men on HBO, so I’m sure he’d do a great job of fucking over women on stage. Al B. Sure will have all the retro 80’s sluts rocking back and forth with his vintage Cliff Huxtable style sweaters, and his sensitive yet masculine demeanor that today would be most aptly described as “homothug” (see Jarule for point of reference). And besides, if Al B. sucks, he can just lead the crowd in song with his rendition of “Killing Me Softly” which will easily make the crowd forget that he can’t act, and was a mildly successful act during his peak. Leon is just Leon, as he once again portrays a Billy Dee-esque character sure to have the old Bible thumping women creaming their bloomers. Cheryl “Pepsii” Riley is in every black play, so why stop it now. And of course, every play MUST have at least one Winans family member in it.

That’s the recipe. That’s the recipe to make money, and sell out your people in one quick burst of talentless ambition. If you’re good at it, Ted Turner may even give you a series on one of his stations where you can just flip it around a bit and get the same tomming results. See, instead of having a stereotypical black mother figure, you can have the lazy ignorant black father figure with the same results. Sprinkle in an out of work black lead actor, and a few tired black jokes that white people have yet to hear, and EUREKA!
(sidenote: It’s important that you don’t create the male character tastefully, since contrary to popular belief it is possible to create a funny black father figure without making him a Tom. See the father on “Everybody Hates Chris” for point of reference)

So there you have it. The formula to get paid as a black man in America. The rent is due, I need to get paid ASAP.