More people should watch The Boondocks.
Aaron McGruder‘s comic strip/Adult Swim cartoon blazes a sinuous trail on top of the fine line that separates critical racial commentary and racial controversy. The creator is unapologetic for his often hyperbolic representations of African Americans, as seen through the eyes of one big-haired, angry-eyebrowed, radical ten year-old Chicago South Sider – displaced to the suburbs and in charge of his eight year-old brother who loves the hip hop and thuggish ruggish image – who is disillusioned by the perverse ways American politics have shaped black culture.
It’s dry, cynical, and looks awesome. Here’s an example:
Given his prowess in creating an animated program, you’d expect at least some of McGruder’s talents to translate to a live-action sketch comedy series. If you take a look at his recently rolled out side project, Boondocks Bootleg, you’d be right. Some of his talents do translate to a live-action sketch comedy series.
Comparisons to Chappelle are inevitable (especially in the Negro News Briefs where the stereotypes aren’t exactly subtle). But like the best Boondocks, the best sketches don’t try too hard to pimp the “black-themed humor.” They stay grounded in some semblance of reality, i.e. Black Jesus.
So, yeah, the premise is ridiculous, but if you can accept the idea that Jesus is relaxing on a couch with his homeboys, the dialogue comes across au naturale. Here he is on the subject of Steve Jobs:
And here he is again, “walkin’ around in a motherf@#$in nightgown” while you got “fly a$$ Rocawear.”
The same subject in the hands of a different comic would most likely have embodied a number of stale and oversimplified racial conceptions. But here, McGruder keeps it real. Plus, he’s got a Q&A with John Witherspoon.
Check it all out on YouTube.