David Alan Grier On ‘Chocolate News’: “It’s like if The Onion were painted a chocolatey brown”

Ann Murray
In the midst of a blundering economy and a very important Presidential election, it seems that we are being bombarded with comedic takes on these very serious topics, whether the jokes take the form of Tina Fey or come from Stephen Colbert. But there’s one more comedian ready to hit the streets with his very unique take on today’s news and politics, and he’s got years of comedic street cred to ensure laughs for days: Chocolate News, with David Alan Grier, airs tomorrow night on Comedy Central. Check out what Grier had to say to us about his show and try to see if you can keep a straight face.

Take me through your new show.

All right it’s called the Chocolate News and it’s basically fake black news. Like if The Onion were painted a chocolatey brown and you put it on television. If Tavis Smiley had a very funny baby it would be that. Um, I will tell you like the voice of this character is very Steven A. Smith you know from ESPN. I just thought it would be a great take off. What we’re trying to do is a very funny satirical sketch encapsulated in that black show we’ve all seen around two or three in the morning. Positively black like it is. You know it used to be federally mandated to get those dollars. That kind of thing.

How did you come up with the idea?
I thought it was a funny, funny premise. I mean it’s like if anything I really thought it was a funny premise. Sometimes you think something’s funny the next morning and it’s not funny anymore. That’s not a good premise. It just grew. I sat with it for a while and then I started telling people and they would burst out laughing as soon as I told them. Unlike say The Daily Show, it’s topical, it’s daily, it’s all based on real news. All of our news is written and so instead of – I think there was a question today – would I ever do say like say a Bobby Brown story. It’s more fun to make up, write a character, and attack an issue through that. So that’s what we’re trying to do.


How about your own favorite projects that you’ve done. Your top three favorite projects.
Well one of them was like Tales form the Hood. You know Rusty Cundieff is one of our directors. I had a lot of fun on that. This movie I did with Mario Van Peebles called Bad Ass. Which was great, we dressed in seventies clothing and stuff. And really earnestly – “You jive turkey!” So it was fun, that was really a lot of fun to do. Um The Woodsman. It was a really small part but it was such a heavy subject and I really wanted to help get that film made. And of course the movie I just co-produced and co-wrote with Lori Petty called The Poker House which is a coming of age story and it was a dramatic and tough subject.

Is that already out?
It’s in the festivals. We just premiered at the LA Film Festival. One of our actresses won an award there. And we’re really happy. It’s been very well reviewed. People seem to live it. Every screening was been sold out.

What’s on your iTunes top list right now?
Right now? It’s going to sound really gay but the last three tunes I downloaded from the iTunes store were Judy Garland tunes. Because I saw this documentary and there’s something about the way she would hit a song. Her and then Jimi Hendrix who I’ve always loved and rediscovered. Chet Baker is what we play for my daughter every morning. Chet Baker sings. And currently I just heard this guitarist, I don’t know who the hell his is but if I knew who he is I would tell you. But he’s a monster.

What makes funny? What do you think makes funny or makes a person funny?
Well what makes funny and what makes a person funny. I know funny people, like Martin Lawrence is a really funny person. He’s telling me about how he ate a pickle and it’s really funny. But what makes funny is a unique take or look on a very common subject. Something that I’ve heard a million times but if it’s presented in a way that I never really thought about it like that. That’s always enjoyable to me. Like the most be nine act that had been turned inside out and presented back to me. And me sitting there going I wish I would have thought of that. That’s real funny.

Your definition of funny, perfect. Okay thank you so much.
Okay thanks for talking to me.

Chocolate News airs Wednesday night at 10:30p/9:30c on Comedy Central

Check out David Alan Grier’s special brand of funny on the show Premium Blend.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.


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