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Comedy Reviews - CD - Dick Gregory - In LIving Black and White

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In Living Black & White
Dick Gregory
Stand-up Comedy CD
Originally released 1961
Collector’s Choice Music 2008

What a difference Civil Rights make. In Living Black and White is a 1961 album featuring Negro comedian Dick Gregory or "Greg" as he is presented on the record. The material here is far removed from what most stand-up comedy audiences have heard by Dick Gregory. Reissued by Collector's Choice Music, the stand-up comedy CD version of In Living Black stands on its own though there are a few moments that are bound to make anyone cringe. Dick Gregory is 81 on Comedy Central's top 100 comics.

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Gregory became known, for better at first and for worse later on in his conspiracy theories period, as an activist comic with a very clear social agenda and a real activist. On this 1961 release Gregory is introduced as " a young man, a humorist who faces the realities of our time with a smile on his mobile face". Here, Gregory is a mainstream "Negro comedian" with a couple of edgy routines, most notably the White only lunch counter in Mississippi and the famous chicken routine.

Track 3 of this Dick Gregory CD is introduced as "Knowing the affairs of the South as he does and the thoughts of emancipation ringing in his head as gleaned from the history books, Greg developed a unique commentary on affairs political" This is the stand-up comic on recent presidents and Kennedy. His subtle comment on a Catholic President is smart as anything he did after that.

His comment on the situation on the situation in the Middle East some 50 years ago is just as accurate today. Ouch!

The commentary here is on the very subtle side but very present if you know how to listen. Most of the material on this stand-up comedy CD is not really dated if you remember the context. The exception is the closing airplane joke.

For something from the same era but edgier try: Ready Or Not ... Here's Godfrey Cambridge

 

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