“Phunny Business” to Make World Premiere at Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Phunny Business: A Black Comedy, a feature-length documentary about the spectacular rise and tragic fall of Chicago’s first Black-owned comedy club, will make its world premiere next month at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
By: 2DS Productions
 
 
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Jan. 14, 2011 - PRLog -- Phunny Business: A Black Comedy, a feature-length documentary about the spectacular rise and tragic fall of Chicago’s first Black-owned comedy club, will make its world premiere next month at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
Directed by John Davies and produced by Davies, Raymond C. Lambert and Reid Brody, the film tells the story of All Jokes Aside, a little known comedy club on Chicago’s Southside that during the 1990s served as the launching pad for many of today’s most brilliant comedians, including Jamie Foxx, Dave Chappelle, Mo’Nique, Bernie Mac, Steve Harvey,  Mike Epps and Chris Rock.
Founded by Raymond C. Lambert, a protégé of legendary Chicago businessman Charles Gardner (whose life was portrayed in the movie The Pursuit of Happyness), All Jokes Aside became a Mecca for comedy in Chicago’s Black community. Michael Jordan, Willie Gault, Otis Wilson, Vivica A. Fox, Vivica A. Fox and other celebrities could often be spotted among those laughing it up in the crowd.
However, in the late ‘90s, Lambert’s plan to broaden the club’s audience by moving it to a more “diverse” neighborhood on the city’s Northside proved to be its undoing. A wave of protests and legal maneuvering, fueled by racial fears, competing business interests and old-fashioned Chicago politics left Lambert bankrupt and All Jokes Aside closed. A club that played a pivotal role in the rise of Black comedy sadly, inexplicably faded from memory.
Phunny Business: A Black Comedy brings this tale of comedy, race and bare-knuckle Chicago politics vividly to life through interviews with the people whose careers were born on its stage and rare performance footage featuring the giants of contemporary comedy. Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley, Carlos Mencia, Craig Robinson, Aries Spears and J.B. Smoove are among those who share their wry and bittersweet reminiscences of “the best little club no one ever heard of.” The film is narrated by Emmy-winning commentator, novelist and screenwriter John Ridley. Brillstein Entertainment’s Sandy Wernick served as executive consultant for the film.
Producers Reid Brody and John Davies grew up in the world of Chicago media, Davies at WTTW, and Brody at the post house Editel. The two met in their early twenties when Davies was delivering film footage to a production company where Brody was the "studio assistant" and their mutual love of film and music bonded them. Both also loved making comedy shorts and music videos and have always had side projects like Phunny Business going on while pursuing their main careers, Davies as an L.A. based TV Producer (Run’s House, The Rerun Show) and Brody as the head of Chicago post powerhouse Filmworkers Club.  
Phunny Business: A Black Comedy was produced virtually in its entirety in Chicago. Archival performance material, some on heavily damaged consumer grade media was meticulously restored and prepared for the big screen by Filmworkers Club. Title design was created by Vitamin. Sound services were provided by Chicago Recording Company’s sound mixer Danny Karabaic. The film features original music by Kelly G.


www.phunnybusinessmovie.com

Phunny Business: A Black Comedy
World Premiere
Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Saturday, February 5, 2011
4:20 p.m.
Metro 4 Theatre II
618  S. State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
805.963.9503
(The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the director and members of the cast.)
For tickets and information, visit http://sbiff.org/.

Additional Screening
Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Sunday, February 6, 2011
1:00 p.m.
Metro 4 Theatre I
618  S. State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
805.963.9503
For tickets and information, visit http://sbiff.org/.

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Phunny Business: A Black Comedy is a 2DS Productions and All Jokes Productions presentation of a Davies/Brody film.
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Tags:Film Festival, Documentary, Comedy, Black, Comedy Club, Chicago, Santa Barbara International Film Festival
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