Some Of The Best Comedians Of All-Time Will Celebrate 25 Years Of Def Comedy Jam (Video)

Over the years, there have been a number of outlets showcasing the talents of Black comedians. Shows like In Living Color, Comic View, Chappelle’s Show and even Saturday Night Live have served as platforms from which comedic greats were born. However, few, if any, have had greater impact than Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam.

The HBO show catapulted the careers of some of the most successful and influential comics of all-time, including Dave Chappelle, Chris Tucker, Martin Lawrence, Bernie Mac, JB Smoove, D.L. Hughley, Mike Epps, Tracy Morgan, Bill Bellamy, Cedric The Entertainer, Mo’Nique, JB Smoove, Joe Torry and more. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the seminal show, Russell Simmons has teamed with Netflix for a blockbuster special that will feature many of the aforementioned names, as well as Steve Harvey, Katt Williams, Craig Robinson, Eddie Griffin, Tiffany Haddish, who recently had a breakout performance in Girls Trip, and more.

The Netflix special will be executive produced by Simmons, as well as longtime show affiliates Stan Lathan and Sandy Wernick. Jesse Collins (The Real Husbands Of Hollywood, BET Awards) also will join the production team. The show comes on the heels of Simmons announcing he is bringing the franchise back to HBO, under the new name, All Def Comedy. The new series will be hosted by Tony Rock, brother to Chris Rock.

Def Comedy Jam Is Coming Back & Soon

In a press release, Simmons said of the show’s return “I have witnessed firsthand how the most cutting-edge, seemingly alternative comics become the driving forces in mainstream comedy. I’m thankful to HBO for allowing me to give these new voices access to mainstream audiences everywhere.” Simmons also recently spoke with HipHopDX about the importance of comedy, beyond garnering a few laughs. “The reason we’re shooting Def Comedy so closely to its release date, and the reason we’re doing the 25-year anniversary of Def Comedy — I don’t know if we announced that — that’s a huge thing. The reason why we’re doing it in a tight window is because we want the jokes to be current because they’re always packed with social and political power. That’s what’s makes them special. They’re so powerful politically and socially. That’s become the norm for Def Comedy.”

No date has been announced for the special, but a teaser says to expect it this Fall. Here is the full list of participants in the Def Comedy Jam 25th anniversary special:

Bill Bellamy
Cedric The Entertainer
Dave Chappelle
Mike Epps
Adele Givens
Eddie Griffin
Tiffany Haddish
Kevin Hart
Steve Harvey
D.L. Hughley
Kid Capri
Martin Lawrence
Tracy Morgan
Craig Robinson
JB Smoove
Joe Torry
Sheryl Underwood
Katt Williams