Heads-up to aspiring comedy stars: The afro, once the exclusive domain of blaxploitation films and the now-defunct American Basketball Assn., has made a comeback in the laffer realm.
From Will Ferrell in pretty much everything to John C. Reilly (sporting his second funny ‘fro in “Walk Hard” after an earlier run in “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby”), big curly hair has become the signature look of comedy thesps.
Some of the biggest comedies of the year featured a tight set of coils, including “Knocked Up” and “Superbad” (Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill‘s Jew-fros); “Borat” (Sacha Baron Cohen‘s Kazakh-fro); and “Nacho Libre” (Jack Black‘s Mexi-fro).
And the trend doesn’t appear to be abating, with the teaser poster for Ferrell’s upcoming “Semi-Pro” gleefully touting “the greatest ‘fro on Earth.”
“They all play ‘Guitar Hero,’ and they want to be Jimi Hendrix,” says a studio exec who has worked with several of the said ‘fros. “It harkens back to the late ’60s and early ’70s, that anti-authoritarian thing. But it really has nothing to do with being anti-authoritarian. That would be too deep.”
Perhaps only Samuel L. Jackson, who managed to make Jheri curls look cool in “Pulp Fiction,” can take back the ‘fro for the African-American community. He’s got just the project: a bigscreen version of the Japanese manga “Afro Samurai.”