Rapper, producer and director Rapman, whose credits include “Blue Story” and the upcoming “American Son,” hosts the six-episode “Drunk History: Black Stories,” which spotlights Black icons and their cultural influence, using comedy as the medium. It hews closely to the series’ U.S. format where the stories are told by an inebriated narrator, while actors reenact the narrator’s tale and lip-sync their dialogue.
The powerhouse cast features Scorcher, Zeze Millz, Leticia Hector, Lola Jagun, Femi Oyeniran, Sheila Atim, CJ Beckford, Natey Jones, Tom Moutchi as re-enactors in tales narrated by BAFTA winner Amma Asante, Jamali Maddix, Kevin ‘KG’ Garry, Travis Jay, Desiree Burch, Tom Moutchi, Ty Logan and Thanyia Moore.
The featured stories include “Sons of Africa” (U.K.), which follows an 18th century abolitionist group in Britain that campaigned to end the African slave trade; “Mary Seacole” (Jamaica), about a British Jamaican nurse who set up a hotel on the frontlines of the Crimean War in 1853 and nursed soldiers back to health; and “Len Johnson” (U.K.), where a mixed race boxer is denied the chance to compete for a championship in Great Britain because of the color bar.
Episodes also include “Sister Rosetta Tharpe” (U.S.), about the godmother of rock n’ roll who some historians consider to have recorded the first rock song; “Benin Bronzes” (Africa/U.K.), a story of the men behind the reclamation of looted art from the Kingdom of Ghana; and Yaa Asantewaa (Africa), which follows the female soldier who led the War of the Golden Stool against British colonialism in Ghana’s Asante Empire.
The 6-8 minute episodes, directed by Stephané Alexandre, Femi Oyeniran and Adjani Salmon, are executive produced by Collins Harris and Rebecca Hewett of Comedy Central International and developed by Gwendolyn Elliott of ViacomCBS Networks International Communications. The series is commissioned by Craig Orr and Kerry Taylor for Comedy Central International.
“My entire career has been focused on telling authentic, Black stories,” said Rapman. “I’m excited to be a part of a show created by Black people where viewers can be entertained while learning about these unsung Black heroes.”
“This series combines the power of the Comedy Central brand and outstanding talent to put front and center de-centered Black voices and their influence on global history, all through a comedic lens,” said Kerry Taylor, EVP of youth and entertainment brands at ViacomCBS Networks International. “Black creatives, crew members and talent brought this show to life so we can celebrate the incredible contributions of Black figures from across the African diaspora.”
“Drunk History: Black Stories,” premieres April 15 across Comedy Central U.K.’s digital platforms on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.