You see that beautiful woman in the picture above? That’s Kali Hawk – one of the funniest women on television.
With over a million followers on Twitter, Kali has been able to create a very impressive and hilarious resume. I discovered her when she appeared in Couples Retreat as Trudy and after our conversation, I knew she was special. Fast forward to today, and Kali is entering season two of her hit show Black Jesus on Comedy Central and getting ready to star in the next blockbuster comedy from Marlon Wayans.
Say cheese, Kali!
Last week, I chatted with Kali all about Black Jesus, the controversial show that rubbed people the wrong way, but also made them like it. People like it so much, in fact, that folks went from boycotting the show, to making it the highest rated program in their demo and time slot.
“People really are not as open-minded as they would like to think they are. We see this quite regularly when you present a person with an idea that they didn’t come up with themselves, or haven’t heard of up until that moment,” Kali explains. She continued, “They are scared of what it might be, but once they get to see it in action and see what it really is, you can’t help but be a fan of something great. It’s definitely been a process of people being scared of the show when it first came out, but once it came on air, it silenced all the haters.”
Silenced the haters indeed, because Black Jesus is now top across basic cable in key adult and male demos. So now they have a mandate to push the envelope even further.
“The second season is a lot funnier,” Kali said. “They’ve seen how funny, interesting, crazy, and transformative the experience of watching the show can be; they really begin to trust you a lot more, so you can go even further for the laughs.”
Kali explained to me that once the first show aired, the “haters went down 50 percent and by the third episode, there were no haters.”
When you’re dealing with a show that could be as blasphemous as its name, you have to tread lightly. But, writer Aaron McGruder did the opposite – he pushed the limits as far as he could.
Kali then got specific, talking about how her character Maggie has grown from season one to season two: “You can see in season one how much she sticks out like a sore thumb, but by the second season she’s figured out who she is, and is more accepting of herself. She’s more ballsy and I like that about her. She has King Kong balls.”
TV is not the only place Kali is sowing her seed. She’s also the lead female in Marlon Wayans’ upcoming parody movie, 50 Shades Of Black.
“Marlon Wayans, among all of the great dramatic and blockbuster films he’s in with other people, has created this wonderful lane for himself in the world of comedy parody films. When 50 Shades of Grey came out, it took over everyone’s everything. It had Twilight-level success. So Marlon decided he wanted to do a parody of 50 Shades; he plays Christian Black and I play Dakota Johnson’s character.”
Kali told us they’re not holding back one bit.
“When you see the stuff that happens in this movie, it’s crazy. We go all the way with this story and since this is based on a romantic sexual love story, it’s even more room to explore the physical comedy. It’s really great.”
50 Shades of Black is due out in theaters January 2016, and Black Jesus is currently winning hearts on Adult Swim every Friday at 11 p.m.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Instagram
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1. Martin Lawrence
Martin tried to make a return to TV on the short-lived FX series "Partners" with Kelsey Grammar, but we'd like a full-on return with Martin where he doesn't have to share the platform with another big name on a network channel. Maybe a return to Fox, which is quickly becoming a leader in diverse TV.
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2. Sanaa Lathan
Her last movie "The Perfect Guy" hit the charts at number one – add in the success of Viola Davis, Kerry Washington, and Taraji P. Henson and new shows for Meagan Good and Nia Long with "Minority Report" and "Uncle Buck," and there has to be room for Sanaa. We think TV might be the perfect avenue for her to reach her full potential.
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3. Cuba Gooding, Jr.
While his next TV show hasn't aired yet, Cuba is playing OJ Simpson in the AHS spin-off "American Crime Story: The OJ Simpson Story." We'd love to see him in a more permanent role, since the "American Story" franchise switches up its actors each season. Still, only time will tell if Cuba will find a full-time role on TV.
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4. Eddie Murphy
Eddie got his start in TV on "Saturday Night Live," but rose to being the biggest draw at the box office in the '80s and '90s. But it's been in a while since he's been in something the people loved. TV might be the perfect place for him. "The PJs" was a great show, but we'd like to see him again on our TVs every week.
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5. Larenz Tate
From O-Dogg to Darius Lovehall, Larenz has been a favorite of Black Hollywood for years. He's been on several TV shows, but we'd like to see him on a show where he's the focal-point. Until then, we'll settle for seeing him on "House of Lies."
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6. Chris Tucker
We fell in love with him on Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam and then again as Smokey in "Friday," which eventually launched him into the role that made him a superstar: "Rush Hour." Now he's been spending all that money, but recently put out his first comedy special for Netflix. Doesn't it seem like TV would be the next step for our boy Chris? You know this man.
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7. Chris Rock
Chris has made appearances on TV here and there. He's even had a talk show on HBO, but he's never really been a full-time regular on a sitcom besides being the narrator for his show "Everybody Hates Chris," but how great would it be to have him as the star of his own show? After the greatness that was "Top Five," we'd be about that life.