UPDATE: Netlfix will premiere Def Comedy Jam on September 25th.
Dave Chappelle, Kevin Hart and Tracy Morgan lead a stacked line-up of comedians set to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the stand-up series Def Comedy Jam. The new special is expected to air on Netflix this fall.
Martin Lawrence, Bill Bellamy, Cedric the Entertainer, Eddie Griffin, Craig Robinson, JB Smoove, Mike Epps, Tiffany Haddish, Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Katt Williams, Kid Capri and Adele Givens will also perform in Def Comedy Jam 25. The full line-up is available in a short teaser clip for the special.
Def Comedy Jam debuted on HBO in 1992. Its first run ended in 1997 and returned for another stint between 2006 and 2008. Def Jam Records head Russell Simmons produced the series, which showcased and helped launch the careers of countless African-American stand-up comedians including Chappelle, Bernie Mac and Chris Tucker.
Along with the 25th anniversary special, Simmons is slated to reboot Def Comedy Jam under a new name, All Def Comedy. The series is scheduled to premiere on HBO with host Tony Rock, though a premiere date has yet to be announced. In a recent interview with HipHopDX, Simmons spoke about reviving Def Comedy Jam and the importance of filming the show on a tight schedule so that the comedians can tackle current events.
“We want the jokes to be current because they’re always packed with social and political power,” Simmons said. “That’s what’s makes them special. They’re so powerful politically and socially. That’s become the norm for Def Comedy. If you realize that Martin [Lawrence], Jamie [Foxx], Cedric [The Entertainer], Bernie [Mac], Chris Tucker, Dave Chappelle, Steve Harvey and Katt Williams, all of them say biting shit, right? Do all of them say just jokes? No. They all say biting shit about the condition of the suffering of black people. And the comedians that Hollywood has chosen, they don’t say shit!”