For many, All Jokes Aside was, “The best comedy club you’ve never heard of.” Through the '90s, this South Loop venue provided early exposure for black comedians like Steve Harvey, Chris Rock and Jamie Foxx. But although many of those who played the venue subsequently shot to national fame, All Jokes Aside quietly closed after only eight years. Now, a new documentary – Phunny Business: A Black Comedy – tracks the emergence of the club and its significance as a showcase for black comedians in the city. To find out more Eight Forty-Eight was joined by the film’s co-producer and former owner of All Jokes Aside, Raymond Lambert.
Phunny Business: A Black Comedy screens Saturday, Aug 27th and Thursday, Sept 1st at the Gene Siskel Film Center. It’s part of the 17th Annual Black Harvest International Festival of Film and Video.