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Just as important on Broadway as it is on Madison avenue and -- once you've established.
A brand as a dramatic actor it's not always that easy to get an audience to accept he was a comedian or vice Versa.
But our next guest has managed to switch up his brand several times starting out as a dramatic actor with a post grad degree from Yale then.
Breaking out as one of the funniest comedians on television in this series in living -- take a look.
About -- film that have come out on video.
First up is how we don't die too recent Russell and -- between him.
-- -- -- On Broadway in a very serious play called race by one of the greatest playwrights of our time.
David Mamet David Alan Grier joins us now good to see David thanks for -- -- -- -- I saw the play it was absolutely magnificent it it -- that they.
Some of the reviews were sort of if the but -- know what to expect but it is just far exceeded my expectations.
Not only were you great -- it but it's a it's a terrific play what's -- about basically James Spader and I are partners in law for a and Richard Thomas is a very rich -- -- White guy who comes and after he's been accused of the sexual impropriety with a woman of color and of course.
Kerry Washington is our young law clerk that we've recently hired so it's really about.
Act whether or not we're going to take the case what are the ramifications.
All that stuff that lawyers.
Talk about in trying to figure everything which is stuff I was really interested it.
You know I remember after the OJ since Simpson trial I kept asking my father was like.
What's the first thing you can Johnnie Cochran ask OJ Simpson and he said how much money do you.
And about -- what are not guilty are you think they'll I don't care about that happened like how are you going to pay me.
That's the purpose you know I think -- -- finding humor in serious situation something you do a lot and in fact I should have mentioned in the introduction your book is called Barack like me it's by David Alan -- records and -- great book and at one point and you talk about whether or not we're going to be able to make jokes of them what the first black president -- his and you said of course not but then you go -- to talk about his mother in law living in the White House.
While -- is being facetious of course I mean we have but.
You know Bob mostly the book is it's a -- about my growing up in this country and experiencing this that.
The election of the first African American president has -- African American man and I realized writing the book.
I really had to talk about myself and my relationship.
To this country because that's everything I brought.
To this event and that celebration.
And everything I mean there's humor and -- those along with it.
So that's a lot of what the -- the president would appreciate that too few he.
It's -- I mean I'm sure in that the quiet the experiences you know on so many different levels but now.
You know at this point it's you know he's president.
It's no big deal that you -- in your book about the angry the image of the angry black man and how that used to be play.
Played an important part in your growing up tell us now we'll just because I was -- you know young kid in Detroit Michigan in the sixties.
As every kid like kids now hole or you know like in the ninety's wanted to be screaming rap stars before that it was rock and roll than punk rock.
But graffiti artists and kids wanna rebel so any screaming black man we were like I wanna be like -- Huge Afro scared white people on the that was fun you know -- -- -- -- all -- -- I'll have to -- falcon -- is just said even had last yeah I have like like -- link.
Link hazel in the -- that's why I understand I guess Malcolm X I get Mohammed Ali I get a -- But the Mod Squad in I was like eleven years old twelve years old guy with a bigger and -- only Afro.
That are good for my older Brothers that name is Big Brother on TV and take in the moment for.
Erica I don't need my myths about it and definitely -- -- -- in the fan thing but you're going to be is that we're like yes yes this -- cool and we loved -- so all those -- but you know what's incredible about what.
You do you do it in the book and you do it in your life is you we've the comedy with a serious stuff -- -- racism at a comedy for those folks who are going expected when not at all what comedy there's laughter but it's if it's dark laugh it's sort of shocked to see exactly.
From those situations.
And revelations in which.
You have to laugh.
Because you don't know what to do well you also don't know what's coming it's it's -- it's it's a real mystery the play is a mystery of course.
Whether or not this person is guilty and you.
You're kind of at the end figured out I won't give anything away but at the same time you don't exactly right I mean that's very much in the character of David mamet's writing.
And when we leave the theater every night the other people have to stage door and it just depends I mean there's someone you know some group of group of these older white women are going I like he can I don't think he did you know and then there are other people right -- -- all right you know so that it it it.
It promotes conversation which -- -- supposed to do you know everybody draws their own conclusion I saw when my wife nitrogen agree remittance at the end of it she got very emotional because what.
What you realize even though things -- changed tremendously in this country we have an African American and White House and terror terror.
Some things haven't changed all that much you mention one -- of -- in Southern California.
Yes Gallup poll afterwards -- Laguna -- -- good you promote good I would I would rumored Laguna Beach and at the sun was setting.
So I'm walking across this idyllic setting -- and develop more beautiful.
And now older white couple -- at a light they see me approaching you know this black man I -- them duke -- -- quickly like here doors and the light turns.
And -- -- -- in instinctively I'm running after the conflict.
-- -- And embarrassed I stopped running and managers -- Michael.
And I had you know forgive me I guess that some we're going to be talking about the rest of our lives and I think so but you know -- -- often does it ever go away the race issue -- listen race sex really.
-- in politics were always going to be talking about it because we always will have strong.
Views and points of view but because we're talking about it is good it yeah I felt like therapy.
It's painful but that's just get hurt if -- did you know I mean but -- the conversation has changed.
It progresses it moves on.
But a lot of reasons why I think David -- wanted to do play right now is just what you -- You know in these moments of change anything -- -- -- you know there was that moment after Obama was elected like it's done.
Not only is it over yes now you know when we get stressed when we get quarter.
As human beings we revert back to those beliefs.
That were ingrained in us as young people by her family by our culture -- society.
Good bad right or wrong to a fault -- kind of what we do.
Great to see -- David Allen -- the book is Barack.
Like me the play is race it's on Broadway right now.
Mamet seems to get it that yeah -- really it's been a joy I mean to be a part of the production at this point in my career.
To work with -- fellow actors James -- to -- watch what you -- -- -- -- magnificent performance thank you so much for coming up relocated and there's still.
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