Roc Emerson Was Right and Carl Winslow Was Wrong
June 23, 2020 10:41 AM   Subscribe

In 90s sitcoms with primarily white casts, cops are recurring characters. In sitcoms with primarily black casts during the same era, cops are recurring threats. 90s black sitcoms tried to warn us about how policing is carried out in America.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey (4 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Bookmarking this to watch later, as 21:10 is a long one for working hours. I'll be interested to see how much credit Richard Pryor gets as an influence.

Pryor's 1974 routine on police brutality is getting heavy play on Spotify, as it's as timely as ever. It was huge at the time too, and comedy writers who grew up with it likely had it in the back of their mind when they wrote takes like these.

In so many things in comedy in the latter part of the twentieth century, the answer is: because Richard Pryor.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:57 AM on June 23 [4 favorites]

This is a good companion piece to his video on Disco Elysium, which covers similar ground.
posted by Yowser at 1:13 PM on June 23 [2 favorites]

I don't think they covered Richard Prior or really the media beyond a few mid '90s tv shows. They explored the general ideas and tropes of policing and racism for the first 10 minutes, and then the second 10 minutes was the dicussion of Home Improvement, Fresh Prince, Martin, Roc, and Family Matters.

Home Improvement: kid guilty of vandalism, no police punishment.
Fresh Prince: Will and Carlton accused of car theft, jailtime, not guilty.
Martin: a plumber passes out in Martin's house, the police don't respond to the phone call until Martin pretends to be white.
Roc: accused of burglary, jailed, not guilty
Family Matters: son racially profiled, cop father reports fellow police officer for racial profiling.
posted by The_Vegetables at 1:59 PM on June 23 [2 favorites]

"Tight shoes is a motherfucker jack. They don't need to beat a n_____ to get him to confess. Just put him in a size too small"
posted by Windopaene at 2:38 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]

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