Monday, July 11, 2005

Showtime At The Apollo (late 80’s/early 90’s)

I generally don’t watch a lot of TV. Especially right now since football season hasn’t started yet. I’m probably one the few people in America who has never watched a whole episode of any reality TV show other than a few random late 90’s episodes of Real World. But I have a new favorite TV show. The past few weeks I’ve been watching it at 12:30 am Saturday night (yes, I know back in the day I was just warming up the club at 12:30 Saturday night, how things change). One station here has been showing replays of Showtime at The Apollo from the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Why do I like it:
GREAT HOST – nothing against Steve Harvey and Mo’nique (they did, are doing a great job), but nothing beats Sinbad with crazy outfits and Mark Curry (always Mr. Cooper). I’ve just always liked those cats. On Sinbad, still waiting for the A Different World reunion, easily one of my top 10 (another topic) sitcoms of all time
GREAT CROWD – I can’t say I’ve watched a lot of the newer shows, but when I have the crowd just doesn’t really seem in it. Not like back in the day when everyone would rush the front of the stage and people would just go wild.
GREAT PERFORMERS – In the past 3 weeks I’ve seen: Biz Markie, Eric B. and Rakim (yeah boy they tore it up), Maxi Priest, Das Efx, 20 year old Chris Tucker, Bill Bellamy, Living Colour, among others.
WILDER AMATUER HOUR – Lately it seems like they only have 1 or even no bad acts that get booed off. But one show Sandman got the first 3 performers. Seems like a nicer crowd now. Also had Kiki Shepard before she got some upgrades and sold out to start her own show.
LESS GIMMICKS – I like it the original way, no kids amateur hour (ain’t no fun if you can’t boo, I don’t care if they are 9….don’t step on the stage if you ain’t good), no dance contest, just music, amateur hour, comedians, I like that formula.
WILD FASHION – I can’t say enough about this, green and yellow suits, polka dots, wild colors, I wouldn’t wear any of that stuff now but I don’t mind seeing others do
GREAT HAIR – J-curls, flattops, big hair, don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about, also saw a few of these - remember the 2 color fades, bottom was black, top was brown, can’t beat that

About a month or two ago on NPR they had a discussion about the history of the Apollo and a book that was written about it. I just ordered a copy, should be great reading.

http://www.austinchronicle.com/issues/dispatch/2004-05-28/music_roundup10.html

3 comments:

The Underdog said...

Yeah you pretty much can't beat early Showtime at the Apollo. I don't know what it's turned into, but it's nothting like the original. Used to be a place where black voices were discovered and discovered voices were showcased. I don't know who performs on Showtime now. Sinbad was a fool on that show. He cut up. And so did the Sandman. Kiki Shepard did have a few enhancements.

Speaking of old school shows, whatever happened to Def Comedy Jam. Now that was the truth back in the day. Think about how many comedians were on that one. Chris Tucker, Bill Bellamy, Martin Lawrence Joe and Guy Torrey, Bruce Bruce and a bunch of others from back in the day. The show kinda got raunchy toward its end, but it was tight back in the day. So tight you had to sneak and watch it. "Are ya'll ready for the next comediaan? Yeah is he funny?"

headliner said...

Yep, I had like 2 cousins and a friend down the street who were actually allowed to watch Def Comedy Jam. Everyone else just caught it on the DL. It really is funny to remember all those old comics, and to see how many of them have gone on to do big things. Chris Rock, Ced the Entertainer, Steve Harvey, Chris Tucker, Martin, the Wayans, DL Hughley, Bernie Mac, these guys are tv and movie stars now. And also true, it was a very rowdy show, I know at times I was uncomfortable watching it.

Nettie said...

Sounds intriguing, I've never seen it but I'll have to check it out!