Critics are loving the Sherman’s Showcase Black History Month Spectacular. Rolling Stone calls it “the hidden gem of sketch comedy;” The New York Times says it’s “irreverent” and Salon says it’s “bright, accessibly silly and uproarious.” Collider calls it “a hard show to explain but a very easy one to fall in love with.”
In the Sherman’s Showcase Black History Month Spectacular, un-aging host Sherman McDaniels (Bashir Salahuddin) and his dancers are back in the decades-spanning variety show special Sherman’s Showcase (a la Soul Train) to shine a light on Black icons in a way that will make the annual February observance of Black History Month all his own… in June.
The hour-long sketch comedy special declares “Summer Is Black History Month” and spends its time highlighting famous black figures in history (like jazz singer Adelaide Hall) and satirizing the black American experience with jokes, faux game shows, commercials, music videos and more. While the summer timing makes the special seem like a misnomer — though in-canon Sherman producers Dutch (Diallo Riddle) and Sherman (Salahuddin) explain that there really aren’t enough days in February anyway — Vulture says the special “couldn’t have come at a more perfect time, because, hell, Black America needs a good laugh right about now.”
Perhaps few jokes are more prescient than musicial number “Add Some Kente” which features fictional singer “Sari Charley” singing about kente cloth. “People ask/what can I do/to show that I/am down with you?” sings Charley, played by Salahuddin’s daughter, Zuri Salahuddin. The answer, of course, is to add kente cloth to your life, a message which seems to have resonated widely through politics and Hollywood in the recent weeks. In the video, Sherman producer Dutch (Diallo Riddle) djs in the background wearing a gas mask.
Featuring guest stars and cameos galore, including “amateur historian” John Legend, Mario Van Peebles, Lil Rel, Tyrin Turner, Jemele Hill, Terrence J, The Roots and more, the special offers a plethora of comedy sketches, stellar choreography, Sherman’s Showcase easter eggs and backstory (including why Dutch wears an eyepatch), and an ongoing appreciation for black history and success, no matter which decade you’re in.
Click here to watch the Sherman’s Showcase Black History Month Spectacular for free on AMC.com and the AMC apps for mobile and devices.
Read a Q&A with Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle, the stars and creative team behind Sherman’s Showcase. The pair talk with AMC.som about creating the hour-long special, how it’s packed with Easter eggs for Sherman fans, the significance of airing the special on Juneteenth, and why it’s so important to find joy and make time for laughter in dark times.
Sherman’s Showcase has been renewed for Season 2 on AMC and IFC. Catch up on the news here.
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