Special to South Florida Times
When the Dave Chappelle-produced Chappelle’s Show first aired in 2003 on Comedy Central, no one knew what to make of it. As described on imdb.com, Chappelle’s Show is a “sketch-comedy show that parodies many of the nuances of race and culture.” It was edgy. It was offensive. It made everyone laugh. And most importantly, you didn’t have to be black to enjoy the show.
Alas, while filming Chappelle’s Show’s third season, Chappelle realized that in making fun of racism, he was beginning to be a part of the problem. So he abruptly ended Chappelle’s Show’s run, leaving many fans wanting more. Since the show’s departure, no other show has been able to fill that void – until now.
Think “the husband and wife version of Chappelle’s Show,” and you’ve got The Q & A Show. Starring real-life husband and wife Addison Henderson and Quin Walters, along with a host of other actors who enjoy a good laugh, Q & A is a web show produced by Film Life Inc., which also produces the American Black Film Festival that last week took Miami by storm. The Q & A Show’s first webisode premiered in June on filmlifetv.com.
“When I met this couple, their whole premise was, ‘We don’t want Hollywood to tear us apart. So, we’re going to find a way to work together’,” said Jeff Friday, CEO of Film Life and one of the executive producers of Q & A. “I’m a huge, huge supporter of family values.”
In a world where Hollywood couples suffer public divorces and scandals, Walters and Henderson fell in love in an un-hopeless place: Starbucks. Deciding that being actors could put a terrible strain on their relationship, they decided to work side-by-side on their own terms.
For the uninitiated, a web show is like a television show that you watch online; only. It’s created by and for a website such as filmlifetv.com. These shows tend to be shorter than regular television shows – fewer than 10 minutes – and are governed by less strict guidelines.
In The Q & A Show’s first episode, the sketches are about not letting friends “drive while black,” a State Farm jingle that goes awry, and the truth comes out about VH1’s Love & Hip Hop’s Jim and Nancy Jones.
In the rest of The Q & A Show’s first season, expect parodies of Nicki Minaj, Charlie Sheen, Wendy Williams, T.I. and Tiny, and a cameo by Jesus H. Christ. Audiences can also expect original content such as Celebrity Divorce Court with Judge Lee Stanford and Confessionals with Father Simon Cowell.
“We focus on what’s hot, relevant, current and try to be diverse so there’s a little bit of something for everybody,” said Walters, 29, who also acts as the web series’ head writer. “We (parody) race, religion, politics, athletes and reality TV.”
With an anticipated 12-episode first season, expect to be entertained with The Q & A Show’s special brand of hilarious calling it like it is. In fact, the more views and Facebook “likes” given to the show, the better. The more Q & A infiltrates the pop-culture psyche, the closer Walters and Henderson get to their goal for season two.
“The ultimate, number one goal for (Q & A) is to be successful with the first season on the web and really gain some traction and take it to networks and see what they can do,” said Henderson, 30, who directs most of the sketches. “We’re positive and very confident that we’re going to be able to gain the sponsorship that we need to move (the show) along to season two.”
Three years in the making, Walters and Henderson are working toward being on television sets across America, which would be well deserved. America doesn’t see many happy couples on television who aren’t fictional. A great way to get the attention of network executives when you’re a web series is to have millions of people watch your clips. So, readers can do their part and exercise their power: Watch the show as many times as you can!
Just as Chappelle’s Show didn’t hold back when it came to saying and doing what everyone else thought and said, Walters and Henderson are keeping true to their show’s motto: “Getting personal.” Thankfully, getting personal has never been funnier.
For more information on The Q & A Show, Quin Walters, and Addison Henderson, visit filmlifetv.com
Photo courtesy of Filmlifetv.com, Addison Henderson