I was really surprised yesterday when I read “My Schtick? Being Black. in the Washington Post. The article was written by Jordan Carlos, the man who plays Stephen Colbert’s “black friend” on The Colbert Report. It’s an interesting perspective on what it’s like to be a black comedian in a world where the black comedian is always expected to talk about race.
However, what really jumped out at me is this: The Daily Show has no black writers. Saturday Night Live has no black writers. And The Colbert Report has no black writers. That’s right — they actually had to hire Carlos to play a non-existant black staffer on The Colbert Report. Particularly bothersome was this exchange that Carlos relayed when talking to a Daily Show employee about getting a shot:
I cornered a “Daily Show” writer, doing my best to get the inside track on a possible actor/writer gig. We broached the subject of black correspondents. He told me that they “tried a black guy once, but it didn’t work out.” I nearly threw my imported beer in his face. Tried it once and it didn’t work? You say that about Toyotas, not a whole race of people.