There are a few new sketch shows on television this summer. All of them are starring Black people, and all of them are intended to be funny. And some of them are. However, there’s one that stands out from the rest. One that actually made me laugh out loud more than once. And that one show… is Sherman’s Showcase, which is currently airing on IFC.
What’s it about, you ask? Well, here it is…
Bashir Salahuddin plays a character named Sherman McDaniels who hosts a fictional musical variety show called “Sherman’s Showcase.” McDaniels takes viewers on a ride through 40 years of entertainment, including music, comedy, gameshow segments, political roundtables and commercial parodies. “Sherman’s Showcase” is inspired by shows such as ’70s dance favorites “Solid Gold” and “Soul Train” with some ’60s “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” thrown in. A who’s who in music and entertainment guest star.
Wait. A sketch show that gives us comedy AND music? I’m all in. AND it’s a throwback to the decades when music was really, really good? Sign me up. Created by Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle, who are also the brains behind Comedy Central’s “South Side,” and executive produced by John Legend, Sherman’s Showcase hits the ground running in full motion. The first episode features Legend as narrator, and his commentary gives you everything you need in order to settle into the Showcase with ease. I promise, I laughed more times in the first few minutes than I did watching any of the other summer sketch shows.
Bashir Salahuddin is perfect in the role of Sherman, and Diallo Riddle is just as good as the Showcase producer. Other guest stars for the first few episodes included Morris Day, Nigel Lythgoe, Bresha Webb and Ne-Yo.
Throw in the songs crafted by favorites Phonte Coleman and Alonzo “Zo!” Ferguson, and the commercials starring everyone’s favorite abolitionist Frederick Douglass, and Sherman’s Showcase is the perfect mix. It’s the behind-the-scenes of Soul Train that American Soul could never master.
There are eight episodes total and will run through mid-September, so there’s still time to catch up via IFC.com. I really think you should check it out. You’ll be doing yourself a huge favor. Below is the trailer for the first season. For Your Saturday, it’s Sherman’s Showcase… a much-needed dose of comedy that stands above the rest of this summer’s fare. Enjoy.