The four comedians on the S.E.L.L.O.U.T. Comedy Tour, which comes to town tonight, have one thing in common: Theyre black. But skin color is about all they share. In fact, the stand-up show (which clumsily stands for Serious Educated Laughing Learning Outrageous Unique Talented) was formed to dispel their similarities. Were tired of being portrayed as one type of comic, says Vince Morris. Black comedy has a stereotyped attitude of what style black comedians do. We dont want to be identified as that type of comic.
In addition to distinct onstage modes, the comedians -- Louis Johnson, Billy D. Washington, the single-monikered BT, and Morris -- come from diverse backgrounds. Washington used to be a cop, while BT grew up in Oklahoma loving rock music and hockey. Yet, they all share the stigma of being called sellouts in the black community for, among other things, not using the n-word in their sets. It took a white man using that word before we started going, Why are we using it ourselves? says Morris of Michael Kramer Richards onstage meltdown a few months ago. I get more offended when black people use it. White people should be able to say it, because they mean it. Then I know what Im dealing with.
May 23-24, 8 p.m.; May 25-26, 8 & 10:15 p.m.; Sun., May 27, 7:30 p.m.