Hollywood Shuffle (1987)
May 14, 2024 8:36 PM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] Bobby Taylor (Robert Townsend) a Black actor limited to stereotypical roles, dreams of making it big as a highly respected performer.

Also starring Craigus R. Johnson, Helen Martin, Anne Marie Johnson, Starletta DuPois, David McKnight, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Lou B. Washington, Brad Sanders, John Witherspoon, Dom Irrera, Eugene Robert Glazer.

Directed by Robert Townsend. Written by Keenen Ivory Wayans, Robert Townsend, and Dom Irrera (uncredited). Independently produced by Robert Townsend, Lydia Nicole, then distributed by The Samuel Goldwyn Company. Cinematography by Peter Deming. Edited by W.O. Garrett. Music by Udi Harpaz.

88% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (9 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Bobby Taylor (Richard Townsend)

Looks like that too is Robert Townsend (actor, writer, director, producer).
posted by trig at 3:31 AM on May 15

I know his name. It is as correct everywhere else. I was just tired.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:24 AM on May 15

Mod note: Name corrected, carry on!
posted by Brandon Blatcher (staff) at 5:30 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]

I can't say that I go back and rewatch this one, but there are bits that have remained lodged in my memory - winky dinky dog - black acting school - batty, batty, batty, etc. There would not have been In Living Color without it, I don't think.
posted by jkosmicki at 6:43 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]

In a better world, Robert Townsend could have had an Albert Brooks like career.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:18 AM on May 15 [5 favorites]

I watched this movie at least a dozen times as a kid. In addition to the funny bits, it gave me the line I often use on social media when I want to reproach someone for disgracing themselves for money: "There's always work at the post office."
posted by praemunire at 8:18 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]

Yeah, "Black Acting School" has been living in my memory rent-free since I saw this back when it came out. I saw it again a few years ago and it held up well and was as savagely funny as I remembered it. I kinda hoped more of the criticisms would be out of date, but, well, no.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:57 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]

I haven't seen this since it came out, and think that it would probably hold up, although I do remember one mildly homophobic bit that probably wouldn't be accepted now.

In a better world, Robert Townsend could have had an Albert Brooks like career.

He's possibly had a better career than Brooks, since he's done a lot of directing. (Although the only other thing of his that I've seen was Meteor Man, which was... not good.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:30 AM on May 16

I love this dang movie and caught it on cable in the last year or so. It's aged very well!

Timeless classic.
posted by rhizome at 2:38 AM on May 20

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