Don’t Be Afraid: Hulu Comedy Woke Is Genuinely Funny
Woke. Available Wednesday, September 9, on Hulu.
In a dreary age in which we’re battered on one side by authentic police mayhem and on the other by puerile PC paladins, Hulu’s new comedy series Woke is little short of a miracle. It manages to carefully and very funnily thread a needle through a political and social straitjacket.
Created by cartoonist-rapper-Michael-Jackson-impersonator Keith Knight and Barbershop screenwriter Marshall Todd, Woke is based (with a lot fewer hallucinations, I’m guessing; we’ll get to those in a minute) on Knight’s cartooning career.
His alter-ego is Keef Knight (Lamorne Morris, New Girl), who draws a strip called Toast and Butter for a dying and penniless local paper. But his life is looking up. “The last time you’re going to see broke Keef Knight,” he brags to his roommates as he heads off to sign a syndication deal that will launch him into big-league, big-money syndication.
Toast and Butter is, by Knight’s own description, “a comic strip about bored breakfast food,” and he resents complaints that it’s not politicized enough. “Why is it that people of color are always having to stand for something or say something in our work?” he snaps at one (black) editor. “You know, I’m just a cartoonist.”
That changes abruptly when Knight is manhandled by (white) cops who mistake him for a muggin
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