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Uncle Tomfoolery

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Merciless, unrelenting foolery... in space!

Blue:Ain't no mountain high enough! Ain't no valley low enough! Ain't
Julius: Blue, shut up! I don't wanna see all your smilin', shufflin', or hear all your minstrel-show singin' on this bus.

A black, primarily male comic relief character who makes the audience laugh by displaying the traits of a racist stereotype of black men. He'll usually be boastful out of danger (but a cringing wreck in the face of it), goofy, loud, annoying, and ultimately incompetent. These characteristics also serve to show the (usually white) protagonists as calm, brave, and adept. Female examples, when they do exist, are likely to adhere to ratchet or "strong, in'a'pen'ant woman who don't need no man" stereotypes, where the core characterization is largely the same: loud, boorish, buffoonish, obnoxious, and overly "extra" and prone to overreactions and long-winded boasting, though she is generally more likely to be at least somewhat competent. Compare the Sassy Black Woman stereotype.

This is a trope with a long history in Hollywood movies as far back as the '20s; in the very early days, it was often played by a white actor in blackface. No mystery or old-dark-house movie was complete without the stock character of the cringing black servant or chauffeur who was extremely superstitious. ("Boss! Spooks!") This stereotype was so popular that actors like Lincoln "Stepin Fetchit" Perry even made whole careers out of the role. This in turn was a shamelessly racist adaptation of the old melodrama and theatre trope of the incompetent domestic servant, and more generally of darkies from minstrel shows.

The trope saw continued use into the 1990s but with the Uncle Tomfoolery character being a duo with the White character, but growing racial awareness and an increasing interest in action heroes who just happen to be black, such as Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson, has caused it to gradually lose popularity. Accusations of Uncle Tomfoolery will continue, in part because there are plenty of black actors who happen to be good at comedy, though the 'hip' elements have decreased.

The trope's name is derived from "Uncle Tom," a common slang term for a black person who is excessively subservient to white people. The original Uncle Tom (of Uncle Tom's Cabin) was anything but subservient, comic or cowardly; however, the immensely popular stage adaptation of Uncle Tom's Cabin replaced the novel's serious social commentary with melodrama and filled it out with comic interludes that were often heavy on ugly stereotypes. This led to some serious Misaimed Fandom from racists who went to see black people mocked in what became known as "Tom Shows." Engaging in Uncle Tomfoolery is sometimes referred to as "Cooning."

No connection to Black Comedy or Bertie Wooster's uncle, Tom Travers.

See also: Ethnic Scrappy, Plucky Comic Relief, Black Dude Dies First, Modern Minstrelsy. Contrast: Magical Negro, Whoopi Epiphany Speech. Compare and contrast Soul Brotha, when blatant use of these stereotypes makes character look awesome, not laughable. Characters who embody this trope will sometimes be on the receiving end of Stop Being Stereotypical. Descendant of Minstrel Shows.


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  • This State Farm commercial, except that the stereotype is the shrill, henpecking black woman.
  • The Everest College commercials.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Afro Samurai has Samuel L. Jackson playing both The Stoic eponymous Samurai (something he's usually known for) and the very mouthy, comic relief sidekick Ninja Ninja. The latter isn't actually a real person, but a hallucination representing Afro's conscience.
  • Killer Bee from Naruto. He's hot-headed and a total goofball who always communicates in rap, and his first appearance has him basically playing hooky. However, being one of the most powerful shinobi in the Hidden Cloud Village, he gives Sasuke the fight of his life, and this has led to him becoming an Ensemble Dark Horse. Beating Sasuke half to death certainly didn't hurt, nor did being one of the nicest, most affable characters in the franchise.
  • Don Kanonji from Bleach at least starts out this way.
  • Bobby, the American Buddhist Monk from Good Luck Girl!, is not only a lecher, but also selfish and lazy, refusing to help the other protagonists until they bribe him with women.
  • Chocolove from Shaman King (whose name was changed to Joco in English releases for obvious reasons,) who's even a (terrible) comedian, and his backstory has him as a former New York gangster. Though he has more traditional offensive powers, a lot of his powers are joke-based and used to make spirits laugh to make them more vulnerable.
  • Mr. Popo from Dragon Ball Z, the manservant of Kami-sama, has black skin, big wide lips, a comic relief personality, and wears a turban and baggy clothes. He's probably a genie, but that doesn't make him any less of a blackface character, especially with the way he talks in short, simplistic sentences and refers to himself in third person. The English manga releases changed the artwork to make his lips more subtle and smaller, while an airing of Dragon Ball Z Kai on The CW's Toonzai block re-colored his skin to be blue instead (of course, this was a block run by 4Kids, so that wasn't the only thing they changed).

    Comic Books 
  • Parodied in a Damage Control comic. When an action movie is made about Damage Control, the well-spoken, well-dressed comptroller Albert Cleary is horrified to see he's been depicted as a wacky black sidekick from the ghetto. And then killed off, naturally.
  • Spoofed in the comic Professor Thintwhistle and his Incredible Fying Aether Flyer, a Heavy Metal serialized Affectionate Parody of Victorian adventure stories that is filled to the brim with Deliberate Values Dissonance, nowhere more than the Professor's manservant Jefferson Jackson Clay. Clay is an old-timey minstrel show stereotype, complete with lots of "Oh lawdy, I'se so skeered!" style dialogue and is constantly insulted, abused and talked down to by the Professor, his apprentice Herkimer and even the narrator! It's all an act. He's really an Evil Genius who plots to take over the ship...and does.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • As noted in the intro, the canonical example is Lincoln "Stepin Fetchit" Perry, who worked for years in Hollywood playing comic relief black characters that were either lazy, cowardly, or both. Fetchit appeared in dozens of films playing his "Laziest Man in the World" character. It made him a millionaire, but even in his lifetime the character was controversial.
  • "Sleep and Eat" (real name Willie Best) was possibly the only actor in the history of Hollywood to exceed even Stepin Fetchit for portaying this type of character. Studio press releases of the 1930s made outrageous claims that not only did Best enjoy humiliating himself in "darkie roles," but that the only compensation he wanted for his screen work was three square meals a day and a warm place to sleep (hence the nickname). Despite the absolutely demeaning nature of the majority of his roles, those actors with whom Best performed constantly praised him for his razor sharp comedic timing, his professionalism offscreen, and his consummate acting skill, and many would later bemoan his treatment by Hollywood. Bob Hope, who worked with Best in Ghost Breakers in 1940 and Nothing But the Truth in 1941, once referred to Willie Best as "the finest, most wasted, and most ill-used comic talent I ever knew."
  • Eddie Murphy seems to do a lot of these.
    • Trading Places is mainly a deconstruction of such character types. Murphy's character is completely capable of being a strait-laced businessman if given the opportunity.
    • I Spy In this film Eddie Muprhy as the Boxer Kelly Robinson he pretty much plays this role straight.
  • Often played by Chris Tucker.
    • In the first Rush Hour, Tucker is supposed to be playing a loudmouthed, reckless cop who plays by his own rules, in contrast to the badass but reticent and by-the-book Jackie Chan. This classic Odd Couple pairing grew more into Uncle Tom Foolery in the sequels, where Tucker's character became more shrill and wacky, abandoned actual policing for successful stereotyping, and surprisingly became an incredibly competent fighter.
    • Tucker's character in Money Talks.
    • He provides the page image as Ruby Rhod in The Fifth Element, an obvious parody of Prince as a Camp Straight musician who's a lothario with the women in spite of his campy style and mannerisms. He's incredibly loud, self-centered and cowardly, making him function in the plot as a comic-relief load.
  • Event Horizon had a cool, wisecracking black guy for the comic relief and a cool, heroic, strait-laced black dude for The Captain. The former was one of the survivors thanks to some MacGyvering action on his part and the latter was only killed off in the requisite Heroic Sacrifice finale, making this a mild aversion.
  • Argyle, The Smart Guy from Roger Corman's Black Scorpion film and TV series.
  • Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid almost crosses Uncle Tomfoolery back over into Ethnic Scrappy territory, several times.
  • Deep Blue Sea: Preacher. It's a late-90s Science Is Bad horror movie, so somebody has to fit the bill — why not LL Cool J? However, Preacher kind of bucks the trend of the typical Uncle Tomfoolery character by proving himself genuinely competent at fighting the super-smart sharks and getting a few badass moments to shine, so much so that the ending was changed specifically to have him survive and kill off the unpopular female lead in his stead, as the test audience liked him so much.
  • Marlon Wayans has practically made a career out of this, some of his other examples being Mo' Money, Little Man, Norbit and Dungeons & Dragons (2000).
  • Lethal Weapon:
    • Lethal Weapon (1987) flipped the formula, with a suicidal and crazy white cop partnered to a by-the-book black cop who's also a family man. However, as the series continued, the white man got less suicidal and the black man got less uptight.
    • Chris Rock averts this role in Lethal Weapon 4, as he gets saddled to two heroes, one of whom is black and plays a middle role of being neither insane nor too by-the-book.
      • The character that fits the most is actually the white Leo Getz, played by Joe Pesci.
  • Die Hard:
    • Interestingly, the first Die Hard flipped this a lot, firstly with the white Bruce Willis playing a wildcard trigger-happy cop whose only ally on the outside was a desk-riding black man who hadn't discharged a firearm on the job in years, ever since accidentally killing a child.
      • And the FBI agents who turn up to take over the scene are a white man and a black man who have the same last name and the same extremely by-the-book style. In fact, the bad guys are counting on it, as their plan only works if the FBI do go by the book.
      • The white agent even tries to play this one straight.
        "Just like fuckin' Saigon, hey, Slick?"
        (Nodding, smiling) "I was in junior high, dickhead."
      • McClane's limousine driver Argyle is more or less a straight example of this trope, however. Except he's not cowardly and effectively takes out the gang's IT guy.
    • In the second film, his ally, the straight-laced and bookish airport engineer, Leslie Barnes, is another aversion/inversion...
    • ...and finally, in the threequel, Die Hard with a Vengeance, Samuel L. Jackson plays a serious normal (albeit badass) store owner who is forced to team up with McClane.
  • Foul-mouthed L.J., the walking hip-hop stereotype from Resident Evil: Apocalypse. As can be expected in a horror film, the cool-headed badass Peyton dies, while the offensively annoying L.J. doesn't. Until the sequel, but it's less satisfying than you'd expect, since by then L.J. had undergone Character Development and dropped his annoying "wacky" traits.
  • Parodied by Dave Chappelle in Robin Hood: Men in Tights. While this was a pastiche of other Robin Hood films (especially the Costner version), because of the extremes that this role sometimes goes to in a movie playing it straight, this rather exaggerated parody was actually not that far off the norm.
  • In Cimarron, the embarrassing stereotype of Isaiah, the black servant. Isaiah is introduced hanging from a ceiling fixture, fanning the white people. He falls from the ceiling to general hilarity. Later he accompanies the Cravats to Oklahoma by hiding in a rug—he is rolled out of the rug, to general hilarity. He calls Yancey "Master".
  • Parodied in Not Another Teen Movie with "The Token Black Guy", who claims that part of his job description as, well, the token black guy is to stand around saying "Damn!" "Shit!" and "That is whack!" When he encounters another Token Black Guy at a party, he points out that only one of them is allowed per teen movie, so the second guy apologizes and leaves.
  • Orlando Jones averts this in Evolution. He's the comic relief of the film, but is also a trained scientist who is allowed to demonstrate his knowledge (and his skills with firearms) at several points. They also lampshade it several times during the movie.
  • Eddie Griffin plays this role opposite Orlando Jones (who fills the strait-laced role, though he's also black) in Double Take. They then trade identities, which leads to them parodying each others' archetypes, before it turns out that Griffin's character is actually an FBI agent and his "wacky black guy" persona was a cover.
  • The Last Dragon: The streetwise Plucky Comic Relief often has to remind Taimak that he's black while he persists in speaking and acting as a Chinese immigrant. Also inverted in the character of Johnny Yu. While Taimak continues to play it straight, Yu is the apprentice who just can't stay out of trouble. Definitely inverted in the case when Taimak dressed as a 19th Century Chinese day-laborer (his idea of a disguise) comes across a trio of Chinese Mooks who dress and act like stereotypical Black guys right down to shooting Craps against the door they're supposed to be guarding.
  • Anthony Anderson does this on occasion, most notably in Urban Legends: Final Cut
  • Jax in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, as part of the group of heroes who confront Shao Kahn, is all but made of this trope; just about every other line of dialogue he has is designed to remind you that he is, in fact, black.
  • The movie Cop Out seems to have Tracy Morgan in this role opposite Bruce Willis to the point he's an Ethnic Scrappy.
  • Twinkie in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Rome start out with shades of this in Film/Fast&Furious and pretty much run with it for the rest of the series..
  • Grover in The Film of the Book Percy Jackson.
  • Rather Anviliciously presented in Crash, where a black TV writer is told by his white boss to make a black character's lines more stereotypical. As more than a few viewers have noted, why is an apparently successful writer taking advice from Tony Danza?
  • Django Unchained not only averts this trope with Django himself, but also Deconstructs it with Stephen, who is first introduced in a somewhat comical fashion as being Large Hammily incredulous at Django being on a horse and being treated as a guest at the big house, and then spends most of dinner parroting his master (the Big Bad of the film). However, he is considerably more observant and intelligent than the Big Bad and when he is alone with the black slaves he becomes extremely sinister, suggesting that the Uncle Tomfoolery is his deliberately being sufficiently non-threatening to the whites that he is allowed to keep his position of power within the household and act as his master's dragon. He is also, at the very least, a Dragon Ascendant; he not only outlives his master but also gets dramatically killed while shouting curses in the film's violent climax, further suggesting that he is more of a Big Bad than his Fool of a master.
  • Inverted in Ghostbusters (1984) where Ernie Hudson's Winston Zeddmore is pragmatic and unfazed by all the weirdness and an all around grounding presence for the team, while the excitable comic relief goes to Dan Aykroyd's Ray Stanz instead.
  • Critics often accuse Tyler Perry of doing this, particularly under his Madea guise (where he plays an unstrung, mentally imbalanced "mammy" type with a very tenuous grip of the English language).
  • The Funk (Aka Dustin) from Another Cinderella Story.
  • Scary Movie Has a couple of characters who display this trope throughout their film series. The most notable character who displays this trope is Shorty, another Uncle Tomfoolery character played by Marlon Wayans and Mahalik and CJ lives up to this trope but not to the extant as Shorty who displays a lot of negative stereotypes.
  • Martin Lawrence's character Terrance in Nothing to Lose.
  • Mike Epps' character Reginald Wright in All About The Benjamins.
  • Dave Chappelle plays another one of these type of characters in the Con Air as Pinball.
  • 1929 film Hallelujah! is a complex example. Director King Vidor apparently went into this film with the best of intentions and wanted to make an authentic portrait of rural black life. So it's all the more disappointing that Hallelujah is a collection of racist stereotypes. There's the simple-minded poor folk with their bad grammar, which could be excused as being somewhat realistic for people who were denied an education. The What an Idiot portrayal of protagonist Zeke is harder to excuse, and the portrayal of Zeke as thinking with his penis and being completely unable to control his urges is even worse. Then there's Zeke's younger sister who thinks a ticking watch has a heartbeat, or the time-honored racist stereotype of blacks gambling with dice. The lack of white people in the movie also rather insidiously suggests that black people are causing their own problems, instead of being oppressed by racism.
  • Will Smith as Agent J to a small extent, but he played this role only in the first Men in Black; after the first film Agent J takes his job more seriously
  • Richard Pryor in Silver Streak, playing a rather hip car thief opposite Gene Wilder. The trope carries over into just about any film he and Wilder are starring together in.
  • Critics accused Jar-Jar Binks from The Phantom Menace of resembling black caricatures in minstrel shows and early American cinema, highlighting his Jamaican accent, clumsiness, naivety and shuffling gait, and being cowardly―all typical traits of minstrel characters. It does not help that physically, he has large nostrils and his "lips" make up half of his face, both traits commonly exaggerated in black caricatures, and his large floppy ears have been compared to dreadlocks. Jar-Jar's first lines in the series, "Me-sa your humble servant," call slavery and domestic servitude to mind.
  • Bad Boys 2 Has Martin Lawrence character( Marcus) turn into a downplayed version of this trope.In the first film he was as competent as his partner Mike Lowry and just full filled the ComicHero trope but in the next installment of the series he becomes cowardly and way less competent than his partner and he becomes slightly annoying but towards the end of film he still has a LetsGetDangerous moment.The third installment of the Bad Boy franchise makes Marcus even become a downplayed version of TheLoad.
  • King of the Zombies: Jeff spends the entire move being scared out his wits of ghosts (and zombies), and thinking with his stomach.
  • The Meg: DJ, the black member of the team, is a comic relief character who is constantly bemoaning the other characters for their near-suicidal plans to stop the Megalodon while being largely incompetent himself. Even Meiying tells him to shut up at one point.
  • The movie Hollywood Shuffle offers a deconstruction. The story revolves around Jasper, an unhappy hot dog stand worker, wanting to become an actor. He auditions for the role of a jive talking gang leader, and though initially thrilled to have been cast, he eventually regrets it as he notices that every role that an African American actor is forced to be either a thug or slave, while White actors are given the choice of being romantic leads, or action heroes, with the ability to negotiate better conditions.
  • Invoked in Creepshow's final segment, "They're Creeping Up On You", where the black superintendent of the Villain Protagonist's luxury apartment building occasionally puts on a high-pitched minstrel show type voice to mock his tenant's racism. It's clear from the superintendent's brief scenes by himself that this is not how he normally talks.
  • In the blaxploitation movie The Zombies of Sugar Hill (sometimes released simply as Sugar Hill), the white villains have a black lackey who acts this way, even shining their shoes in one scene. Given that the film was largely intended for black audiences, this was probably meant to make the villains - this character included - all the more despicable.
  • Use In-Universe in Tropic Thunder with the character Lincoln Osiris, who is played by white Australian actor Kirk Lazarus in blackface, doing this trope to a T — much to the annoyance of the actually black actor Alpa Chino.
    Lazarus: "What do you mean, 'you people'?"
    Chino "What do you mean, 'you people'?!"
  • Parodied in ''Blazing Saddles' where the lead character briefly adopts the stereotype of a cowardly black man being held hostage to avoid an angry white mob. (The fact that none of the white mob have noticed he's holding himself hostage adds to the hilarity value)

  • Averted in Uncle Tom's Cabin, which is a serious tale about Uncle Tom, a pious, Christian, good man and his horrid life as a slave. No dancing, swearing, or nonsense about him whatsoever. The only problem contemporary readers had with the story is that they felt he was too passive and portrayed a double standard when compared with instances of whites resisting oppression: see the quote here from an 1852 edition of the abolitionist paper The Liberator. Unfortunately, mean-spirited stage parodies of the book became extremely popular throughout the South in response to the book's success, and the term "Uncle Tom" came to refer more to the character portrayed in these shows - typically, yes, by white actors in blackface - than to the more serious original character.
  • Jules Verne's Robur the Conqueror: The black servant Frycollin, portrayed as an abject coward who's not particularly bright, is the victim of some of the most uncomfortably racist humor in Verne's entire oeuvre. Interestingly, this is far from typical behavior for Verne. While he did use some non-white characters as Plucky Comic Relief, and they often served as a Token Minority, he almost always portrayed them in a positive light and as resourceful, intelligent and equal to white characters. Frycollin is just a very unfortunate exception.
  • In-universe in The Night Mayor, which is set in a virtual reality simulation based on 1940s movies, where each of the simulated characters is modeled on a particular character type (private eye, femme fatale, corrupt cop, and so on). At one point, the protagonists encounter an African American doorman who's cowardly, prone to pratfalling, and likes to chow down on watermelon in his off-time.
  • In the Winnetou books, Bob suffers from this rather badly, especially in The Son of the Bear Hunter, where he serves only as comic relief, is portrayed as almost entirely incompetent, not very bright, devoted to his employers (he's a freed slave), mostly cowardly and very impulsive. He gets a lot better and more nuanced in the next book, The Ghost of Llano Estacado, where his only significant racial markers are his speech and his backstory as a freed slave still in something of a subservient position. In that book, he has Taken a Level in Badass to a certain degree and he gets to play a more competent part in the plot which other characters downplay possibly because of his race, while the plot proves him right. Only for him to mostly slip back again in Old Surehand, although at least by that point it's treated a bit more realistically as his personal characteristics and he's described as quite competent in certain areas but just hopelessly out of his element when it comes to dangerous situations and thinking on his feet. (But rather painfully so in contrast to the white hero narrator.)

    Live-Action TV 
  • Parodied in a The Whitest Kids U' Know sketch where a mailroom employee starts throwing out horrible movie ideas to studio execs, who eat them all up. All think that having a bunch of black people hold a cookout in a driveway and having Cedric the Entertainer and Queen Latifah show up would make a great movie for black audiences.
  • Parodied on Monty Python's Flying Circus in the "Atilla the Hun Show" sketch, a smarmy domestic sitcom focusing on the home life of Atilla. For some reason, the Huns have a servant, played by Eric Idle in blackface, named Uncle Tom who acts this way. Although it's a parody of the trope, it's still probably one of the poorer-aged jokes Python ever did.
  • Played with on Scrubs' Show Within a Show, Dr Acula. JD casts Turk as a jive talking pimp and he complains it's racist and he wants to play the vampire. JD responds by asking Turk to act "Blacker". Turk immediately takes over the film and swaps their roles.
  • Good Times: J.J. Evans, the show's Breakout Character. Jimmie Walker played the part so well that the character of J.J. soon overshadowed the show's original premise (an African-American family living in a low-income housing apartment trying to improve their economic situation but always failing, due to poor luck or other circumstances), and many began criticizing the show for presenting J.J. as a stereotypical black i.e., a buffon; the critics included Walker's castmates, John Amos and Esther Rolle, and it led to Amos' firing and Rolle's temporary departure.
  • Dave Chappelle often played these in sketches on Chappelle's Show. One of his reasons for ending the show was that he could no longer recognize when he was parodying the character type, or actually playing them.
  • Misfits of Science Lampshaded the inversion as far back as The '80s; The Lancer was a research scientist, slightly more square than the lead character and in general more knowledgeable and scientifically disciplined — aside from playing Professor Guinea Pig with a shrinking formula to avoid constant expectations that he should be able to play basketball, which gave him the ability to shrink to Fun Size.
  • Maury is often accused of this, with some justification.
  • Will on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air . Although he often is very serious, especially in the episode with his father.
  • Marlon Williams on the The Wayans Bros. which is no surprise because Marlon Wayans play this role all the time.
  • Noogie the Ex-Con and Crockett and Tubbs' go-to guy for information on criminal activities on the street in Miami Vice
  • Kel Mitchell on Kenan & Kel and again as Double G on Game Shakers.
  • Parodied in a Saturday Night Live sketch, with an exaggerated Louis Armstrong type character (played by David Alan Grier) back in the 1940s, who openly sings about how he doesn't mind not being treated as an equal. The sketch ends with a historian noting that the character would go down in history as the first black man to ever be lynched by other blacks.
  • The late Petey Greene on his show, Petey Greene's Washington.
  • In the Tyler Perry T.V. series Meet the Browns Mr. Brown displays a lot of characteristics and trait of this troupe. He is often the Butt-Monkey of this series because he can be very dim-witted, and clumsy and sometimes cowardly he might remind some viewers of minstrel characters.
  • In the Amos 'n' Andy TV series, "Lightning" played by Willie Jefferson. He is the custodian at the Mystic Knights of the Sea lodge house and is Stepin Fetchit redux.
  • The Goodies
    • In the parody of Roots, Bill, Tim and Graham are sold as slaves to the BBC, so they deliberately muck up their auditions so they won't be selected for anything. However the BBC guy says that makes them perfect for one particular role. Cue the trio in blackface for The Black and White Minstrel Show.
    • All black people have left South Africa for Britain, so the authorities institute the Apart-height policy. As the shortest member of the group, Bill is now a second-class citizen, and is given a 'rehearsal leaflet' on how to act.
      Tim: Bopo, bring me the morning paper!
      Bill: Yes boss, here come the morning paper!
      Policeman: Boy, lick my boots!
      Bill: Ma tongue is slavering for your boots!
  • In The '70s TV show The Comedians, which showcased the best stand-up comics of the day, Yorkshire-born stand-up Charlie Williams attracted criticism, even in the day, for being a black comic whose stand-up act was based on pandering to white expectations and prejudices concerning black British people. In fairness, he was appearing on the same bill as people like Bernard Manning. But later black stars like Lenny Henry watched the show and vowed they were not going to do comedy this way, although Lenny went out of his way to befriend Charlie personally, and the two became good friends.


  • In Fetch Clay, Make Man, Muhammad Ali calls Stepin Fetchit out on his infamous "Laziest Man in the World" roles-turned-stereotype, which made him a rich man but "makes people cringe when hearing his name" nowadays.
  • Regina, a quasi-operatic musical adaptation of The Little Foxes, added the character Jazz, whose comic-relief numbers egregiously deviate from the neo-classical style of the rest of the show.

    Video Games 
.* In supplemental material for the first Resident Evil game, the creator stated that two characters didn't make the final cut of characters: A giant cyborg man who could hold up walls (this person later became Barry), and a tall, skinny black guy who constantly cracked jokes and ran from the zombies. This guy was thrown out because of the obvious Unfortunate Implications, and players would not see a (living) black character in the series until Resident Evil: Outbreak, who is somewhat wacky and a Lovable Coward, but not to a cartoonish extent.
  • The example in Outbreak is mitigated by having a second black man among the main characters: a calm, badass army veteran.
  • Zack from the Dead or Alive franchise. Wherever he goes, Zack often makes commotion and creates scenes. With his cheerful ways, clownish antics, and sometimes weird behavior, Zack is often a source of comic relief in the series. Played with in that he has zero Jive Turkey characteristics; his wackiness and his ethnicity have virtually nothing to do with each other.
    • Then again, he fulfills the wacky and clownish aspects, but not the incompetent. After all, he is the one person who ranks consistently high in all the tournaments. In the fifth game Helena employs him as a bodyguard, and to test the entrants.
  • Gears of War: "ALL ABOARD THE COLE TRAIN, BABY! That's Augustus Cole, in case you were wondering. In the second game he cuts off the Locust Queen during one of her speeches (still qualifies as a Funny Moment).
    • The character is actually an Expy of a character called Terry Tate: Office Linebacker in a series of Reebok commercials, who was also portrayed by Les Speight. The character gets more and more complex as the series goes on, leading to one of the best lines of Gears 3;
      Augustus Cole: "Do you ever feel like you're dead, but nobody ever told you?"
  • Jax's Alt costume in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance.

    Web Comics 
  • The Unspeakable Vault (of Doom) pokes fun at H. P. Lovecraft's outdated views by giving his Deep Ones exaggerated Minstrel traits like humongous lips, googly eyes & impenetrable patois-laden speech to drive home the point they were originally created as an indictment of miscegenation. Lovecraft, abyssal font of Values Dissonance that he was, made use of many racial stereotypes in his work, though they were never played for comedy, their otherness instead used as a source of horror or disgust.

    Western Animation 
  • Take any cartoon of the Censored Eleven: All This and Rabbit Stew, Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs,... all of them delve on black characters and the stereotypes associated with them to provide some cheap laughs to the non-black audience.
  • Parodied in an episode of British animated series Monkey Dust. A continuation of the running "Meatsafe Murderer" sketches has an American director buy the rights to Ivan Dobsky's life story so he can make a movie out of it. Ivan's apparently sentient (not to mention murderous) space hopper is portrayed in the movie as a skateboard voiced by Eddie Murphy, who seems unable to utter ANY line without saying "Motherfucker" at least twice.
  • An unusual example happens in The Simpsons episode "The Burns and the Bees". When an army of super strong and super violent bees take over Springfield's new basketball stadium, Bumblebee Man (a man who dresses like a Bumblebee) tries to defend himself...
    Bumblebee Man: Stop, I am one of you!
    Bee: (Buzzing) We hate you most of all, Uncle Tom.
  • Parodied in South Park, where "Tolkien Black" is well-off, book smart, talks in a standard American accent, comes from the richest family in town, and plays the straight man to a lot of the other characters' jokes (especially the racist Cartman).
    • Which the creators then play with endlessly... like they do everything. He finds Tyler Perry hilarious but is confused and embarrassed about it. Another example: he's never even picked up' a bass guitar in his life, but the moment you put it in his hands, he can play the shit out of it.
      Cartman: Token, give me a smooth bass line.
      Tolkien: ...I don't know how to play bass.
      Cartman: *frustrated* Token, how many times do we have to go through this? You're black, you can play bass.
      Tolkien: *angry* I'm getting sick of your stereotypes.
      Cartman: Be as sick as you want, just give me a goddamn bass line!
      Tolkien: *picks up guitar and instantly is able to play a series of complicated riffs* Goddamnit.
    • Although it wasn't mentioned until Season 25, Tolkien was always meant to have been named after author J. R. R. Tolkien and anyone who thought his name was a reference to tokenism has unconscious racial biases.
  • "Who Killed Cock Robin?", a Silly Symphonies short, has a stereotypical blackbird who is a caricature of Stepin Fetchit.

Alternative Title(s): Da Black Donkey