Monday, December 11, 2006

OK, you get ten percent off in the suit

As a comic today no one mentions,
Godfrey Cambridge, back then, broke conventions.
He would bravely address
Why our country's a mess.
And the source of his laughs? Racial tensions.
- Chris J. Strolin

Godfrey Cambridge grew up in Nova Scotia and was studying medicine at Hofstra University when he started appearing in student theatre productions. Soon Cambridge was appearing on Broadway. Spots on the Jack Paar show led to Cambridge becoming a successful nightclub comedian.

Cambridge went to Hollywood next and appeared in classics like THE PRESIDENT’S ANALYST, Melvin Van Peebles’ THE WATERMELON MAN and playing Gravedigger Jones in COTTON COMES TO HARLEM. He also appeared in one of the best Night Gallery episodes, playing Jackie Slater in the Make Me Laugh episode.

In 1977, Cambridge was cast to play Idi Amin in VICTORY AT ENTEBBE. As filming started, Godfrey Cambridge had a heart attack and died. He was 43.

This album was still sealed when I found it at the Rescue Mission. I’ve never understood how people can have a record and not open it. It might be good, you’ll never know if you don’t play the thing. This one is good. Godfrey Cambridge was a funny guy, more political than Bill Cosby was but not angry or shrill. This LP came out in 1968, right after Cambridge finished filming in THE PRESIDENT’S ANALYST.


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