Def Comedy Jam

Def Comedy Jam is an HBO television series produced by Russell Simmons.[1][2][3]

Def Comedy Jam
GenreStand-up comedy
Created byRussell Simmons
Presented byMartin Lawrence
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons5
Camera setupSingle camera
Running time30 minutes
Original networkHBO
Picture format480i
Audio formatStereo
Original releaseJuly 1, 1992 (1992-07-01) –
May 2, 1997 (1997-05-02)
Followed byAll Def Comedy

The series had its original run from July 1, 1992 to May 2, 1997. Simmons was inspired to make Def Comedy Jam by The Uptown Comedy Club in Harlem, New York[citation needed] and Jerry Lewis' movie The Nutty Professor.[citation needed] The show returned on HBO's fall lineup in 2006. Def Comedy Jam helped to launch the careers of several African-American stand-up comedians.[4] Comedian Rich Vos was the first Caucasian to perform on the show.


The show was criticized for excessive foul language and negative representations of African Americans.[5][6] These criticisms were brought up and discussed by some of the comedians who got their start on the show in a Netflix Original special celebrating the 25th anniversary of the show called Def Comedy Jam 25.


The show produced a spinoff called Loco Slam.[7]

Home media releasesEdit

The show is currently available in DVD boxsets in the US and the UK.[8]


  1. ^ Williams, Frank B. (1997-03-13). "STAGE; Totally 'Def'; Spinoff of HBO's hit comedy showcase comes to CSUN". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-03.
  2. ^ "Has Black Comedy Been Beaten Blue? : 'Def Comedy Jam' is a hit--but with some African American comics turning to cable shows that limit the raunchiness, clean and subtle could be the wave of the future". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-03.
  3. ^ O'Connor, John J. (1993-07-08). "Review/Television; Onstage at the Outer Limits of the Outrageous". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-03.
  4. ^ Braxton, Greg (1992-08-06). "LAUGHZ N THE HOOD : Television: A showcase for unknown black comics, 'Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam' begins its second season Friday on HBO". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-03.
  5. ^ Braxton, Greg (1994-02-20). "To Critics of 'South Central': What a Joke : Television: The Fox series has been accused of perpetuating stereotypes about blacks and violence. But where are the protests over HBO's 'Def Comedy Jam'? That's no laughing matter". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-03.
  6. ^ O'Connor, John J. (1994-07-31). "TELEVISION VIEW;The Curse of Incessant Cursing". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
  7. ^ Braxton, Greg (1994-02-20). "Loco Hopes to Hit Grand Slam for Latinos". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
  8. ^ "Def Comedy Jam Classics, Vols. 1 and 2". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2011-01-03.

External linksEdit