TP Hearn was a regular performer during the original run of B.E.T Comic View. Prior to Comic View, he appeared on Def Comedy Jam, another landmark show known for presenting a number of Black comedians during the 1990s. However, it was on Comic View when I first saw him in action. The show followed the familiar format of D.L Hughley warming the crowd up as emcee. Then you would get a few comedians for the hour.
A loud, tremendous storyteller, it was his energy on-stage that drew me in. T.P. Hearn could tell a story about the most mundane thing and would turn it into this adventure or experience just by how animated he was.
TP Hearn: The Special
While he would go to other shows around the nation and appear on other TV programs, he was truly in rare form for his special. He was given the mic, uninterrupted for over 20 minutes and he did not disappoint. He discusses race, pop culture—a number of things. Hearn had the audience in stitches and the volume of his voice, his shouting delivery never changed. The man’s observations on things could be mind-boggling at times.
Now I will admit, it’s a very 90s comedy set. If you watch it, you might have a sense of “Wow this is a blast from the past.” That said, a lot of the material is timeless until you get to the bit about R&B singers of the time and that Bobby Brown, Al B. Sure, and so on claiming they couldn’t sing. I mean…Al. B did have that questionable video for Night and Day, but the song itself was good.
He also got on Jeff Dahmer. So that gives you an idea of when this was.
Now, while the special doesn’t have historical significance to comedy as a whole, sometimes we don’t watch things for its significance. Sometimes we simply watch it to enjoy and I reckon you’ll enjoy Hearn’s 1993 special.