'Phunny Business: A Black Comedy' Chronicles Rise & Fall Of Influential Chicago Comedy Club

08/25/2011 06:16 pm ET | Updated Oct 25, 2011

Before they were household names, where did Jamie Foxx, Bernie Mac & Dave Chappelle call home when they were in Chicago? A now non-existent club called All Jokes Aside. The celebrated, yet doomed club is now chronicled in a documentary called "Phunny Business: A Black Comedy," which screened this year at Montreal's Just For Laughs festival and is coming up as a part of the ongoing Black Harvest International Festival of Film and Video in Chicago.

Roger Ebert's recent review of the film sums the club up thusly:

What Second City was for "Saturday Night Live," a Chicago comedy club was for virtually every black comedian who emerged in the 1990s. All Jokes Aside was a black-owned enterprise that seemed to have infallible taste in talent, perhaps because it was the only club in the country that didn't relegate blacks to "special nights" or "Chocolate Sundays."

This is one documentary that comedy fans won't want to miss.

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