Grier Promises to Roast 'Half Black' Obama

Watching actor-comedian David Alan Grier go off on Barack Obama, chastising the newly casual president-elect for dressing more G-Unit than GQ since Nov. 4 and bashing him for being only as black as a brown paper bag, one might come away thinking Grier's out to get Obama. That he wants to rake him over the coals. That he's not satisfied with America's first black president.

In some ways he is, and he does and he's not. But in a recent interview with, the star of Comedy Central's "Chocolate News," who cut his teeth on "In Living Color," put reason behind his rants and talked about how he plans to craft jokes during the upcoming Obama administration. His approach: No holds barred but not all about race.

David Alan GrierPlay
null How will race factor into your comedy?

David Alan Grier: One thing that will happen, once the administration gets under way, it's not the blackness, it's just the behavior. That's what fuels political thought, conversation and humor. Every president does something -- whether it's tripping and falling off an airplane or something else that we can make fun of. That's not a racial thing. What's been so intriguing to me is negotiating race in public. We've never seen that. We've never had to do it at this speed.

We always fantasized about the first black president. Richard Pryor, Dave Chappelle -- everybody has done their riff on the first black president. Now that time is here. I think the race thing is going to get really old really quick if that's all people concentrate on. If that's all comics are concentrating on, it's going to get old really quick. We just have to dig and go from a different place. What was the inspiration behind your riff on Obama being "half black"?

Grier: When I ranted that he's only half black so I'll only be half happy ... there was a part of me during the primary that thought he could actually win. And another part thought that it would be great if America would be ready for a black black president. There's something about being black black -- like Wesley Snipes "Blade" black -- that's the kind of black president that will intimidate you. That will make foreign leaders want to lock their doors. That's where that rant came from.

David Alan Grier With regards to Obama, what can you joke about that your white peers -- like Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart -- can't?

Grier: Gay guys get to tell f** jokes; I can't lecture you about your uterus because I don't have one. If it comes from me, a black man, I think it lands differently. There are certain cultural things that we, black comedians, have a different take on. I remember when O.J. Simpson got off, I had a white friend ask me if we were even now. I said, "No, what are you smoking, crack?" Tell us about some of your upcoming "Chocolate News" skits.

Grier: We have a couple things in the can. One -- Condi Rice, what does she need to do? Perhaps she may need a vigorous handling by someone, perhaps lovemaking by someone. I'm not going to tell you who that someone is right now.

Another -- we want to know how this inauguration will be different. So we sit down with this black party planner, and it's all based on [the MTV reality show] "My Super Sweet 16." I hope to go to the inauguration; I would love to do a special. How did you react to Obama's victory?

Grier: Let me tell you something. I was at an event, and this white woman next to me fell down on the ground weeping. ... At that point I was like, holy f**king s**t. It was amazing.

For me, the only mass emotion I've ever experienced in this country was grief. The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., that was grief. 9/11, that was mass grief. And to turn on the TV and see these spontaneous celebrations around the country, around the world ... the thing that comes closest to that feeling was the night that Denzel Washington and Halle Berry won the Oscar. It was all about joy.

But don't get me wrong. I will give Barack Obama his a**. Look for those jokes.