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truTV's new 'Laff Mobb's LaffTracks' merges stand-up w/ video


Posted Friday, March 16, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Stand-up comedy and sketch comedy are technically two separate comedic pursuits. But Bob Sumner, who helped find talent for HBO's "Def Comedy Jam" in the 1990s, decided to merge the two together for a new truTV show "Laff Mobb's Laff Tracks," which debuted in January.

The concept is simple: he recorded comics from around the country doing bits and then used them as a narrative to create funny visual takes on said jokes.

Sumner in the past has helped find talent such as Bill Bellamy, Mike Epps, Bernie Mac, Cedric the Entertainer, Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish and D.L. Hughley and turned "Def Comedy Jam" into a truly ground-breaking series.

"' Laff Mobb's Laff Tracks' will try to showcase the best of a new generation," Sumner said. "My nose will never change for talent. I'm not one that pays attention to social media or YouTube stars or number of hits. I'm strictly talent and character."

Each bit is about three minutes long, not coincidentally the length of a song. "What do you do with a song?" Sumner said. "You turn it into a music video. We take jokes and turn them into comedy videos!"

He sought comics who can tell stories and shot them at a club in Hollywood with host DJ and comedian Cipha Sounds and a "cool open mic vibe and a diverse audience," he said.

Each video starts with the comic beginning the bit, then it segues into the visual representation of what they're saying, be it about dating older women or the rules of a black barbershop.

Here's a sample of some of the bits you'll see on the show:

ON TV

"Laff Mobb's Laff Tracks," 11 p.m. Wednesdays, truTV


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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.