Ken Tucker
March 08, 1996 AT 05:00 AM EST

Buddies

type
TV Show
Current Status
In Season
performer
Dave Chappelle, Christopher Gartin
broadcaster
ABC
genre
Comedy

We gave it a D

Probably the worst thing about Buddies is that it makes racism boring. This sitcom about two struggling filmmaker friends, one African-American (stand-up comic Dave Chappelle), the other white (Christopher Gartin, of M.A.N.T.I.S.), derives most of its putative humor from racial cliches: jokes about blacks’ difficulty in getting a cab to stop for them, about being followed in posh stores by security guards — that sort of thing. If the jokes were sharp, a point might be made, but Buddies‘ idea of a snappy punchline is to have Chappelle’s character say that security guards dislike him because ”I’m young, I’m black, I’m dressed down, I’m black.”

Buddies is produced by the folks who brought you Home Improvement. But the only element in this show that works is the character played by Richard Roundtree. (Yes, Shaft.) He portrays Chappelle’s father and does a good, crusty job of it. D

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