If there is a comedy trailblazer that is worthy of a documentary that hasn’t yet gotten one, Dick Gregory would be at the top of that list. From his earliest days as a comic up until the day he died, Gregory never stopped fighting for what he believes in. And now Showtime has announced that they’ve picked up a new documentary that chronicles Gregory’s trailblazing career.
Directed by Andre Gaines, The One and Only Dick Gregory “unpacks the career of Dick Gregory, the activist, pop-culture icon and thought leader who changed the lives of millions across the world through constant disruption and awareness.”
“There is no more important time than now to revisit the life of Dick Gregory,” said Vinnie Malhotra, Executive Vice President of Nonfiction Programming at Showtime. “His fearless voice rose to the challenges of his time, calling upon Americans to question their beliefs, in an era where you risked your livelihood – maybe even your life – to speak out. Though a comedic genius of his generation, comedy turned out just to be the beginning of one of the most unique and impactful journeys of any person we’ve seen. Andre and team have done a remarkable job in showing just how Gregory walked the walk and talked the talk in a way we have rarely seen anyone else do.”
“Dick Gregory is as present to me now as he was when I first started filming him six years ago – a trivial length of time when compared to the nearly six decades that this one man so greatly influenced American history, comedy, activism, and nutrition,” said Gaines. “He emptied himself completely for the movement, and while the enormity of his sacrifices are rarely acknowledged, he gave every artist a master class for what it truly means to both entertain and educate. Knowing Dick Gregory was a transformative experience that not only influenced the making of this film, but me as a man. Vinnie and the team at Showtime have been incredible partners to help bring this timely story to the world, and I cannot wait for Dick Gregory to finally get his due.”
Over the course of the past year with the Black Lives Matter movement, one could not help but wonder what Gregory would have to say about it. And while we’ll never know the answer, given how much he has spoken on the topic of racism in the past, I think we may have a pretty good idea.
The film will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 19th before premiering on Showtime on July 4th at 9 PM ET.