Native film “Rez Comedy” Breaks into Mainstream

“With this film, we hope to show the mainstream that Native American comedians are just as funny as Dave Chappelle, Louis C.K., and Gabriel Iglesias, says Jon Roberts, comedian and member of the Red Lake band of Ojibwe. If given the opportunity, [Native Americans] can give America a look at something they never knew existed.” K. Sievert, HPR

Native comedians Jon Roberts and Rob Fairbanks

Native comedians Jon Roberts and Rob Fairbanks

Excerpt: Rez Comedy Aims to break the Mainstream Barrier, Kaley Sievert HPR

Native comedians Jon Roberts and Rob Fairbanks

Jon Roberts and Rob Fairbanks

Roberts and Rob Fairbanks, comedian and member of the Leech Lake band of Ojibwe, are two Minnesota competitors in Project Greenlight, a reality show on HBO that creates a starting point for young directors. For years Roberts and Fairbanks have loved comedy and wanted to tell the behind-the-scenes story of trying to make it as a Native American comedian.

We are really underexposed and we have no airtime on mainstream,  Fairbanks said. If Native Americans do receive media recognition, it’s usually for disproportionately high rates of alcoholism, obesity and suicide, rather than positive messages about efforts to save the environment, contribute to education, or serve the community.

Leech Lake Weather Report 6/16

Leech Lake Weather Report pt.2

The two men want to produce a film that breaks that negativity and gives their communities hope for the future.

The movie is titled Rez Comedy, and follows Fairbanks and Roberts on a 12-day road trip to Hollywood as they try to make it in mainstream comedy. While on their journey, Roberts and Fairbanks meet fellow Native comedians who share stories about life, comedy and goals.

It’s to bring awareness to the stories and journeys of those using comedy as a tool to help their communities, Roberts said.”

“If we pull together I think we can make it happen, The movie is more than just me and Jon, it’s about hope. I want people to see that.”   ~ Rob Fairbanks~


Category: Social