*There was no time for sadness at the tribute to Robin Harris (Bebe’s Kids) held last night at the Regency West in Leimert Park. Harris’ co-horts could have raised the dead with the non-stop laughing delirium that ensued after they took the stage one comic at a time to remember the man, the legend.
Who was in the house? For one, comedienne Luenell, although she was one of the last to perform. She gave everyone a knock out blow account of Robin and how he inspired her to pursue her art. She was even wearing his business card that he gave her many moons ago on a chain like a media badge around her neck. Yes, Lu, Lu girl produced the evidence that she was appreciated by Robin.
Chris Tucker flew in for the occasion and took over the mic and he would not give it up. There were no cue lights but everyone enjoyed the comic who is also the star of many hit films with Asian comic/martial arts expert Jackie Chan. Pointing out Tucker’s fat million dollar wallet, was David Banks, Richard Pryor’s former manager/comedy writer. This was a big shocker for me to see David. I didn’t know it was him when he asked to speak with me privately and asked me if I was “white.” I assured him I was not. I didn’t at the time of the funny question, realize who he was because he just pulled me over to the side. Then I heard him called by name by Chris Tucker and my mind rewound to the past recalling that I met David the night I met Richard Pryor at the premiere of “Some Kind of Hero.” It was David’s unrelenting calls on behalf of Richard Pryor and ultimately a call from Richard that made me succumb to dating the iconic comic (but that’s another story).
Back to the Regency. I was impressed by the outpouring of comedians that also included: Chris Spencer, Jay Anthony Brown, comedy actor Ernest Thomas, Buddy Lewis, A.J. Jamal and Annie McKnight.
Actress/producer, Vanessa Bell Calloway was on hand and also gave her account of Robin’s influence in her career (at times mimicking the comedian’s voice) and revealed how he helped her land a voice over role in Bebe’s Kids. I didn’t know until the night of the event that the Regency West is her husband Dr. Tony Calloway’s business enterprise. She remarked on her longevity (20) years being happily married. This made me reminisce about her glorious “Coming to America” type wedding that my husband JD Hall and I attended.
The tribute to Robin Harris was a comedy slam. Harris’ widow Exetta Harris sat at our table for a spell. She produced the event with Robin’s long time friend Sam Watson and Roland Wirt. Robin Harris’ son Robin Harris Jr. was in the house to commemorate his dad.
May May Ali, daughter of boxing legend Muhammad Ali was spotted seated next to David Banks at a table adjacent to ours
Producer Ron Z of Taylor Made Productions whose Hip Hop artist Young Maestro is on the rise, accommodated my group by inviting us to sit at his “Reserved” table. He bought food for everyone (basket of chicken wings and fries) and his friend Dwight Morgan owner of Close Up Barber and Beauty Salon bought drinks. Glasses at our table could be heard clinking and clinking toasting to Robin.
It was lots of laughs, food and and merry time. I think Robin Harris would have been pleased.
See the event here @ Wire Image … photos by
Arnold Turner: http://www.wireimage.com/ItemListings.aspx?igi=422243&nbc1=1