Interview With Sherman’s Showcase Co-Creator, Diallo Riddle
The anticipated second season of IFC’s Emmy®-winning variety series, Sherman’s Showcase premiered on IFC on Wednesday, October 26 with new episodes airing weekly on Wednesdays. AMC+ premiered the first two episodes on October 26, with additional episodes available to stream on the service one week early.
Part Soul Train, part Saturday Night Live and fully funny, the acclaimed series features sketches, dancers, fake commercials, movie trailers, cultural nostalgia, the Funk Monster, A-list guest stars and original songs (“Drop it Low for Jesus,” “Marina Del Ray”) that definitely climbed the fictional charts. Each episode is hosted by Sherman McDaniels (Salahuddin) as he takes viewers through time, via music and comedy drawn from the 50-year library of a legendary (but fictional) musical variety show.
All-new award-winning actors, musicians, and entertainers will be seen flexing their comedic muscles in the witty, irreverent and wholly original series, including (alphabetically) Ace Vane, Emmy®-nominee Demi Adejuyigbe, Desi Banks, Jerome Benton, Michael Blackson, Heidy De La Rosa, Emmy®-winner Chris Hardwick, Emily Kinney, Ted Lange, Laci Mosley, Rashida Olayiwola “Sheedz,” Emmy®-nominee Dewayne Perkins, Jay Pharoah, Emmy®-nominee Issa Rae, GRAMMY®-winner and Emmy®-nominee Chance The Rapper, Amanda Seales, Kent Shocknek, Emmy®-nominee Paul F. Tompkins and Porsha Williams. Returning guest stars include (in alphabetical order): Eliza Coupe, Morris Day, Rob Haze, Emmy®-, GRAMMY®-, Oscar®– and Tony®-winner and executive producer John Legend, Emmy®-nominee Nigel Lythgoe, GRAMMY®-nomineeVic Mensa, Tawny Newsome, Xosha Roquemore, Chandra Russell, Zuri Salahuddinand Bresha Webb.
Sherman’s Showcase is created by Bashir Salahuddin (Top Gun: Maverick, South Side) and Diallo Riddle (Marlon, South Side), who also star and executive produce. Emmy® and Tony® winner Mike Jackson, EGOT recipient John Legend, and Emmy®-winner and CEO of the management, media and social impact company Friends at Work, Ty Stiklorious serve as executive producers through their Get Lifted Film Co. (La Land, Underground, Jesus Christ Superstar). Pete Aronson serves as executive producer, and Frank Scherma and Jonathan Meyers of RadicalMedia, the production company behind this year’s Academy Award-winning Best Documentary Film, also executive produce. AMC Studios Content Distribution is managing worldwide sales of the show.
**SEASON TWO PREMIERE — “Fashion” — Premieres Wednesday, October 26 on IFC and AMC+
Sherman hosts a fashion show but, backstage, it’s chaos. Mary J Blige leads a group of singers on an Oceans Eleven-style mission while we also find out the ways Sherman influenced film director Wes Anderson. Guest stars include Issa Rae and more.
“The Sherman’s Showcase Awards: Missing At Sea” — Premieres Wednesday, November 2 on IFC and available Wednesday, October 26 on AMC+
The Sherman Showcase Awards are an annual star-studded affair, but in 2019, the ceremony was hosted on a boat and the boat went missing. Black box footage has recently been recovered. This is the tale of what happened…
I had the high honor to obtain an exclusive interview with Executive Producer and Co-Creator Diallo Riddle.
I watched the premiere episode it’s so funny and so clever. What did you think of Issa Rae portraying Iman?
Diallo: That was actually her idea. She told us that she does a really great Iman impression and when she came out of the makeup chair I thought this is the person that was meant to be Iman and will always be the go-to Iman. Just as Dave Chappelle will always be Rick James.
She still looked like Issa, but it was something about her energy that day that made this character make 100 percent sense. Also, there are not a lot of Iman impressions running around out there so we changed the script for her when we have someone as talented as Issa. We’ve known Issa forever, we were so happy that she made time to do our show. We’ve been believers in her talent going back ten years.
Fashion is the title of the premiere episode. It was the Diddy’s 8 skit for me. Let’s talk about that scene.
Diallo: I could have never known that we would successfully predict history again. Right before we debuted, Diddy was on the Breakfast Club talking about just this subject. A couple of people were like did they predict the future again because we shot this back in January. Last season we did Berry Gordy and the Motown artists so it made sense instead of doing Motown again we would do a similar treatment to Bad Boy.
I’m a huge fan overall of AMC’s content and to see you and Bashir as two Men of Color be so creative I would love to know how would you describe your and Bashir’s creative collaboration dynamic.
Diallo: It starts with a conversation. Bashir and I met in college, so we’ve known each other since the 90s. We’ve had plenty of time to talk about everything under the sun. Sherman’s Showcase is just a reflection on the kind of conversations that we have. When we were writers at Jimmy Fallon we would always go down to work with Quest and The Roots and ultimately get to talking about music. There were so many ideas about and around music that made us think it would be great if we could do a sketch about that.
Now Sherman’s Showcase is that place where we do sketches which is one of the reasons why Quest Love will text me all the time when he gets around to watching stuff and ask me if a joke is a reference to this obscure music thing and it usually is. We make those jokes for the people like Quest who really know music. We always say there are several layers to the jokes. There’s a joke that anybody can get, there’s a joke that a lot of people can get, and then there’s a joke that Quest Love gets.
Congratulations on being an Emmy Award-Winning series. What could people brace themselves for this season?
Diallo: Brace yourself for everything from science fiction, to old western films. We go out of our way to use this show as a launch pad for any idea no matter how crazy. Whether it be a tv show, a movie, or a song. Some people think that all we do are parodies, but they are not. Some sketches we think would be a great idea for an actual tv show or an actual movie and then we present them as if they were a parody. It’s really our excuse to greenlight ourselves and the ideas that we hope to one day turn into full-length tv shows and movies, or actual songs we can spin in the club. It’s very important to us to give our dreams some life.
IFC is the home of offbeat, unexpected comedies. Acclaimed series Documentary Now!, Brockmire, Sherman’s Showcase, Baroness von Sketch Show, and Year of the Rabbit air alongside fan-favorite movies and comedic cult TV shows. IFC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc., and available across multiple platforms. IFC is Always On, Slightly Off.
AMC+ is the company’s new premium streaming bundle featuring an extensive lineup of popular and critically acclaimed original programming from AMC, BBC America, IFC, and SundanceTV and full access to targeted streaming services Shudder, Sundance Now and IFC Films Unlimited, which feature content such as A Discovery of Witches, Creepshow, Riviera and Boyhood. The service features a continually refreshed library of commercial-free content, including fan favorites Mad Men, Rectify, Orphan Black, Portlandia, Hell on Wheels, NOS4A2 and series from The Walking Dead Universe, among many others. The service also offers a growing slate of original and exclusive series including Gangs of London, The North Water, Kin, The Beast Must Die, Too Close, The Salisbury Poisonings, Cold Courage, Spy City, Ultra City Smiths, Ragdoll and Anna. AMC+ recently launched in Canada and Australia, and is available in the U.S. through AMCPlus.com, the AMC+ app, and a number of digital and cable partners.