It’s been a couple of years since Sherman’s Showcase last aired its “Black History Month Spectacular,” and now it has returned with its second season, which premiered October 26th on AMC. The second season continues to make audiences laugh with bold and funny parodies that include returning characters Dutch Sherpherd played by Diallo Riddle; Joe in a Vest, played by Keith Benard, Mary J Blige, played by Bresha Webb and Sherman McDaniels, played by Bashir Salahuddin. The creators and stars of the variety show, McDaniels and Salahuddin, gave Taji Mag the reason for the show’s hiatus.
Dapper Dr Feel (DDF): First of all, what took you so long to bring us season two of Sherman’s Showcase?
Diallo Riddle (DR): Sherman’s showcase just landed too big the first time, so they were like, “Mm-hmm Nah, hold ’em back for three and a half years.” terrible. So, It was.
DDF: I know you two have worked together for a long time, since the days of Chocolate News and Jimmy Fallon. What was the writing process for this project, Sherman’s Showcase season two?
DR: I can remember around 2008, we wrote a pilot that will never get. It was basically a variety show, and we would take it around to, like TBS, and some other places cause we knew we wanted to do something that sort of like merged our love of variety and music. Then we ended up, later that year, being some of the first writers of Jimmy Fallon ever hired.
So, his new show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, became the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. We would be talking music and involved in Quest Love and the guys from the Roots. We always said, “You know, that song that Ciara is singing sounds like a song that Rihanna passed on. We just kept thinking, “What’s a show that could bring all the music nerds of the world together? And that show eventually became Sherman Showcase, which was obviously based on Soul Train, the old show Solid Gold, and various shows from around that time.
But it was also just our excuse to do nerdy comedy around everything we think about. Whether you’re a sci-fi nerd, music nerd, or even just a comedy nerd, it’s like nerds of the world unite, you know?
DDF: When was the first time you came up with a parody song?
DR: I was literally in the shower like, “What’s a song with a chorus that I can sing, and it’s just an undeniable truth?” That was the idea that popped in my head, and I texted Bashir roughly around the same time. He was like, “Yo, I finally figured out our Parliament song, and he texted me, I think it should be called F is for dunking, and I was like, What’d you say? And he said, Funking. And I was like, “Oh, it’s okay. Yeah, let’s try that.”
DDF: You guys did a lot. This second season, especially with the first two episodes. I have to ask you, has Mary J. Blige the skits you’ve done about her?
DR: She sure has! Apparently, somebody reached out to Bresha (Webb), and they were like,” Hey, I’m with Mary. Should I show her the sketch? And Bresha said, “Yeah, show her the sketch!” They played it for Mary, and she watched it really quietly the entire time barely Mary looked up and then she finally told Bresha’s friend, “ Man! I don’t sound like that!Lol!” So I think we’re slowly winning Mary over, but I think a couple more years. Bresha is the definitive Mary j Blige.
DDF: I was thinking to myself they are picking on Mary. Lol!
Bashir Salahuddin (BS): No, we love her. We only do stuff about people we love. Certain shows have different angles when they talk about people, we really do try to make a couple of silly jokes, but ultimately, our goal is that the person (we portraying on the skit) can watch it themself and feel like this is silly, and, but it’s still kind of funny.
So I, I respect the whole, like, that’s not the perfect impression because at least that tells me at least she (Mary J. Blige) didn’t say, “Hey, this ain’t funny.”. She clearly watched the whole thing.
DR: By the way, she said something to the effect that I ain’t never said “Mer (instead of saying, Mary). But you know, I think the last thing I’ll tell you about that is, you know, we just come from a place of, like, we love these artists.
BS: We love Mary J, Prince, and Morris Day, and we love soul music. We love hip hop, We love Lil’ Baby, Lil Durk. We have a Lil’ Baby and a Lil’ Dirk style song both this season, and we got an actor playing Lil’ Baby.
DDF: Which celebrity from the past would you like to have on the show?
BS: That’s a great question. My brain immediately goes in like the seventies because I do feel like, before the internet, people were a little bit more willing to be a little wilder cause they didn’t have to worry that everybody was gonna watch it again the next day.
That’s a great question. I immediately think of, like, I don’t know why my brain went to Barry White for some reason. I think Barry White would be very fun, and I think he could take a joke. Barry versus Sherman could be a funny episode where we play enemies or something. That might be fun.
DR: I’m gonna say I think it would’ve been great to see Sammy Davis Jr. on the show. I think that would’ve been amazing. I think maybe with a young Quincy Jones since we know that Sherman’s main rival is Quincy Jones. Quincy Jones lives rent-free in Sherman’s Head; I feel like to this day, he’s still thinking,” Oh man, I still got time to catch up. I may not produce Thriller, but I’ll produce Jermaine’s (Jackson’s) album. I feel like everything that happens in Quincy’s life, Sherman wishes, could happen to him.
BS: I think Sherman’s own pick might be like Mahalia Jackson. It might be like one of those old-school gospel artists that nobody would never go near Soul Train.
DDF: It must be fun with you guys in the writer’s room. You guys must be cracking up all the time.
This is how we come up with ideas. We sit around and talk about things going on and music. When we start laughing about something, it eventually becomes a sketch.
Just like this interview, Sherman’s Showcase is filled with many laughs with plenty of colorful and memorable characters that resemble the show’s first season. My favorite skits have been the “Diddy’s Eight,” “Not Passing,” and “Dumpster Buddies.” Tune into AMC+ to watch past and current episodes of Sherman’s Showcase. New Guest stars Issa Rae, Chance The Rapper, Jay Pharoah, Amanda Seales, Chris Hardwick and Porsha Williams.
About Sherman’s Showcase: The acclaimed series Sherman’s Showcase features sketches, dancers, fake commercials, movie trailers, cultural nostalgia, the Funk Monster, A-list guest stars, and original songs (“Dropit Low for Jesus,” “Marina Del Ray”) that definitely climbed the fictional charts. Each episode is hosted by Sherman McDaniels as he takes viewers through time via music and comedy drawn from the 50-year library of a legendary (but fictional) musical variety show.