Harry Connick Jr.'s Mad TV Sketch: Blackface or Blackface-Adjacent?
Since we broke the news Stateside yesterday morning of Harry Connick Jr. being bamboozled on Australian TV by the Jackson Jive -- a Jackson parody act consisting of white men in Afros and black painted faces -- it's gone on to dominate headlines in Australia and abroad. It sparked another heated culture war right here on our own doorstep, too, with much sparring and name-calling lobbed about in our comments sections between the Jive apologists -- a very vocal minority who live in a colorblind utopia, where the application of black shoe polish to one's face is simply a testament to one's deep commitment to craft -- and the outraged, with some highly educational lessons about Australian history sprinkled in along the way.
Bolstering the apologists' cause was an unearthed sketch from a 1996 episode of Mad TV in which Harry impersonates a Southern preacher. Whether his skin tone was darkened for the sketch is open for debate, though the wig certainly suggests the kind of hair Chris Rock would like to corner for an interview. His pronunciation of the word "Christmas" as "Chrimmuh" certainly doesn't help matters, either.
The clip has quickly spread across continents as proof of Connick's hypocrisy, and the singer and actor defended it as such: "Those of you who have seen my shows or seen me in several comedic skits on TV know that I have absolutely no problem with comedic send-ups or making fun of myself or others."
· Harry Connick, Jr. on MadTV - Preachers Skit [YouTube]
· Previously: Harry Connick Jr. Clashes with Blackface Jackson Family on Aussie TV [Movieline]