When The Boondocks ended its nine-year run on June 23, 2014, a void was left in tv. Within the years following, loads has occurred in regards to the tv sequence. A possible revival of the present was set to happen after WarnerMedia picked up The Boondocks in September 2019. Nevertheless, it was revealed that the reboot was canceled in early 2022. Gary Anthony Williams, the voice of Uncle Ruckus, talked about that the reboot was canceled because it took too long to produce.
After its 2005 premiere, The Boondocks grew to become greater than a satirical animated sequence for adults. Primarily based on the every day syndicated caricature by Aaron McGruder, it manifested a selected type of Black novelty inside popular culture.
The antics of the Freemans — consisting of civil rights activist Robert aka Granddad (voiced by John Witherspoon), and his two contrasting grandsons, the militant, Black liberator, Huey, and hotep-in-training, Riley (each voiced by Regina King) — got here as metaphorical wake-up calls. These get up calls (often delivered to mild by Huey’s aggravated outbursts on the public) resembled mastery of dialogue in a Spike Lee joint combined with humor and futuristic horror à la Black Mirror in navigating Black America on the intersection of leisure and historical past. Every script included was not solely cognizant of brewing tradition wars, outlandish antics, evergreen jokes, and managed to foreshadow a lesson or two ultimately.
Tragedy struck The Boondocks neighborhood in October of 2019 when the present’s star and legend of the movie business John Witherspoon handed away at 77 years outdated. Witherspoon voiced Robert, identified generally within the present as Granddad all through the whole lot of the sequence’ tenure. This information got here simply months after Witherspoon himself introduced the return of the present of the Joe Rogan podcast.
Even when the present by no means returns, the legacy nonetheless lives on (principally by memes.) Listed below are the 13 best episodes of all time.
13. “Let’s Nab Oprah” [Season 1, Episode 11]
Airdate: February 12, 2006
Focused Topic: Clout chasing
“Oprah Winfrey has the facility to put waste to your entire business with a mere utterance! She’s a totally invincible, unstoppable pressure of nature… “- Gin Rummy
Who would imagine in efficiently kidnapping one of many richest and most noticeable Black girls on the planet as a way to “management bitches?” How about Ed Wuncler III (voiced by the late Charlie Murphy), who’s the grandson of Woodcrest’s billionaire realtor, and his finest pal and confederate, Gin Rummy (Samuel L. Jackson). In fact, an eight-year-old Riley needs to affix in on the shenanigans of the gun-toting, shoot first, ask questions later duo — particularly after taking a liking to them within the sequence pilot, “The Backyard Get together.”
Huey tries to foil that plan — which spoofs features of Pulp Fiction — however finally ends up duking it out towards his little brother and Oprah’s fictionalized bodyguard, Bushido Brown. The trio doesn’t find yourself kidnapping Oprah, however moderately Maya Angelou on the fallacious guide signing. After which Invoice Cosby — simply to return him again for being too annoying.
12. “The Itis” [Season 1, Episode 10]
Airdate: January 22, 2006
Focused Topic: Well being and unhealthy consuming habits within the Black neighborhood
“This place used to sit down between a espresso store and a day spa — now there’s a liquor retailer and a rattling Footlocker!” – Huey Freeman
Taking its title after a well-liked time period used to explain sleepiness after consuming a big meal, “The Itis” finally ends up being the identify of Granddad’s restaurant. Residents of the predominantly white Woodcrest flock in droves to eat Granddad’s soul meals, with the added perk of lounging and napping on the beds they’re served in. Ultimately, these loyal clients begin to develop into too gluttonous and lazy. Ultimately, The Itis has to shut due to pending lawsuits and a deadly coronary heart assault of its first buyer.
11. “The S-Phrase” [Season 2, Episode 11]
Airdate: January 21, 2008
Focused Topic: White folks saying the N-word
“You each say the N-word on a regular basis.” – Huey
“I don’t.” – Granddad
“Riley thought it was his identify till he was three.” – Huey
The Freemans discover themselves in the midst of the “N-word” debate when Riley’s third-grade instructor, Mr. Petto, repeats what his pupil stated to him after misbehaving at school. What’s ironic is whereas Riley stands his floor, he has a historical past of claiming the phrase as a catchphrase and has witnessed white males, Ed and Rummy, say it on a number of events.
Within the information report montage that opens the episode, there’s a debate on the that means of the “-er” and “-a” ending and the confusion behind its constant utilization in rap music. Reverend Rollo Goodlove (Cee Lo Inexperienced) takes up a lawsuit and media marketing campaign for The Freemans, even debating his frenemy Ann Coulter (who seems to be a faux, extremist right-winger for pay). Ultimately, Mr. Petto will get to return again to instructing after solely ten days of unpaid depart.
10. “The Fried Rooster Flu” [Season 3, Episode 11]
Airdate: August 1, 2010
Focused Topic: Groupthink and nationwide panic
“Sadly, there isn’t any treatment for the pandemic we now face. However we do have an much more highly effective weapon — compassion for our fellow man.” – President Barack Obama
In December 2018, social media had varied takes on the Netflix authentic film, Chicken Field. The premise of the movierevolves round an apocalypse that ensues as a result of a mysterious creature attacking teams of vulnerably curious folks. Eight years previous to the discharge of that movie, The Boondocks had its personal Chicken Field on account of KFC’s newly launched 13 spices rooster. Whereas everybody on the planet is dying from consuming the rooster, the Freemans are compelled to hunker down with rationalized meals and provides with their neighbors, the Dubois household, Uncle Ruckus, Thugnificient, and Leonard. On the finish of the Boondocks’ episode, all of them survive the outbreak which is revealed to truly be salmonella.
9. “Guess Hoe’s Coming to Dinner” [Season 1, Episode 3]
Airdate: November 20, 2005
Focused Topic: Gold Diggers, Intercourse work, and Misogyny
“Cristal, that appears like a stripper identify. Would possibly you be a stripper, Cristal just like the champagne?” – Huey
“And what would you recognize about strippers little man?” – Cristal
“Not a lot, however I do know they’re often named after liquor.” – Huey
A working subplot on this sequence is Granddad’s courting life, and his many incompatible, youthful paramours. There was Luna, a psychotic kung-fu grasp from season two; Ebony, his probably soulmate from season thre; and Kardashia, a knock-off Kardashian from season 4. Nevertheless, none of them evaluate to Cristal, who’s, in line with Riley, a “faux ass Mariah Carey” lookalike who takes full benefit of being spoiled by her sugar Granddad(dy). Huey and Riley discover that Cristal displays the conduct of a stripper with a felony previous; and, certain sufficient, that’s confirmed when Katt Williams cameos as A Pimp Named Slickback.
8. “It is a Black President, Huey Freeman” [Season 3, Episode 1]
Airdate: Might 2, 2010
Focused Topic: My President is Black!
“If the election is faux, then what’s actually occurring?” – Werner Herzog
“The tip of America” – Huey
When German documentarian Werner Herzog reveals as much as Woodcrest, he meets a skeptical Huey whose detached in regards to the hype of Barack Obama’s presidency. To start with, Herzog learns the apathy comes from Obama “denouncing, repudiating, and condemning” Huey whose labeled a home terrorist through the 2008 election. Everybody else in Woodcrest— apart from Uncle Ruckus— are excited for a Black President. Thugnificent, who had no clue about Obama previous to studying his ethnicity, even goes towards his model by becoming a member of will.i.am’s anthem “Dick Driving Obama.”
Nevertheless, as years settle into Obama’s time period, the residents of Woodcrest study how voting on simply identification politics can lead to laws they don’t align with (ie Granddad having to pay increased taxes). By way of all this, Huey continues to be detached on American historical past made.
7. “Smokin’ With Cigarettes” [Season 3, Episode 6]
Airdate: June 6, 2010
Focused Topic: Children Who misbehave and meet viral stardom
“It’s enjoyable to do unhealthy issues” – Lamilton Taeshawn
Riley typically likes to do unhealthy issues out of sheer boredom as an eight-year-old, however he proved he couldn’t dangle together with his classmate Lamilton Taeshawn, a spoof of the real-life “unhealthy child” Latrian Milton. Lamilton enjoys joyriding, attacking his grandmother for not ordering the appropriate rooster, and “smokin’ wit cigawettes.” When Riley learns he has to interrupt away from his newly unhealthy affect by Robert’s belt-whooping instructions, Lamilton turns into much more obsessive and controlling about their friendship.
6. “The Story of Thugnificient” [Season 2, Episode 5]
Airdate: November 5, 2007
Focused Topic: Generational Gaps
“And I began pondering to myself, ‘rattling what did he do to make them niggas that mad?'” – Thugnificient
Likelihood is any Twitter person that’s stumbled upon an intense battle video on the platform after which searches by the feedback have seen the above quote in meme or gif kind. This hilarious sound clip occurs lower than a minute into the episode when Thugnificient recounts to MTV’s Sway Calloway a deadly capturing, stomping, and “dump” he witnessed on his hometown block. The rapper hails from Terra-Belle, Georgia, which is the third world polar reverse of town’s that means, “Lovely Earth.”
Thugnificient’s transfer to the upper-middle-class Woodcrest is a swift change of tempo for his neighbors who’re followers and granddad who shouldn’t be. Consequently, Thugnificient begins a rap beef with the diss observe and video “Eff Granddad“ (that includes Nate Dogg) after Robert recordsdata a criticism in regards to the rapper’s extreme home events.
5. “The Story of Gangstalicious Half 2” [Season 2, Episode 13]
Airdate: February 4, 2008
Focused Topic: “The Homosexual Agenda,” Masculinity, and sexuality in Rap
“The next is a piece of fiction. Any resemblance to precise gay-ass rappers is coincidental. Critically, we’re not speaking about anyone in any respect.” – Opening credit
On the core of some controversial moments on The Boondocks is the sequence’ unabashed angle at confronting homophobia within the Black neighborhood. From Riley having the signature catchphrase “y’all niggas homosexual” being “no homo” adjoining, to witnessing his favourite rapper, Gangstalicious, kiss an ex-homie at gunpoint in Season one. After surviving that just about deadly attraction, Gangstalicious has graduated from “Thuggin Love” to his new hit “Homies Over Hoes.” Quickly, Thugnificient buys into the recognition of the only, which ends up in Gangstalicious beginning a vogue line with extra female silhouettes and designs. Granddad fears Riley may very well be homosexual, whereas his grandson is definitely disillusioned he’s the most important fan of a semi-outted rapper nonetheless within the closet.
4. “The Shade of Ruckus” [Season 3, Episode 14]
Airdate: August 8, 2010
Focused Topic: Uncle Toms
“Nigga, did I simply catch you having enjoyable?” – Mr. Ruckus aka Uncle’s father
Up till this episode, it was by no means totally defined why Uncle Ruckus was racist in direction of his personal folks, particularly together with his darkish complexion. He had talked about having “revitiligo,” a case of going from white to again á la Benjamin Button, however with pores and skin tone. On this episode, Ruckus is susceptible about his deep-rooted hatred towards himself, as his household visits proper earlier than his grandmother dies. Rooted in similarities to The Shade Purple and Valuable, the story of Ruckus enduring home abuse by the hands of his overworked father and appreciation of white tradition from his black mother explains why the antagonist has no challenge with utilizing the “-er” ending and launching bricks at black leaders.
3. “Granddad’s Battle” [Season 1, Episode 4]
Airdate: November 27, 2005
Focused Topic: Black on Black violence
“Webster’s defines the nigga second as a second when ignorance overwhelms the thoughts of an in any other case logical negro male. Inflicting him to behave in an illogical, self-destructive method, i.e. like a nigga.” – Huey
This Boondocks episode teaches viewers the origins of a “nigga second.” Examples embody when two black males stumble upon one another whereas crossing the road, leading to a shootout, or a chair being flung at Eat Grime throughout a hip hop award present. Within the case of The Freemans: a blind and menacing Colonel H. Stinkmeaner parks into Robert’s automotive and steps on his new Nikes. After that altercation, Granddad turns into the viral laughing inventory of Woodcrest as he missed his punch and falls on the pavement. Though Granddad trains up for his or her subsequent public battle which attracts a ticketed viewers, he finally ends up by chance killing Stinkmeaner. In fact, the villain’s ghost returns again as soon as each season to proceed haunting the protagonists.
2. “The Trial of R. Kelly” [Season 1, Episode 2]
Airdate: November 13, 2005
Focused Topic: R. Kelly…
“Everyone knows the nigga can sing however what occurred to straightforward, what occurred to reveal minimal? You a fan of R. Kelly? You wanna assist R. Kelly? Then get some counseling for R. Kelly…However don’t faux the person is a hero.” – Huey Freeman
In the course of the press run and social media firestorm revolving round Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly docuseries in January 2019, The Undefeatedreached out to Aaron McGruder. This Boondocks episode completely captured the stress between “Free R. Kelly” supporters (Riley being one) and people wanting him locked up (Tom DuBois being the prosecution) throughout his little one pornography trial. It dismantled some hypocrisies of the justice system whereas additionally highlighting “the extent niggas love R. Kelly” and had been prepared to miss the mountain of reported proof and allegations.
As stunning because the episode is — together with a lampooned courtroom testimony from a 14-year-old “prepared participant”— the sobering second comes when Huey stops a bandit-masked R. Kelly’s lip-syncing efficiency mid-closing arguments to ship a monologue about “requirements.” When requested in regards to the resurgent relevance of that episode 14 years later, McGruder merely responded: “that’s loopy.”
1. “Return of the King” [Season 1, Episode 9]
Airdate: January 15, 2006
Focused Topic: Black Society At Giant
“Niggas love to listen to themselves discuss however hate to elucidate!” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Because the holy grail of Boondocks episodes, this executes probably the greatest hypothetical conditions on how historical past might have modified. What if Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t die following his 1968 assassination try, and as an alternative awoke from a 32-year coma? It will lead to him staying with The Freemans to rebuild his model, after he turns into considered one of America’s most hated people for suggesting to “flip the opposite cheek” and forgive the nation’s foes.
As Dr. King is getting readjusted to life within the millennium age, he experiences BET in it’s “Booty Butt Cheeks” music video period, McWuncler’s utilizing his face to advertise sandwiches, and the way an city promotions agency can flip a church right into a nightclub. By way of all of it, Dr. King has had sufficient and delivers a revamped “I Have A Dream” speech about “Niggas.” He strikes to Canada after his phrases spark a black revolution, and Oprah is elected president. The episode went on the winThe Boondocks a Peabody Award.
Da’Shan Smith is a popular culture author based mostly out of New York Metropolis. You’ll be able to comply with him @nightshawn101