The genre now known as Blaxploitation is mix of grit, racial commentary, black power, stereotype and more, all through the perspective of the crazy decade of the 1970s. And all that makes it a good target for satire.
That's the goal of "Black Dynamite" (11:30 p.m. tonight, Adult Swim), a raucous, raunchy, sometimes funny cartoon based on the 2009 film of the same name.
Black Dynamite is the name of the central character voiced by actor Michael Jai White; he's a tough kung-fu fighting pimp/community hero (he runs a Whorphanage, a place for prostitutes and parent-less kids) who takes on any number of adventures against the Man. His sidekick is Bullhorn (Byron Minns); Cream Corn (Tommy Davidson) is the requisite comic relief, and HoneyBee (Kym Whitley) is the head hooker with a heart.
In the episode I screened (which may not be the one shown tonight), Black Dynamite owes the IRS some money and they are coming after him with the ferociousness of the Mob --- guns blazing. To raise money to pay them off, he gets a job to make sure comedian Richard Pryor (voiced by Orlando Jones) makes it for his legendary show live on the Sunset Strip.
The premise of the episode is funny, but it doesn't quite deliver. There's lots of clever ideas (and foul language), yet I didn't often make it from a smile to a full laugh. I think it tries a little too hard. But I loved Jones' Pryor impersonation.
I get the feeling that sometimes "Black Dynamite" will be hilarious and sometimes it will just miss, similar to "The Boondocks," the cartoon closest to its sensibility. (A producer/writer on "The Boondocks" worked on this too.)
That means it will be taking chances. I'd call it a worthwhile option for late night viewing.