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February 4, 2014

Episode 152: Watermelon Man (1970)

Special Guest: Estelle Parsons & Joe Angio

It's time for the uppity movie.

Jeff Gerber has a problem. He used to be a White insurance salesman. But, now, he’s a Black man. Maybe it was too much soy sauce? Either way, it’s a brand new world for this suburban bigot in Watermelon Man. Join us as we talk about this 1970 satire from Melvin Van Peebles.

Our special guests include Estelle Parsons, the Oscar-winning actress who played "Althea Gerber" and Joe Angio, Director/Producer of How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy It) - a feature documentary on Melvin Van Peebles.

We're joined by Bill by Force from Outside the Cinema as we talk about this Melvin Van Peebles joint.

Listen / Download Now:

Buy Watermelon Man on DVD
Buy the Watermelon Man soundtrack
Check out Melvin Van Peebles wid Laxative (his band)
Learn more about Estelle Parsons in The Velocity of Autumn coming to Broadway in April 2014
Visit the official How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (...and Enjoy It) website
Get your Rated X by an All-White Jury t-shirt
Learn more about Revenge of the Mekons by Joe Angio
The official Badasssss! movie website


1 comment:

  1. The Foreign ViewerMay 19, 2014, 10:05:00 AM

    Hey guys, Andy here...

    Like most people (especially foreign), I heard about mr. Peebles because of his son. I've never seen any of mr. Peebles sr. movies, but I did however see his documentary about black/african-american cinema in the 20th century. He comes off as quite bitter and perhaps militant in that documentary, but I do understand where he's coming from.

    Anyway, I've never heard of the Watermellon Man before, but I still enjoyed this episode a lot since the concept is quite intreguing even today and Mr. Peebles is certainly an interesting and improtant, if controversial, filmmaker.

    There is another movie you haven't mentioned where for a few scenes like in Silver Streek a white man plays a black man, but also a black man plays a white man. It's an excellent 1993 South African slapstick comedy Yankee Zulu. It's in English and I f-ing loved it as a kid. Haven't seen it since, so I can't vauche if it is actually funny to this day or not, but I do recommend you check it out for yourself if you get a chance to, since it is a cult classic in South Africa (as well as to most foreigners who saw it).

    Yankee Zulu (1993)
    Plot from imdb:
    As children, Rhino and Zulu (one white, the other one black) were best friends, until an incident causes them to go their separate ways. They meet up again as adults when Zulu, who has spent years in the United States, has become a wanted criminal. They get involved in a madcap chase involving a great deal of money and the inept members of a racist group called T.U.R.D. (This imdb plot synopsis was written by someone who signed themselves as Georgina Spelvin)

    If you do see it, and like it, you may want to use it as an excuse to do a show around South-African cinema. That could be a very interesting subject, from political, no-budget and cultural viewpoin as well, especially now after a South African won the Oscar for best foreign film few years ago.

    That's all I had to add about this episode. Thanks for another great show.