Wednesday night TV is on a brand new wave, thanks to the comedy duo, Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin. Currently, Diallo and Bashir have 2 shows to get you through hump day, “Southside” on Comedy Central and “Sherman’s Showcase” on IFC. Comedy Hype caught up with the “Southside” and “Sherman’s Showcase” co-creator, Diallo Riddle to get the scoop. According to Riddle he and team at one point wanted Kanye West to help with ‘Southside’s’ theme song but things changed when West starting endorsing MAGA hats.
CH: Your brand new show, “Southside” is getting ready to premiere its 4th episode on Comedy Central next week. For those who don’t know, this show focuses on one of the most influential and culturally-rich parts of America; the Southside of Chicago. What was the inspiration behind creating “Southside”?
DR: Bashir and I have always wanted to do a show about one of our hometowns. We spent 4 years developing a show with HBO about my hometown of Atlanta. Unfortunately, due to some executive changes at HBO, the show wasn’t able to be made. When that situation didn’t pan out, we decided to do a show about Bashir’s hometown of Chicago. We took the show to Comedy Central and explained that we’d like to do a show like “Trailer Park Boys” but based on the Southside of Chicago. There’s actually a funny story about how the premise of “Southside” came about; Bashir’s friends would tell us these cackle-worthy stories about when they worked at a Rent-a-Center on the Southside of Chicago. There was no doubt that we had to build a show around this.
CH: You and Bashir created “Southside” and have your hands all over it behind the scenes. But on the show, you chose not to be the main characters. Why did you make the executive decision to play smaller parts on screen?
DR: We don’t see “Southside” as a show that centers around main characters. The main character is the Southside of Chicago and the people on the show are an ensemble. But also, sometimes we do take a Game of Thrones approach, where an episode will focus on one character in particular and the next week, another character’s journey is highlighted. Honestly, we think it’s more fun that way.
CH: There’s another side of Chicago that rarely gets highlighted when people talk about Chicago; the Westside. Much like the Southside, the Westside is also full of history and culture. Are there also plans to create a spinoff about the Westside of Chicago?
DR: When we had Westside native, Lil Rel Howery, guest star in one of the episodes, we talked about that a lot on set and what exploring that world would look like. I don’t know if we’ll create an entirely new show based on the Westside, but the Westside has a lot of culture that we just might explore more of in season 2.
CH: Speaking of season 2, are there any special guests from Chicago that you’d like to have on the show?
DR: There’s so many special guests that we’d like to have on. In fact, we had a few people in mind for season 1, but their schedules just didn’t align with the show’s shooting schedule. For season 2, we’d love to have Barack, Michelle, or even Barack and Michelle’s dog, Bo. Before he started endorsing the red MAGA hat, we actually wanted Kanye to do our theme song. But we’re super excited for season 2 and all the possibilities that we can explore.
CH: You and Bashir have your hands in so many things and you’re always creating new and exciting content. On Wednesday nights, after viewers enjoy your show “Southside”, what other projects of yours can they watch?
DR: We actually have another show happening on Wednesday nights, it’s called “Sherman’s Showcase”. Bashir plays the character, Sherman McDaniel, who’s sort of like a Don Cornelius type of character. We had some really great artists on the show, such as Ne-Yo, Vic Mensa, Tiffany Haddish, John Legend and Quincy Jones. “Sherman’s Showcase” is our love letter black music and gives the chance to explore the music and create comedy from it.
“Southside” is available every Wednesday, on Comedy Central. “Sherman’s Showcase” is available every Wednesday, on IFC.
Check your local listings for showtimes.