Lenny Henry tells the story of the first great Black comedian, Bert Williams.

As part of a double act with George Walker, Bert became a star in musical comedy and vaudeville in the latter years of the 19th Century.

But when a solo career led him to record monologues and comedy songs, he became a huge success, even though that success was built on playing the racial stereotype.

His biggest hit, Nobody, encapsulated both the isolation of the everyman, and the plight of the Black man in America at the beginning of the 20th Century.

Broadcast Dates

  • 20060516