Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle’s Radio Show Got Calls from Prisoners

Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle’s Radio Show Got Calls from Prisoners


-Welcome to the show, fellas.
-Yeah! -Yeah!
-Whoo! -It is lovely to have you back
in the building. We first met when
I was on “SNL,” and you guys were writers for
the previous iteration of “Late Night” with Jimmy Fallon. -That’s right. That’s right.
It’s good to be back here. -We were there for like
four years. We were, like,
literally, I think, like the fourth or
fifth people they hired. -That’s right.
-The building was empty. -The building was empty.
And you guys met in college? -We met in college.
-Yeah. -That’s right.
We were not studying. We decided to just, you know,
spend all that time trying to be funny
and make everybody in the lunchroom laugh. -Yeah. Yeah, we actually met
in an a cappella group, because that’s where
the cool kids — -Sure, sure. Yes. Yeah, usually,
like, no nerds allowed. -No, no, no.
-No, no. Nerds, please.
You got to get recruited. -Yeah. And this was at Harvard,
so you have to have a place where no nerds
are allowed. -Right. Yeah, yeah. -Or, otherwise,
they’ll just be everywhere. -They’ll be everywhere, man.
-You were a deejay. Graveyard shift. -Actually, okay,
embarrassing story. I fell asleep in
the law library one night. And lost my term-time job. So I actually just started,
you know, spinning records and I would charge less than
the other deejays, so that was how I — -And is it true that you were
2:00 to 6:00 a.m.? -Yeah.
-Oh, yeah, on WHRB. -That’s right.
We had a radio show. -And, by the way,
if you are a radio deejay at that time of night,
the only people calling in are usually prisoners. -Prisoners.
-Uh-huh. -Shout-out,
Bill and Rick in prison. -Yeah, shout-out to
Bill and Rick in prison. Eric in E-block, I see you, man. Hey, my man, we made it, bro. Two of us made it. But I would bring him
to the studio sometimes and I would be like,
“Hey, Bashir, will you pretend to be, like,
a dance-hall artist?” And, so, I’d be like,
“Hey, in the studio with me now, I have a Jamaican artist
Blue Nile Crocodile Ranks.” -Go on, bred’ren. -Yeah. -And then, of course, our
Jamaican friends would say, “We don’t sound like that.” -“That is the fakest patois
I’ve ever heard.” Please don’t ever do that again. -You guys — This is very hard
to accomplish, and I want to congratulate you. You have two shows
on the air right now. -That’s right.
-Yeah, thank you. Yeah. -You have
“Sherman’s Showcase” on IFC. [ Cheers and applause ] And you have “South Side”
on Comedy Central. -“South Side,” yeah. -And “South Side” — Bashir,
your wife is in the show, and your brother is in the show. -My business/writing partner,
two of my boys from high school. Literally every child
my mother had is on that air at some point. -Did it sort of —
Did the idea for the show come from the fact that you
had so many people that fit into
this story so well? -Well, you know what it was
is that we wanted to do a show
about one of our hometowns. Originally, we were going
to do a show about Diallo’s hometown of Atlanta. ATL in the house.
-Yep. -But we ended up doing a show —
-Whoo! -Hey, the one guy. We ended up doing a show
about Chicago. You know, so much about what you
hear about the city is — It’s maligned
and it’s, like, tough stuff, and I’m like, “That’s not
what I grew up with. My city is vibrant and fun.” So we thought,
“Let’s have Chicagoans speak for themselves.” So most of the folks you see
on our show — not even professional actors, just the funniest people
we know. -And I should point out that
it is also — [ Cheers and applause ]
-Thank you. It’s also honest and authentic.
-Yes. -It doesn’t run away from
the things that are true about Chicago,
but it also shows that it is not this dire situation. -Oh, no. We start from the reality,
but we say the people who live there — you know,
they don’t walk around all day with their heads,
you know, hanging down, trying to figure out how to make
it through another day while blues plays in
the background. Which, by the way, would
be amazing. But, no, they find joy
and they find spark and they find spirit. And, so, once the city
started showing its true colors to America,
the response has been amazing. Season 2 is happening, y’all. It’s going to be a great time.
[ Cheers and applause ]

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