Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Long before he headlined his own cutting-edge Comedy Central sketch series, African-Amercian comedian Dave Chappelle was the co-star of the conformist ABC sitcom Buddies. Chappelle and Christopher Gartin were cast as black Chicagoan Dave Carlisle and Dave's lifelong white pal John Butler, who ran a small videotaping company called Hi-Intensity. Hoping to break into the big time and land a Hollywood contract, our heroes exercised their auteur filmmaking muscles at various Windy City social functions, including weddings, birthday parties, Bar Mitzvahs, and funerals. Also in the cast was Paula Cale as John's wacky young bride Lorraine, Tanya Wright as Dave's sassy girlfriend Phyllis Brooks, Judith Ivey as Lorraine's trailer trash, epithet-spouting mother Maureen "Mo" DeMoss, and former Shaft star Richard Roundtree as Dave's father -- and Hi-Intensity's no-nonsense landlord. Debuting March 5, 1996, as a spin-off of the successful ABC comedy series Home Improvement, Buddies fell far short of matching its parent series' success; it was canceled after five weeks, leaving eight of its completed episodes unshown. The entire series has since that time been released on DVD, to capitalize on Dave Chappelle's latter-day popularity.