The film will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday, June 19th as part of the fest’s inaugural Juneteenth programming slate. The One and Only Dick Gregory will then arrive on Showtime on July 4th.
In this clip from the documentary, the film digs into how the late Gregory’s routines about the Vietnam War drew the ire of the FBI, who opened an investigation after J. Edgar Hoover wrote in a memo, “Watch this negro comedian Dick Gregory.”
The film was directed by Andre Gaines with Kevin Hart and Lena Waithe among the executive producers. The One and Only Dick Gregory also features interviews with some of the comedians he inspired — Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Wanda Sykes and more — as well as music by the Roots’ Black Thought. Gregory died in August 2017 at the age of 84.
“Dick Gregory is as present to me now as he was when I first started filming him six years ago — a trivial length of time when compared to the nearly six decades that this one man so greatly influenced American history, comedy, activism, and nutrition,” Gaines said in a statement. “He emptied himself completely for the movement, and while the enormity of his sacrifices are rarely acknowledged, he gave every artist a master class for what it truly means to both entertain and educate. Knowing Dick Gregory was a transformative experience that not only influenced the making of this film, but me as a man.”