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Tired of kiddie cartoons but love animated series? Showmax is now home to a bunch of titles from boundary-pushing, satire-producing, laugh machine production house Adult Swim. (You can catch up on these titles here: Robot Chicken, Samurai Jack, Rick and Morty, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Jellies and more). But there is one that comedy/satire/parody fans need to watch: Black Jesus (the 10-episode first season can be found here).

Imagine if Jesus came back to save mankind again. But instead of the holy land of Jerusalem, he’s in the middle of the infamous gang-land LA neighbourhood of Compton. And instead of turning water to wine at a wedding, he’s turning grapes into malt liquor at a house party.

That’s the kind of intelligent, un-PC humour that attracted Slink Johnson to the role, as he explained to “I wasn’t hesitant at all to do a show with this kind of content. I was like okay, let’s do it. Already being a fan of Aaron McGruder’s work (animated series The Boondocks), I knew he would do something that would be smart, funny and thought-provoking. I knew the guy would make some quality product. He’s a shining representation of us here in Hollywood.”

Like the show’s creator and Adult Swim, Slink is quick to add that Black Jesus is about having a laugh, about looking at the world in a light-hearted way. Although he’s quick to add that telling his granny took a bit of courage. “I told my parents as soon as I got home. Back when it was a web series, I was like, ‘Mama, I’m finna play Jesus, mama.’ Long before I cashed a check from the role, I enjoyed it and had fun doing it. It felt good and it feels right. I don’t feel like I’m hurting anybody. I don’t feel like I’m disrespecting anybody.”

Not everyone saw it that way, but Slink and his crew were expecting some form of backlash, as he told “I wasn’t surprised by it at all. Because we’re dealing with a faith and a central figure to that faith. A lot of people want to be up in arms, but I feel confident in the idea that I believe in god, I believe in Jesus – and I believe that Jesus had a sense of humour.”

Want to test your sense of humour in accordance with the behaviour, attitude and lessons taught by Black Jesus? Check out these episodes.

Episode 1

Black Jesus reminds his gang of “apostles” that he died for their sins after they complain that he smokes all of their Mary Jane. Their comeback? “It’s 2014 years later – how are you still holding that over us?”

Episode 2

Who wants loaves of bread and fish to feed the masses when Black Jesus can start a community veggie garden? The only person not pleased is the Judas of the gang – apartment manager Vic (the late Charlie Murphy).

Episodes 6 & 8

Black Jesus wants to sow goodwill among all, getting enemies to forgive one another and be able to sit down at the dinner table and break bread together. But first he’ll have to stop Vic from wanting to pop a cap in one of his crew.

Episode 10

Persecuted by the five-0 (that’s the po-po, the police, the coppers, etc), like his Biblical counterpart, Black Jesus goes on the run to avoid jail time.

No matter how great or small the problem, Black Jesus is always on hand to offer religious counsel, advice and possibly even share a toke on his spliff, all in the name of peace amongst men.

Watch now »

Please note: This is a light-hearted article about a light-hearted show. It does not in any way reflect the opinions of Showmax or the author.

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