The Knockturnal sits down with the cast of Comedy Central’s “South Side” to discuss the show’s upcoming premiere on July 24.
South Side centers on two friends who recently graduated from community college and are working at a Rent-T-Own in Englewood on the South Side of Chicago. Laughs ensure as both of them wrestle with entrepreneurial aspirations amongst the characters at the Rent-T-Own.
“We grew up around people who had some big personalities,” co-creator and executive producer Bashir Salahuddin said as to where he found inspiration for the characters.
Although Chicago is known for being a funny city, as Salahuddin explained, most of the shows or movies associated with comedy in Chicago are from the North Side: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Blues Brothers,” the troupe Second City, and more. Salahuddin was determined instead to give voice to the oft-underrepresented South Side, thus prompting the eponymous show. ” ‘South Side’ is our dream, it’s our baby,” Salahuddin said. “A lot of what you hear about the city, particularly on the news, is so challenging. That’s a very small piece of a big pie and we want to give you the rest of the pie.”
“It’s rich, it’s layered, and it’s going to make you laugh,” star Sultan Salahuddin agreed.
The show also covers larger topics like gentrification and shifting neighborhoods while humanizing the issues by presenting realistic responses. “We don’t necessarily even want to make a statement about it,” Bashir Salahuddin said. “We just want to have real characters go through with it and watch what they do. I think that is what’s the best commentary.”
Co-creator and fellow executive producer Diallo Riddle expanded on the tone of the show. “We never wanted to do a show that was preachy,” Riddle said.
South Side is filmed on location in Chicago, and has already been hailed by the Chicago Tribune as the “most Chicago show on TV.”
Sultan Salahuddin, Kareme Young, and Chandra Russell star in “South Side,” premiering on Comedy Central on July 24.