Diallo Riddle & Bashir Salahuddin, Creators HBO Max Comedy "South Side"

Brock Swinson • January 11, 2022

“Necessity,” said Bashir Salahuddin, about his path to screenwriting, as he and his writing partner Diallo Riddle were limited in which roles they were given, even in sketch comedy performances in LA.

The duo felt like there had not been a “boisterous black sketch comedy show in LA” since Keenen Ivory Wayans’ In Living Color (1990-1994). “We had goofy sketches, like Malcolm X doing stand-up and then we started doing some video and viral stuff. That was how David Alan Grier and Jimmy Fallon found us, and helped us get our WGA cards.”

One of their first paychecks actually came from Bernie Mac. “I believe he gave us $750," said Riddle, “which at the time felt like we were millionaires. That buys a lot of wigs and make-up,” he added, as they put all of their money back into the business.

Eventually, the writers landed jobs on shows like Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Maya Rudolph Show, Maya & Marty, The Last O.G., and Sherman’s Showcase, with Co-Creator credits for the new sketch comedy show South Side.

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