USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 5 Presents: SPOTLIGHT ON HULU'S WOKE

April 11, 2021, 1:00 P.M. PDT

Live Online Webinar

USC Comedy at the School of Cinematic Arts,
USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative,
and Hulu, invite you to attend


Spotlight on Hulu's WOKE

A Conversation with Co-Creators Keith Knight & Marshall Todd, and Executive Producer/Director Maurice Marable

Moderated by Desa Philadelphia
SCA Communication and Development Writer

The event will begin with a screening of the Woke Season 1 Finale
"Blue Lies Matter" (27 min.)

1:00 P.M. PDT on Sunday, April 11th, 2021


Open to USC Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, and the General Public.

Presented during the USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 5,
taking place from April 9th - 11th, 2021.

Visit the USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 5 Homepage:
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About the Guests


Keith Knight is an award-winning cartoonist whose “Knight Life Chronicles,” and “(th)ink” strips ran for more than a decade in such newspapers as the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Boston Herald. Knight’s funny yet hard-hitting cartoons fuel a comic strip slideshow he tours on America's racial illiteracy called Red, White, Black and Blue. Combining cartoons, storytelling, historical facts, and humor, the slideshow scored him a Belle Foundation grant and a NAACP History Maker award. Knight is also the illustrator of the critically acclaimed tween book, “Jake the Fake Keeps It Real” and he will beat you at pinball.


Marshall Todd currently serves as Executive Producer and co-creator of the Hulu series Woke. Todd’s big break came after the sale of his screenplay TWILIGHT'S LAST FADING (aka ONE NATION) to producers Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich. Since then Todd has become a highly sought-after script doctor working for producers Larry Gordon and Jerry Bruckheimer, including an uncredited rewrite of BAD BOYS 2. From there he became the co-writer of the hit movie BARBERSHOP and ventured into television, selling pitches to USA Network and HBO. After experiencing the rollercoaster ride of big-budget studio writing, Todd decided to take some time away from Hollywood to focus on his next chapter. Back from his sabbatical, he immediately set-up his spec D-TOWN with producer Billy Chartoff (CREED) as well as the half hour comedy Zipcoders with Oscar winner Viola Davis at ABC. Todd currently resides in Los Angeles and is a graduate of Howard University.

MAURICE MARABLE (Executive Producer, Director)

Maurice “Mo” Marable is an experienced Emmy® nominated producer and director. Marable most recently executive produced and directed the entire last three seasons of IFC’s Brookmire with Hank Azaria. He spent several years working as HBO’s in-house Creative Director where we received a nomination for directing the title sequence of Big Love, and introduced the world to Vince and the gang directing the iconic opening for Entourage. After directing Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Vice President Biden in a parody short that opened the 2015 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, he was asked to direct an episode of Veep, which led to many more episodic engagements including Insecure, Suits, The Last O.G., The Game, Lodge 49 and Hap and Leonard. Marable got his start as head of physical production for Spike Lee, later founding his own company Brim + Brew, which is still an active advertising production company.

DESA PHILADELPHIA (Moderator, SCA Communication and Development Writer)

Desa Philadelphia has worked as a journalist for many years, in staff positions at The PBS NewsHour and Time Magazine, as a contributor to CNN, and as a freelance writer, covering politics, culture and entertainment. She has also provided analysis on politics and entertainment for regional and national television and radio programs, on networks that include NPR, PBS and MSNBC. Prior to coming the SCA, Desa was a founding partner of Language Fish LLC, a communications consulting and translation services firm.

Desa is a graduate of City College of New York (CUNY), where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature; and the University of Southern California, where she earned a Master's in Public Diplomacy, a joint degree from the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, and the School of International Relations. She is the author of 111 Shops in Los Angeles That You Must Not Miss—an exploration of the city’s history and personality through the lens of its retail culture.

About Woke

Inspired by the life and work of artist Keith Knight, comedy series Woke takes an absurdly irreverent look at identity and culture as it follows Keef, an African-American cartoonist finally on the verge of mainstream success when an unexpected incident changes everything. With a fresh outlook on the world around him, Keef must now navigate the new voices and ideas that confront and challenge him, all without setting aflame everything he’s already built.

About the USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 5

The 5th Edition of the USC Comedy Festival comes after a year of unprecedented social isolation and demands for social justice. Staring at screens or out in the streets, we learned why we still needed comedy and discovered new ways to make each other laugh in spite of everything. Affiliated with the USC Comedy track at the School of Cinematic Arts and the Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Foundation, the festival will honor legendary performer, impressionist, and character-ologist Bill Hader. Over the course of three days, panels will feature well-known guests such as Aidy Bryant, Demetri Martin, Lisa Kudrow, Lindy West, Matt Besser, Patton Oswalt, and Ramy Youssef; capture new voices exploding onto the scene; and celebrate the work of our newest generation of USC Comedy students.

Visit the USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 5 Homepage:
Follow the USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 5 on Facebook:
Follow the USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 5 on Instagram: @USCComedy
Follow the USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 5 on Twitter: @USCComedy

About USC Comedy at the School of Cinematic Arts

In 2010 USC became the first university in the nation to offer a program dedicated to training filmmakers in the art of comedy. USC Comedy at the School of Cinematic Arts offers instruction in the writing, directing, production as well as the history and theory of comedy. Students work with a distinguished, award-winning faculty of comedy professionals to discover and develop their comedic voices, while getting unrivaled access to the field through workshops, internships, demonstrations and screenings and festivals.

USC Comedy boasts an award-winning faculty that includes Jack Epps Jr. (The Secret of My SuccessLegal EaglesTop Gun), Barnet Kellman (Murphy BrownMad About YouGeorge Lopez), David Isaacs (Cheers, FrasierM*A*S*H*), Robert Townsend (Diary of A Single Mom, The Parent Hood), Rob Schiller (The King of Queens), Andy Cadiff (Last Man Standing, Spin City) John Bowman (Saturday Night LiveIn Living Color), Dave Goetsch (The Big Bang Theory), F J Pratt (Sullivan & Son) and Tim Marx (Young Sheldon), to name just a few.
Our students benefit from the expertise and participation of SCA Comedy Alumni such as Jay Roach (Austin PowersMeet the Parents), Tim Story (Barber ShopRide Along), Judd Apatow (Girls, Superbad, Knocked Up),  Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Spy), Peter Segal (Tommy BoyGet Smart), Gabe Sachs (Freaks and Geeks), Jason Reitman (JunoUp in the Air), Nahnatchka Khan (Fresh Off The Boat), and Prentice Penny (Insecure), among many other luminaries and industry professionals.

For more information, visit:

About USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative

Visions and Voices is a university-wide arts and humanities initiative that is unparalleled in higher education. The initiative was established by USC President C. L. Max Nikias during his tenure as provost in order to fulfill the goals set forth in USC's strategic plan; to communicate USC's core values to students; and to affirm the human spirit. Emphasizing the university's commitment to interdisciplinary approaches, the initiative features a spectacular array of events conceived and organized by faculty and schools throughout the university. The series includes theatrical productions, music and dance performances, conferences, lectures, film screenings and many other special events both on and off campus. Each program invites students to dialogue and interact with artists, writers, professors and special guests. These interactions provide a dynamic experience of the arts and humanities and encourage active exploration of USC's core values, including freedom of inquiry and expression, team spirit, appreciation of diversity, commitment to serving one's community, entrepreneurial spirit, informed risk-taking, ethical conduct and the search for truth.

Visit the Official Visions and Voices Website:
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Follow Visions and Voices on Twitter: @VisionsnVoices


Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago