Ahead of the premiere of ‘Hey Hey It’s 50 Years’ on Sunday night, host Daryl Somers joined Jonesy & Amanda to chat about the history of the show as well as some controversial moments that have come to light, most notably those involving Harry Connick Jr and Kamahl.
Back in 2009, Harry Connick Jr – who made an appearance on Hey Hey’s second reunion special – condemned a blackface skit during the show’s Red Faces talent segment. The US crooner took offence to the act which saw five men covered in black face paint and black wigs re-enact a ‘Jackson Jive’ skit.
Similarly, earlier this year, a video clip posted to Twitter showed Kamahl being clocked in the face with white powder by Somers and fellow cast member, John Blackman, in 1984.
Following this, Blackman said that this made Kamahl a “real white man”.
Hear what Daryl Somers has to say about these incidents as well as the new show:
Kamahl expressed his humiliation at the skit, telling The Guardian: “There were a number of instances where I felt humiliated, but I didn’t want to raise any objections or protest about it. I kept smiling and pretending all was OK.”
He added, “I found that quite offensive… Friends of mine in America saw that and to this day they can’t believe that somebody would treat an artist with that amount of disrespect.”
Somers has since apologised to Kamahl.