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Chris Rock, Anthony Anderson, Tichina Arnold, Charlie Murphy, Paul Mooney and Others Join Star-Studded 2005 BET COMEDY AWARDS Talent Lineup

Martin Lawrence to Receive BET's Comedy Icon Award, Steve Harvey Hosting for the Second Consecutive Year

Taped on September 25 at Pasadena's Historic Civic Center Auditorium, Laugh-filled Telecast Airs Tuesday, September 27 @ 9 PM ET/PT

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- BET announced today the addition of superstar comedian/actor and 2005 BET COMEDY AWARDS triple nominee Chris Rock to its star-studded talent lineup when the network honors the funniest performances in film, television and stand-up with the second annual telecast. Hosted by legendary actor/comedian and radio personality Steve Harvey, the 2005 BET COMEDY AWARDS premieres on Tuesday, September 27, 2005, at 9 p.m. ET/PT and tapes in front of a live audience at the historic Pasadena Civic Auditorium on Sunday, September 25.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050916/DCF028 )

Chris Rock, famed for his quick wit and insightful social commentary, is currently starring in a situation comedy based on his childhood, "Everybody Hates Chris" (UPN). Rock also recently starred in "The Longest Yard," as well as the animated hit film "Madagascar," both of which earned him 2005 BET COMEDY AWARD nominations.

Actors Anthony Anderson ("The Shield," "Hustle and Flow") and Tichina Arnold ("Martin," "Everybody Hates Chris") will co-host the 2005 BET Comedy Awards Pre-Show and join other 2005 BET COMEDY AWARDS comedians/stand-up performers and presenters Paul Mooney, BET ComicView's new host and Platinum Mic Stand-Up Award nominee Sheryl Underwood ("Beauty Shop,""Bulworth"), Charlie Murphy ("Dave Chappelle Show"), Donnell Rawlings ("Spiderman 2," "Dave Chappelle Show"), Sommore ("Soul Plane," "Friday After Next"), JB Smoove ("Saturday Night Live," "Pootie Tang"), Tyler Perry ("Diary of a Mad Black Woman"), and Katt Williams ("The Tracy Morgan Show," "Friday After Next"). These comedic all-stars will also share screen time with the night's designated in house DJ, recording artist DJ Jazzy Jeff, Earthquake (HBO's "One Night Stand"), Patrice O'Neal ("25th Hour," "Head of State"), former BET ComicView host Rickey Smiley, and rapper Flava Flav. Singer Teairra Mari, who recorded the smash 2005 hit "Make Her Feel Good," will be one of several scheduled musical performers.

Martin Lawrence will be presented the prestigious BET COMEDY ICON AWARD for his tremendous body of work during a multi-faceted career in stand-up comedy, film and television. Lawrence has starred in and executive produced the long-running television show "Martin," and had starring turns in such movies as "Bad Boys I & II," "Big Momma's House," "A Thin Line Between Love and Hate," "National Security" and "What's the Worst That Could Happen?"

Also slated to attend are actors/comedians Mo'Nique ("The Parkers," "Mo'Nique's Fat Chance"), Tommy Davidson ("In Living Color," "The Proud Family"), Shemar Moore ("Diary of a Mad Black Woman"), Robert Townsend ("The Parent 'Hood," "Motown Live"), Tracee Ellis Ross ("Girlfriends"), Jill Marie Jones ("Girlfriends"), Duane Martin ("All of Us," "Deliver Us from Eva"), Tisha Campbell Martin ("My Wife and Kids," "Martin"), Flex Alexander ("One on One"), Raven Symone ("That's So Raven"), Guy Torry ("Last Friday"), Omarosa ("Apprentice"), and Judge Mablean Ephriam ("Divorce Court").

The 2005 BET COMEDY AWARDS will unveil a new category, the "Outstanding DVD Release," which includes nominees Bruce Bruce (Bruce Bruce - Ventura Distribution); Chris Rock (Never Scared - Warner Home Video); Dave Chappelle, (Chappelle Show, 2nd Season - Paramount Home Video); DL Hughley (Live - Ventura Distribution); and host Steve Harvey (One Man - 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment).

Other top nominees include "The Bernie Mac Show" (FOX), followed by "My Wife and Kids" (ABC), "Girlfriends" (UPN), "All of Us" (UPN) and "Half and Half" (UPN). Topping the box office list is "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," and "Beauty Shop," while breakout performers Bernie Mac, Chris Rock, Queen Latifah, Damon Wayans, Tyler Perry, Ice Cube and Eve are recognized across a spectrum of categories for their outstanding work.

BET has launched a national marketing campaign, which includes radio advertising and promotions, national television blitzes on BET and other Viacom-owned networks, print ads in popular African American publications, local cable buys, contests, grassroots promotions and an extensive media relations initiative surrounding the celebrity nominees. Street promotions include ticket give-aways at 20 comedy clubs from September 15 - 25: and on September 26 and 27, clowns on stilts will hit the streets to get the word out about the show airing on September 27, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.


BET, a subsidiary of Viacom, Inc. (NYSE:VIA) (NYSE:and) (NYSE:VIA.B) , is the nation's leading television network providing quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs programming for the African-American audience. The BET Network reaches more than 80 million households according to Nielsen media research, and can be seen in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. BET is a dominant consumer brand in the urban marketplace with a diverse group of branded businesses: BET.com, the Number 1 Internet portal for African Americans; BET Digital Networks -- BET Jazz, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Event Productions, specializing in a full range of event production services, including event management, venue selection, talent recruitment, sound, lighting and stage production; and BET Books, the nation's leading publisher of African-American themed romance novels under the Arabesque imprint, which also publishes compelling fiction under the Sepia imprint and inspirational fiction and nonfiction under the New Spirit imprint.
Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050916/DCF028
AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/
AP PhotoExpress Network: PRN2
PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com

Source: BET (Black Entertainment Television)

CONTACT: Tosha Whitten-Griggs of BET, +1-818-655-6712,
tosha.whitten-griggs@bet.net; or Amber Koger of Bobbi Marcus PR,
+1-310-889-9200, amber@bobbimarcuspr.com, for BET

Web site: http://www.bet.com/

NOTE TO EDITORS: The 2005 COMEDY AWARDS logo, downloadable photography of the host and select nominees, as well as BET COMEDY AWARDS credentials requests submission are available at www.bet.com/pr. For more details, please contact Tosha Whitten-Griggs at 818-655-6712, tosha.whitten-griggs@bet.net or Amber Koger at Bobbi Marcus PR at 310-889-9200, amber@bobbimarcuspr.com

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