|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is co-writer and executive producer of "On the Shoulders of Giants: The Story of the Greatest Team You Never Heard Of," a documentary about the greatest basketball team you've never seen -- the Harlem Rens. Also called the New York Renaissance, the Harlem Renaissance Big Five and, simply, the Rens, they turned the ballroom part of the Harlem Renaissance Casino and Ballroom into their home court.
n their three-decade history (1923-1949) they scored more consecutive wins than any other professional basketball team and also blazed trails as the first all-black team to emerge the victor of a world-championship game. The documentary is available today on demand from Netflix -- I may have to reopen my Netflix membership to see it -- and in this interview with Stephen Colbert on last night's edition of "The Colbert Report," Abdul-Jabbar makes it sound fascinating and exciting.
Abdul-Jabber says the Rens were an indelible part of Harlem's jazz and general cultural explosion in the 1920s and 1930s. After hearing Abdul-Jabbar discuss the links between jazz and basketball, Colbert calls Abdul-Jabbar one of the greatest jazz musicians who ever lived.
Watch the Colbert segment above, and if you're home Friday night at 7:30, turn on the whole show, which includes, in deference to tomorrow's impending rapture\apocalypse (depending on your interpretation), includes his goodbye history of to the world, culminating with Colbert's invention of the word "truthiness." It will be a jolly start for your movie-going or movie-staying-in weekend.