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'Our Show Really Makes You Laugh': Bashir Salahuddin & Diallo Riddle On Comedy Central's 'South Side'

(CBS Local)-- Bashir Salahuddin is a native of the south side of Chicago and he wanted to use his television series to show what Chicago is really like.

Salahuddin teamed up with his longtime friend Diallo Riddle to create "South Side" on Comedy Central, a comedy about two friends that just graduated from community college and work at a rent-to-own store in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood before they can pursue their dreams of becoming venture capitalsts.

"We wanted to do a comedy about one of our hometowns," said Salahuddin in an interview with CBS Local's DJ Sixsmith. "Diallo is from Atlanta, Georgia and we had done a couple of pilots about that. I'm from the south side of Chicago and the thing that gave us more of a push to get the show right is the perception. How it is perceived on television was not my experience. My friends and family found it to be a place that had some challenges, but mostly we had a good time. There's so much dimension and so much beauty and we really wanted to bring out the joy and happiness I grew up with. I think we tapped into something special."

"When I'm in Chicago, I feel like I'm in a place that's a lot like Atlanta," said Riddle. "Both Bashir and I came from working class families. We both came from areas that had their challenges, but at the end of the day there is so much diversity within the black community. We always wanted to show that. We grew up big fans of Coming To America."


Season one of "South Side" is currently streaming for free on the Comedy Central website throughout the month of April. In addition to creating TV shows, Salahuddin and Riddle were also writers on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" when he brought the show back to New York. The creators of "South Side" can go joke for joke with just about anyone in Hollywood and comedy serves a key role in telling the story of Chicago.

"Comedy for me is such a universal language," said Salahuddin. "If you can make people laugh, it's so special to be able to do that. I feel really lucky that Diallo and I together have this tremendous love of comedy. Both of us come from big families and you have to be aggressive to get your voice heard. You have to have some personality. This is something we learned writing for Jimmy Fallon. We want to be able to put a smile on peoples' faces after a long day of work. Our comedy requires so many steps and so many levels. We constantly push ourselves and challenge each other on the jokes."

"People responded and said this is the most Chicago show on TV," said Riddle. "We're not necessarily competing with Chicago Fire. It's fun to be thrown in there with all the great Chicago shows. There's a lot of comedy that is very subtle and we do subtle, but we also do big laughs. Our show is one of the ones that really makes you laugh."

Watch all of DJ Sixsmith's interviews from "The Sit-Down" series here.

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