As Salita Malik reminds us, black people1 have been part of the British ‘entertainment industry’ since early modern times (Malik 91) and they ‘appeared on British television on the first day of transmission when the African-American performer, Josephine Baker, participated in one of John Logie Baird’s experimental television broadcasts from his London studio in October 1933’ (4). However, throughout its subsequent TV history, the ‘blacks as entertainers’ tradition raises the question of ‘whether images of Blackness in television comedy “play on” or “play off” the long-established Black clown stereotype, and whether we are being invited to laugh with or at the Black comic entertainer’ (92). Despite — or because of? — its great success, this is also a central question frequently asked in connection with the first all-Asian sketch show on British television, Goodness Gracious Me (BBC2 1998–2001), which will be at the centre of this chapter (Emig; Gillespie; Mendes; Weedon). But before turning to the show and attempting to answer the question, let me briefly introduce the cultural context of black and Asian British television comedy.