DAVE CHAPPELLE: STICKS AND STONES
Dave Chappelle still has the power to shock and make you laugh. He is probably the least cautious famous comedian out there. While other comedians might feel hemmed in, or want to not wake the woke Twitter mob, Dave Chappelle says fuck it. He has made a career of surprising people and not fitting nicely into any easy box. All while being truly funny.
In the early 2000s, Chappelle was one of the most exciting comedians in America. He was a comedian’s comedian and his 2003 TV series, Chappelle’s Show, was the Key and Peele of its time. I’m Rick James, Bitch became a hipster catchphrase before we had hipsters, and probably brought calling men ‘bitch’ into the mainstream. After signing a $50 million dollar multi-year deal, he was on top of the world.
But Dave Chappelle wasn’t happy. He was burdened with the belief that he was selling out black people with a modern sort of minstrel show. To oversimplify a bit, he felt that he, powered by his mostly white writing staff, was using black culture to make white people laugh at black people.
So we walked away. He stopped the successful show, walked away from millions of dollars, and went on a pilgrimage to Africa to find inner peace. And he dropped off the radar.
After a multiyear year hiatus, he returned to fulltime stand up and signed a multi-special deal with Netflix, all of which are good (earning him a rumored $20 million each).
And now his new one has dropped, and it is perhaps his funniest. It is certainly surprising, shocking and unconventional in its opinions. Indeed, from defending Michael Jackson (he does not believe the accusers) to asking pointed questions about the LBGTQ community, there are places that no other (big name) comedian would dare to tread.
Watch this show now. It is very funny stuff.