Comics Alive! is not about playing favorites, but Dave Chappelle is arguably the greatest comedian of all time. That’s not just our opinion either. Many people, comedians included, would completely agree that Chappelle is the G.O.A.T.
Dave Chappelle started on the scene when he was 14 years old and he’s been putting audiences through severe abdomen pain ever since. He is so good that even after telling Comedy Central to shove 50 million dollars up their asses, going on hiatus, having countless rumors surrounding his decision and whereabouts, and playing a handful of small shows over a number of years, he was able to bounce back as if nothing ever happened.
What we ended up with though, is another story. The Dave Chappelle we know now is a different person and performer than the one we used to know. They are both hilarious, with the differences manifesting themselves in a few ways.
Back in the day Dave Chappelle would tell funny drug stories that were playful and lighthearted. While it may have been fueled by an eagerness to fit in or win the crowd, the content and delivery was top-of-the-line and the jokes were something in which everyone could find the humor. His voice had a high pitch to it and his gangly non-threatening body type made everyone feel at ease, as if they were all in on the joke together.
Killin’ Them Softly and For What It’s Worth are still two of the very best stand-up specials ever. They are so well written and performed by Chappelle that they hold weight even today and alone could solidify his position as one of the best comedians ever.
When it comes to comedy, Dave Chappelle has changed in some ways and in others he has not. He still has hilarious stories and still dominates through superior content and delivery. His bits deliver comedy gold throughout the entire setup right into the punchline. Then when you’ve gone temporarily blind and deaf from laughing so hard, he’ll add a tag that’ll have you curling into the fetal position.
What has changed though, is Dave Chappelle himself. Not just in his impressive physique or somehow deeper, raspier voice, but a far more experienced Chappelle has developed a level of cynicism and seriousness due to Hollywood’s treatment of him and other funny people. His topics range from playful to intense, but the biggest change has come from Chappelle’s attitude. He seems to longer give a fuck what the crowd or the critics think. His jokes are funny, people laugh, and ultimately that’s what comics get paid for.
He Hasn’t Changed as Much as the Audience
One of the biggest complaints we hear from comedians today, is that the audience has changed. More so on the fringe and the complainers. The internet does a lot of great things for comedy (check out the Andrew Schulz article here) but it has also given voices to people that we didn’t have to listen to years ago. Today’s “woke” culture does everything it can to find some form of hatred or discrimination in everything, even if it doesn’t exist.
For Dave Chappelle, this new revelation of outrageous outrage means something very different to him than it does to many other comics. It has not stopped him or slowed him down. In fact, Chappelle seems to be fueled by the immature behavior of those that want to call people out for old opinions, jokes, mishaps, being insensitive to others, or even worse – woke people that are offended on behalf of others. By all accounts Dave Chappelle seems to be a very friendly and caring person, but when it comes to comedy, he couldn’t care less if your feelings are hurt and he shouldn’t because he’s just telling jokes.
In the most recent special, Sticks and Stones, Chappelle addresses this idiocy and calls out the entire crowd and everyone watching at home. He does a technically terrible but delightfully accurate impression of all the people that jump on board with cancelling a famous person for something they may or may not have done many years prior. One can only hope the irony was not lost on the crowd and that the majority understand while they may not be the ones crying out, if they automatically agree without using their critical thinking skills, they could very well be perpetuating unnecessary social justice.
Regardless of the political or social climate, Dave Chappelle is a virtually unsinkable ship. He reminds us why we need to unplug from the dregs of social media and the news and just enjoy good comedy for what it is – entertainment.
Comics Alive! would like to send a heartfelt thank you to Dave Chappelle for all of the great comedy he’s put out over the years from the specials, to Chappelle’s Show, to his roles in movies. You’ve been a massive contribution to our appreciation of comedy. Cheers!
Check out Sticks & Stones and Dave Chappelle’s other comedy specials on Netflix.
Chappelle’s Show is available on Crave and individual sketches are available on YouTube.
Here’s one of Chappelle’s Show’s highest rated sketches and to many, the funniest sketch ever: https://www.snotr.com/video/3726/Dave_Chappelle