Dave Chappelle, if you are unfamiliar with his work, is a comedian whose work pushes the boundaries of race, politics, and relationships in his hilarious shows.
Dave took a sudden hiatus from show business. The Chappelle Show, a sketch comedy show that was incredibly popular, was abandoned with no explanation. Chappelle simply dropped out of sight. Upon his return, he told David Letterman, “Technically, I never quit. I’m seven years late for work.” His reasons for taking a break have ranged from burnout and lack of time for his standup career.
In 2006, it was reported that Chappelle took a trip to South Africa, leaving Comedy Central’s deal for a reported $50 million. He surprised everyone with a surprise return in a New York City comedy club in 2013. He was promptly booked on the talk show circuit. His visit with David Letterman was a great way to return. When Letterman asked about leaving such a lucrative deal from Comedy Central, Chappelle responded that in a restaurant, he saw a man worth $100 across the room. “He has $100 million, and we’re eating the same entrée, the difference in lifestyle is miniscule. The only difference between having $10 million and $50 million…” he paused, “… is an astounding $40 million.”
Well, his fans are thrilled that he’s back. He will be appearing in The Neptune Theatre in Seattle from Monday, October 13 through Friday, October 17. Tickets are $55 and Chapelle performs twice each night. Seattle fans will have plenty of opportunities to appreciate his return to the stage.
The Chappelle Show can still be viewed in syndication. He famously impersonated Prince, Rick James, Lil’ Jon, Tiger Woods, and others. He parodied Frontline with a sketch about a blind white supremacist who didn’t know he was black. His cast of recurring characters included crack addict Tyrone Biggums; Chuck Taylor, the white anchor person of a fictional television station; and Leonard Washington, a contestant on Trading Spouses.
Chappelle has also appeared in various other television shows and movies including Con Air, You’ve Got Mail, Screwed, and Undercover Brother.
He has even been subject of several studies and books. His stories and portrayals of individuals from varying ethnic backgrounds are designed to call attention to racial stereotypes. The difference with his skewers of races doesn’t offend because nobody is excluded from his exaggerated portrayals. He shows no mercy towards anyone and basically challenges people of all backgrounds. He uses all of his linguistic tools to effortlessly mock everyone from middle class white people to President Obama.
If you are attending one of Chappelle’s shows, prepare to be entertained by edgy, provocative material. If you are easily offended… go anyway. Because even though he may offend you, he’ll make you think. And he’ll be offending the person behind you, and the person next to you, and the person in row 3 just as much. My bet is that you’ll find yourself laughing because Dave Chappelle is, quite simply, a very funny man.