Hey, it’s Dave Chappelle looking well… really buff. You been working out, Dave?
Although this is not the second coming of George Carlin, and believe me, I am waiting on the second coming of Carlin, Dave’s pretty close. There is a distance I feel from Chappelle though, he’s rich and let’s you know it. Imperiously vaping at the Warner Theatre in Washington, DC last September, he tells us of his life. Dave Chappelle is from no ‘hood. “My parents did just well enough so I could grow up poor around white people.” So sure is Dave of his comic abilities, he writes the punchlines first, throws them into a fishbowl and will take one at random to write the joke around. How he makes the big bucks, he tells us.
“I never feel bad about anything I say up here.” Yet a huge part of this special is dedicated to correcting the record from when he offended the transgender community in his last special. “My problem has never been with the transgender people. My problem has always been with the dialogue about transgender people. I just feel these things should not be discussed in front of the blacks.”
He says something that on the surface feels true, and maybe it is for our Dave Chappelle 2.0.
He cannot shake the suspicion that “the only reason everybody is talking about transgender is because white men want to do it.”
“Shut up, ni**er. No one cares how you feel.” But we know that being transgender while black in this country may be the most dangerous place to be and I see the distance in Dave that wealth brings.
But I was brought back to feeling a little closer to Dave when he started talking about voting. This is where my longing for George Carlin of his later years comes into play. Dave remembers the day in 2008 that he voted for Obama. In Ohio the line was long with black people hugging each other and “old people were singing hymns and spirituals and shit.”
“Eight years later, I’m pulling up to the polls again. This time I’m driving a brand new Porsche. I’m walking up and saw a long line of dusty white people. These were the poor whites. I didn’t see one deplorable face in that group.”
I think George Carlin may have smiled from somewhere for that. Because wasn’t that his message? We are divided by our racism, homophobia, religion, and guns while the top just skims off the wealth and power.
“They looked at me, they could tell who I was voting for as easily as I could tell who they were voting for. Not a single one of us looked like we felt good about what we had to do in that booth.”
There is a lot more to this special that is funny and entertaining, but I had to tell you this part because I gave my heart to that election, and I got a little back by watching Dave Chappelle last night.
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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – December 1982 (Volume 14, Number 7)
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