I knew I was in for a good time in the beginning as the veteran comedian Dave Chappelle started off his comedy special more philosophically than comedically. Quoting Prince’s “1999,” Chappelle takes the song and makes it into a lesson about depression and suicide by bringing up Anthony Bordain.
Chappelle noted that Bordain was a world traveler, ate the greatest cuisine, and surrounded himself with fascinating people and still hung himself one day. A friend he knew, however, worked his way from being dead broke in the ghetto and clawed his way into a law school where he was a star student. He lost everything after his wife divorced him and took half of what little he had, leaving him destitute, working menial jobs, and living with his mother at 45.
“It never occurred to him to kill himself,” said Chappelle.
While the way he tells the story makes it funny, starting off his comedy special is genius in that it gets the audience into a mindset it carries with it throughout the special. It’s a lesson that we can take with us well after the special has ended too.
Don’t take everything so seriously.
Chappelle’s latest stand-up special is beyond fascinating. Throughout it I found myself laughing out loud at things I shouldn’t be laughing about, and even during segments where I vehemently disagreed with him to the point of feeling anger, it felt good to hear it. That may sound odd, but in today’s society, it becomes risky for a comedian to be offensive and someone having the bravery to offend everyone and not just one group is refreshing.
Chappelle even makes that point early in his routine in a moment that has now gone viral across the internet and even earned quite a bit of attention here on RedState itself.
Chappelle decides he’s going to do impressions and pulls off something rather genius. He starts by doing an impression of the founding fathers who tell a “n****r” to finish the Constitution so that they can go to sleep. The joke isn’t funny in itself, but it sets up the crowd to believe Chappelle is going to go one way when really he’s going the other.
He does a second impression and tells the crowd they have to guess who it is.
“Hey! Durr! If you do anything wrong in your life – duh – and I find out about it, I’m gonna try to take everything away from you, and I don’t care what I find out. IT could be today, tomorrow, 15 – 20 years from now, if I find out, you’re f***ing finished!” said Chappelle.
Before he could even ask who he was impersonating, people were already screaming out “Trump!”
“That’s you!” said Chappelle, pointing at the crowd.
“That’s what the audience sounds like to me!” he continued. “That’s why I don’t be coming out and doing comedy all the time because y’all n*****s is the worst motherf***ers I’ve ever tried to entertain in my f***ing life.”
Wow ok. Dave Chappelle's impressions are spot on.
Sticks & Stones is streaming now! pic.twitter.com/zD9BBQsGdj
— Netflix Is A Joke (@NetflixIsAJoke) August 26, 2019
What follows this is a stand-up routine that covers everything from Chappelle’s hatred of guns but his acceptance of needing to own one, his problems with the LGBT community (he calls them the “alphabet people”), abortion, how the #MeToo movement went overboard, and a takedown of Jussie Smollett. He also covers the Kevin Hart controversy and talks about growing up poor, how he doesn’t think Michael Jackson was a pedophile, and that R. Kelly really did do all the stuff he’s accused of.
Everyone will find something in this special to agree with and laugh about. Likewise, you will find things you disagree with and may even get angry over.
And this is why I believe Chappelle’s “Sticks and Stones” is a must-watch. It’s a pure celebration of honesty from a man during an era when being honest on a public stage may end your career forever. It’s a giant middle finger to the outrage brigades who promote cancel culture.
In other words, it’s everything I miss about comedy. It’s that ability to pull back the curtain on society and expose the ridiculousness that infects it sometimes. It’s comedy in its true form and it’s dying out with Chappelle, Matt Stone and Trey Parker of South Park being among the last of the holdouts.
And rest assured, the outrage brigades are already coming for Chappelle because of “Sticks and Stones.” Vice, for one, is encouraging people to skip it because of Chappelle’s “transphobia” and “misogyny” demonstrated throughout the routine. I won’t go into details as to why they hate it, but I will sum it up for you.
Vice is mad because Chappelle doesn’t treat the left’s sacred cows as the holy things they consider them to be. In their efforts to steer people away from the special, Vice proves Chappelle’s initial claim about the audience correct. Vice goes into things Chappelle said in the past just as Chappelle said they would.
But Chappelle doesn’t care, and I can’t tell you how refreshing that is. Even as I would feel he goes a bit far sometimes in some of his jokes, it just felt good to hear them.
You should watch Chappelle’s latest Netflix special because it’s a celebration of free speech and being honest in the face of mob threats. It’s not clean, it’s definitely not right at times, but it’s definitely fun and may have you looking at certain things like you haven’t before.