The well known comedian, Dave Chappelle, gave a very private stand up performance in NYC. In the performance, he didn’t shy away from the racial tension that has taken over our nation. But his spin on it might shock you. Check it.
He began the hour by saying, quite jovially: “This will be a racist show. I’m telling you now.” His jokes about blacks and white were evenly divided. But the subjects of the day were right up there. “Black lives matter is a terrible slogan,” he said. He much prefers Dwayne Wade’s hashtag “enough is enough.”
As for the killing of Wade’s cousin, and Donald Trump’s immediate vulgarizing of it, Chappelle said: “Oh yeah, now I’m voting for Donald Trump.” That drew peals of laughter from the mixed race crowd. But I couldn’t help wonder what black comics and their audiences are saying around the country in similar clubs. Trump’s message–“What do you have to lose?”–is now a set up for various punchlines.
Chappelle talked about wanting to vote for Hillary Clinton. But it also turns out that he and his wife are friendly with outspoken conservative black actress Stacey Dash. That gives the argument balance, although he conceded that he and “Stacey are not soulmates.” He also touched on the very recent stabbing at Cornell. Is it too soon? “Who stabs anymore?” he added: “Very OJ.”
What Chappelle is looking for in people is empathy. “When did it become just caring about ourselves and not caring about other people?” he asked rhetorically. Empathy becomes his key word, and he weaves it through some outrageous and mildly raunchy passages.
Chappelle told me that Wednesday’s show would reflect what worked and didn’t tonight– although most everything did. “I love this place,” he said of the Cutting Room. “It’s like working in a jazz club.”