After a long public hiatus the Genius of Comedy, Dave Chappelle has returned to his rightful spot — the mainstream stage. Dave Chappelle is a comedic legend and artistic hero for many people within this generation. He embodies what comedy was built on and has pushed the envelope so far forward that his absence left the genre deficient of a certain kind of wisdom, brilliance and brash. There are some comedians whose brilliance supersedes their punchline, Dave Chappelle falls into that elite group. The most notable moment in Dave’s career was his rebellion against network television when he forfeited his 50 million dollar contract for his critically acclaimed sketch comedy series, The Chappelle Show.
After his bold refusal of the deal the industry/media began to paint Chappelle as crazy, broken, an addict, mentally unstable and countless other inferior qualities in an effort to tarnish the image of a distinguished artist. After the smoke cleared, and over the years, Dave Chappelle has spoken very candidly about his reasoning for abandoning such a massive deal. Turns out for Chappelle artistic integrity, peace of mind, and self-respect were priceless and nonnegotiable principles.
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There is a culture and public consensus that large lump sums of money tend to hold a value higher than personal identity. We can admit that even within our daily lives of corporate living we find our morals and thoughts challenged, yet we’ll suppress our voice for the sake of maintaining a job. Humanity gains power when those amongst us goes against the grain by fighting for what they know to be right. Dave Chappelle exposed that beyond the lights and cameras, Hollywood is just another business scene — sometimes with a world of sinister influences that impose compromising circumstances that disrupt the sanity of people.
At this point, all of those things are water under the bridge despite how historic and career defining that moment was. Nonetheless, Dave Chappelle is still one of the very few comedians left that approaches the art with an uncompromising perspective and speaks from a place of honesty without adhering to political correctness. As Dave mentioned in his Gayle King CBS interview, “Comedy is a reconciliation of paradox.”
With that said, here is why Dave Chappelle will forever be comedic royalty. When society is faced with separatism and concepts we all find questionable it is the artists who give us a way to eloquently process how we see the world. A quote I learned growing up that speaks to this is, “For the things we don’t have, God gave us dreams. For the problems we do have, God gave us laughter.” Dave Chappelle is our laughter.
In the newly released first two parts of the Netflix collection, Dave touches on many cultural hot topics like transgender, race relations, media spin, the industry and much more giving humor and enlightenment simultaneously. This quality is what sets Dave apart he’s willing to enter territories many recent mainstream comedians shy away from. Whether you agree or disagree with the punchline is less of the point, the fact that he is able to intellectually make you examine a perspective with a gut wrenching laugh means the ice has been broken.
It’s a fact that Dave Chappelle has been sorely missed by the masses and having him return in such a shift of circumstances, receiving 10 million MORE dollars than the deal he originally refused, feels like a full circle moment. He is iconic for his unmatched sketch characters rooted in truth and metaphorical brilliance but he is a legend for his slaying of the immoral industry giants and maintaining character over cash. It is a must that you check out the return of Dave Chappelle on Netflix as we witness a historic victory for artistic integrity and freedom in this triumphant return. It is a moment we have all been waiting for.
For ithe nterview with Gayle King, visit here.