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From the New York Times:

Dave Chappelle on Broadway: The Joke Is Getting Old

The comic hasn’t adjusted his material for the setting: he’s still defending wealthy, famous peers and joking about transgender targets.

By Jason Zinoman, July 10, 2019

… The theater might provide a rich target for Chappelle, but outside of his opening line (“Welcome to the most heterosexual show on Broadway”), it’s not one he trains his sights on. Chappelle doesn’t much adjust to the room. He does what he does, with supreme confidence. But his fiercely independent streak has led to a more indulgent performer constantly doubling down, returning to old obsessions, courting controversy and then exploiting it in his shows to play the beleaguered star.

After he was criticized for mocking transgender people in two 2017 specials, Chappelle seems to have become fixated on the subject, alternating between lukewarm jokes about this marginalized group and defensive justifications for them and even apologies. “Got to stop with the trans jokes,” he tells himself at one point.

But the time spent on this subject is overshadowed by his other favorite long-running pastime, expressing sympathy for rich and powerful men enmeshed in scandal. Chappelle has become the bizarro Joan Rivers, obsessed with celebrities, but not to skewer them so much as to play their defense attorney.

In his new show, he does Louis C.K. few favors by defending him limply. He also speaks up for Kevin Hart who, in his telling, lived a blameless life when his dream of hosting the Oscars was dashed because of a few tweets. And after litigating the case of Michael Jackson on specials in 2004 and 2017, he does so again here, telling his audience not to watch the recent HBO documentary, “Leaving Neverland,” in which two men who accused Jackson of sexual abuse speak out. Chappelle says he doesn’t believe them, and then adds that he has no evidence, before sputtering that even if the pop star was guilty, “he’s Michael Jackson.”

As he has told audiences many times, Chappelle says he is not in “the being right business.” He often adds qualifications to these provocations, but it’s hard not to notice that he sympathizes so much with his peers in wealth and fame. Once again returning to what he sees as the excesses of #MeToo, which he has soured on even more than in his special in 2017, when he described victims as “weak,” he focuses on the plight of the men, those accused, but also the ones who might be. Chappelle refers several times to the dangers of being canceled. He’s not worried, he says, because he doesn’t rape, but adds: “I have a few Aziz Ansaris in my past.”

The extensive Playbill bio noted that Chappelle’s comedy has “often shocked his audiences into laughter.” But there’s nothing shocking anymore about his making fun of transgender people. He does it so relentlessly that it has become blandly familiar. And the way he pairs this material with constant justifications, explaining how these marginalized groups, which he calls “the alphabet people,” have disproportionate power in Hollywood, is defensive, predictable and ultimately cruel.

 
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  1. But there’s nothing shocking anymore about his making fun of transgender people.

    Writes shocked and outraged person.

    • LOL: Harry Baldwin
  2. 68W58 says:

    In fairness Clayton Bigsby couldn’t actually see how mannish “Caitlyn” is and he got a rude surprise on their date.

  3. donut says:

    He’s a Yellow Springs Commie , my grand mother warned me about them but I wouldn’t listen . I like him anyway .

  4. Cortes says:

    Charles “Sonny” Liston (“A Man” in the famous headstone inscription) is entitled to be a famous modern American whose exact lifespan is indeterminate.

    This pipsqueak?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jason_Zinoman

    Not so much.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  5. This is actually very good news for White men. The NYT is telling us that trans gendered are higher up on the social justice totem pole then Black men. Therefor if a layoff or something is looming and we need to quickly become a member of a victim group, we can always self identify trans and put on a skirt and some lipstick, ala Corporal Klinger, and instantly become victims and brave at the same time.

    • LOL: Cortes
    • Replies: @SFG
    , @Truth
  6. eah says:

    The Joke Is Getting Old

    Actually some new things aren’t all that swell. Or funny.

  7. Tiny Duck says:

    it’s the writer’s opinion that some of the stuff Chapelle is doing is stale and perhaps the bar should be a little higher in 2019.

    With that said I’m not sure s white male is the proper vehicle for criticizing a Person of Color

    As an aside y’all cried over nike not releasing an american flag shoe lol

  8. JohnnyD says:

    Yes, making of fun of straight white guys is so brave and original!

    • Replies: @Anonymousse
  9. Anonymous[388] • Disclaimer says:

    I met Dave Chappelle out in public once in Maryland about 10 years ago. He was ever bit as funny and nice as you’d think he’d be.

  10. @Cortes

    The reason Wikipedia lists this obscure individual as having been born in 1975 or 1976 is no doubt because there is some account online identifying his age at the time of publication as X, from which you can mathematically demonstrate he must have been born in 1975 or 1976, but cannot rule out one or the other.

    • Replies: @Cortes
  11. SFG says:
    @George Taylor

    You could probably put on some blue nail polish and lipstick, grow a man bun, and claim to be ‘non-binary’. I just hope they don’t start checking genitalia.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  12. Big Duck. says:
    @Tiny Duck

    Pointing and laughing is now crying?
    Then what do you call shedding tears?

  13. In the end, Dave Chappelle was only funny to average Americans.

    • Agree: Kyle, Charon, Mr. Grey
  14. Arclight says:

    The NYT and its roster of progressive writers are the reigning champs of punching down.

    Anyway, longtime Chappelle fan. He makes fun of lots of different types for reasons that normal people find funny, but also seems like the kind of person that would sit down and have a beer (or in his case, a bowl) with just about anyone as well.

    Anyway, as another commenter noted, hopefully a decent share of average blacks are realizing that in the progressive victimhood hierarch, gay/trans > POC. Not too long ago, the left was more or less at peace with the fact that a key pillar of its coalition was substantially to its right in terms of religiosity and attitudes towards gays, but that seems to be shifting. I guess that’s one of the lessons that keeps needing to be re-learned, that all social justice movements eventually turns on its core.

  15. The NYT is right. The only good comedy is Politically Correct comedy. There is nothing worse than a comic who ignores social justice issues.

    Take Rodney Dangerfield, for example. Despite his white male privilege he kept insisting that he was the one who did not receive respect. His stand up routines failed to address the plight of marginalized peoples or to interrogate how structures of privilege erase black bodies and silence their voices. He never once addressed redlining or other forms of systemic racism. Instead, he would just obsess over and over again about his own supposed lack of respect.

    What an entitled jerk.

    • Replies: @Twodees Partain
  16. Rather typically, the New York Times is managing to not notice the obvious.

    Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Michael Jackson: aren’t these all black men?

    It’s got nothing to do with ‘the rich and the powerful.’

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Truth
    , @Kyle
    , @Jack D
  17. For this single sketch alone, Dave Chapelle will go to heaven.

    • Agree: Peter Johnson
    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
    , @Aft
  18. TGGP says: • Website

    On Chapelle’s Show he joked about how his Michael Jackson fandom would cause him to excuse away any evidence:

    The punchline is that after all his denials he of course wouldn’t permit his own kids to play with Jackson.

  19. guest says:

    I wouldn’t know whether the jokes are getting old, because I haven’t seen Chapelle on stage since that one where he had the routine about cops sprinkling cocaine on crime scenes. But how long has WWT been going on? Not very long. Certainly not enough time for tranny jokes to be passe in stand-up. A form of entertainment that still jokes at stepmothers and quack doctors.

    I guess the idea is supposed to be that tranny jokes ran wild for millennia, then the Righteous stood athwart them shouting, “Halt! At long last, enough!” However, I don’t remember tranny jokes being that big a thing in my lifetime. They existed, but they weren’t like gay jokes or white people aren’t cool jokes.

    They made WWT a thing. They must have expected a response. If they want to say the response is out of bounds, okay. No one has to listen, but okay. What they can’t plausibly say is that it’s “old” and “stale” and setting comedy back. Because at least it’s a somewhat fresh cultural topic, with new material coming out all the time .

    The rest of stand-up comedy I don’t follow regularly. But I check in every now and again, and to me it’s the same stuff they were doing back when I was a kid. Only dirtier.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  20. @JohnnyD

    I dunno, I hear they’ve got some fresh and transgressive material about how white guys are really bad at dancing.

    • Replies: @Forbes
  21. Kyle says:

    “Chappelle doesn’t much adjust to the room.”
    He should take his black ass back to the apollo.
    “ Chappelle has become the bizarro Joan Rivers, obsessed with celebrities, but not to skewer them so much as to play their defense attorney.”
    Only heathens who still watch cable tv would find that funny.

    “telling his audience not to watch the recent HBO documentary, “Leaving Neverland,” in which two men who accused Jackson of sexual abuse speak out. Chappelle says he doesn’t believe them,”
    Watching the documentary leaves you with the impression the kids were either lying in 2005 or lying now.
    “He’s not worried, he says, because he doesn’t rape, but adds: “I have a few Aziz Ansaris in my past.”“
    This makes him a threat to my personal safety.
    Just because he has a particular genius for what the layman finds funny does not make him acceptable theater.

  22. @Tiny Duck

    None of us cried, Nike is the poster boy for shipping American jobs overseas and getting rich on Chinese indentured servants, err, workers. If they want to run their company into the ground based on what some intellectual nitwit like yourself thinks is the correct messaging, it’s their choice.

    No one here cares, td, go virtue signal on a another blog with other like minded morons.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  23. Truth says:
    @George Taylor

    I think a fair number of you already have.

  24. Truth says:
    @Tiny Duck

    As an aside y’all cried over nike not releasing an american flag shoe lol

    Right said.

    We certainly live in odd times.

    • Replies: @Twodees Partain
  25. I think Chapelle is Muslim, but he doesn’t like to talk about it. Didn’t grow up in the hood, married to an Asian woman, lives in rural white America. Interesting guy.

  26. Truth says:
    @Colin Wright

    Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Michael Jackson: aren’t these all black men?

  27. Anonymous[388] • Disclaimer says:
    @guest

    I wouldn’t know whether the jokes are getting old, because I haven’t seen Chapelle on stage since that one where he had the routine about cops sprinkling cocaine on crime scenes.

  28. J.Ross says:

    Black homophobia will not be televised.

    • LOL: ben tillman
  29. Kyle says:
    @Colin Wright

    Louis Ck isn’t black he’s Latino.

    • Replies: @ben tillman
  30. Ian Smith says:
    @MikeatMikedotMike

    He looks like a cross between Randy Newman and Conway Twitty.

    • LOL: bomag
    • Replies: @Charon
  31. @Steve Sailer

    ‘Louis C.K.?’

    I guess I should keep up.

  32. jokes about this marginalized group

    How “marginalized” can you be, and still appear on the cover of Vogue magazine?

  33. @MikeatMikedotMike

    Can’t we all go ahead and agree to officially rehabilitate physiognomy by now?

  34. Tulip says:

    No true Scotsman would refer to a 6ft bearded man as madam.

  35. Mr. Blank says:

    I bet there’s a fascinating biography about Dave Chapelle just waiting for some young and hungry journalist to write it.

    The guy essentially had two careers. He spent several years as a funny but not really exceptional comedian, doing stand up and appearing in movies. He was treated as just another generic Amusing Black Guy. (He was Tom Hanks’ Generic Amusing Black Friend in “You’ve Got Mail,” for instance.) Then at some point he underwent a transformation, suddenly becoming one of the greatest comedians of all time. I would really, really love to hear the story behind that.

    I would say he just stopped giving a f*ck, except the reason he apparently walked away from it all at the height of his success was because he didn’t feel like he could continue to perform at a level he was satisfied with. (Shades of Garry Shandling taking himself out of the running to host The Tonight Show.) So obviously, he DID give a f*ck.

    It might be more accurate to say that at some point he just decided to remove some kind of self-imposed shackles on his talent, just to see what would happen. Or maybe he just had some comedy-style “Eureka!” moment, when it all suddenly became clear to him. Again, I’d love to hear the story behind it.

  36. @Hypnotoad666

    Well, I’m OK now, but last week I was in rough shape, y’know.

  37. @Mr. Blank

    Dave Chappelle was on track to be the Next Big Thing for a long time before he made it big. For example, on Gary Shandling’s Larry Sanders show in the mid-1990s, Phil the writer has written a sitcom pilot about a grunge band in Seattle. The network loves it, but they want Dave Chappelle to star in it, and Chappelle wants it to be reset to Baltimore and be about a DJ.

    I’d get Dave Chappelle confused with actor Don Cheadle, who also spent much of the 1990s as The Next Big Thing.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  38. @Truth

    “Right said.

    We certainly live in odd times.”

    Now, that doesn’t even sound black. If you want people to think you’re black, you should have said, “true, dat.”

  39. @Mr. Blank

    I recall seeing some youtube vids of interviews in which he talked about the creepy illuminati stuff that some producers were trying to get him to do. He also mentioned the insistence by some director that he wear a dress in some scene. That whole black dudes in dresses thing creeps me out too.

    Maybe he was just on strike for awhile.

  40. He often adds qualifications to these provocations, but it’s hard not to notice that he sympathizes so much with his peers in wealth and fame.

    As opposed to sympathizing with those much more deserving of sympathy, like, say, Carlos Slim?

    “the alphabet people,”

    As opposed to the Alphabet people.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/GOOG/

  41. @Unladen Swallow

    Unladen Swallow says:
    July 12, 2019 at 1:20 am GMT • 100 Words
    @Tiny Duck

    War in the aviary. Will Corvinus be next?

  42. @PiltdownMan

    For this single sketch alone, Dave Chapelle will go to heaven.

    The linked video is already down. You Tube has been relentlessly trying to hide Chappelle’s actual reparations sketch. They take it down so that all that all that comes up are other tamer, less funny reparation bits. I’m sure it’s just a glitch in the algorithm, though. Nothing to see there.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
  43. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Mr. Blank

    Chappelle’s Show was the when lightning struck for him, but that wasn’t a one-man operation. Neal Brennan co-created it with him, and he had talented help including Charlie Murphy (Eddie’s brother).

    Interestingly, Brennan was on Seinfeld’s Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee and said he never watched Seinfeld’s eponymous sitcom.

  44. @Hypnotoad666

    Weird. It works for me. As of 30 seconds ago.

  45. Charon says:
    @Ian Smith

    Our troubles began when we first permitted people like Jason Zinoman to set the tone for our nation’s culture.

    From that point onward, the skids were greased.

  46. anonymous[751] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    in his huge hit movie eddie murphy put in a scene of dave chappelle *doing stand-up* to give him a boost.

    people knew he had it.

    sometimes in hollywood–or especially comedy or the music industry–it pains the stars to see someone have it and not make it. every musician can tell you about who theyre a fan of and it pisses them off to see floundering under the radar. every comedian loves to talk about how dumb stand up comedy fans are for not appreciating who they know is good.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  47. @anonymous

    Professional entertainers have more discerning taste about entertainers than you or I do. Sometimes they get carried away what the French call Professional Deformation, but, generally speaking, if Eddie Murphy tells you you ought to listen to Dave Chappelle, you ought to listen to Dave Chappelle.

  48. No laughing at the freak show!

  49. anonymous[251] • Disclaimer says:

    “Freedom beings with the ability to say 2 + 2 = 4”

    George Orwell 1984

    The brilliant, honest and good Black AA man Dave Chapelle should start his shows with this math question and answer.

    We truly live, work and try to stay sane in a spiraling down Kali Yuga dark age. In such times the terrible powers that be are obsessed that someplace somewhere, there is a heterosexual White guy enjoying a joke and having a good time.

    Dave Chapelle has been one honest, good American man who’s been keeping me sane, enjoying a joke and having a good time.

    PSSSSSS OFF all you humorless, lying feminists, Zionists, Neo Conservatives, Cuckservatives, most forms of Islam and also 95% of “American” TV comedy that, to be honest, just isn’t funny.

  50. Carax says:

    Hold on! It was announced several months ago that Chappelle would be awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Ceremony is set for October.

    Is it too late for the selection committee to change its mind?

    https://www.vulture.com/2019/05/dave-chappelle-mark-twain-prize-2019.html

  51. Forbes says:
    @Anonymousse

    And white guys can’t jump!

    That still gets my sides aching from laughter. It never gets old…
    😉

  52. Anonymous[212] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Contra Steve’s point – it would be interesting to compile a list of entertainers that other “Professional Entertainers” disdain but the public holds in high regard. I’ll throw out a couple of names – Tyler Perry (film) and Led Zeppelin (more for their group output than their proficiency as individual musicians).

    Anyone else want to chime in?

  53. @Kyle

    “Latino”? Really?

    • Replies: @Unladen Swallow
  54. Jack D says:
    @Colin Wright

    Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Michael Jackson: aren’t these all black men?

    No. Next question, please.

  55. Jack D says:
    @Mr. Blank

    the reason he apparently walked away from it all at the height of his success was because he didn’t feel like he could continue to perform at a level he was satisfied with

    The story that I heard was that one day he was making fun of black people on stage and he realized that the white cameramen were laughing a little too hard.

    • Agree: DCThrowback
    • Replies: @DCThrowback
    , @Dave Pinsen
  56. Gunner says:

    Zinoman and his fellow Muslim hating racists need to be cancelled!

    Seriously though, WWT is never going to win majority support from regular black people. The gay socialist Wokeys at sites like The Root, however, will never admit it.

  57. Jack D says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Yes and no. If you are a comedian’s comedian or a musician’s musician, this means that you have tremendous technical skill that others who are skilled in the art (but not necessarily a layman) can recognize and appreciate. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that the result is pleasing to the average person – it may be too cerebral for him (or her) and the technical chops may go right over his head. Apparently in his stand up comedy days, Larry David was such a comedian – all the other comedians would gather to hear his routines but the audiences were lukewarm. Now in fact he is a comedic genius so his comedian friends weren’t wrong but on another level the audiences weren’t either.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @Feryl
  58. anonymous[751] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    Audiences can be and often are wrong.

    Norm MacDonald is the best comedian, eg.

  59. DCThrowback says: • Website
    @Jack D

    so he walked out on his $50M Comedy Central contract (leaving his team and co-writer Neil Brennan high and dry) and headed to South Africa for some blackness rehab.

    he then moved back to his mom’s farm in OH and smoked weed and worked out for a few years before his 2008 comeback special.

    When too many white guys attended the shows yelling lines from the old Chappelle Show when the show lagged, he re-booted and re-tooled yet again.

  60. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Jack D

    I suspect the real reason was he was afraid he couldn’t keep up the quality level of the show so far.

  61. Aft says:
    @PiltdownMan

    Dave Chapelle was about the last man allowed to see and accurately comment on reality. RIP good comedy before all the outrage, oversensitivity, ridiculous fake narratives, and boycots and sponsor pressure ruined it forever.

  62. Aft says:
    @Mr. Blank

    Season 1, Episode 1, final sketch: Clayton Bigsby.

    The man came ready.

    P. s. great read: https://grantland.com/features/a-battle-best-chappelle-show-sketch-ever/

  63. Feryl says:
    @Steve Sailer

    In order to be widely successful, you have to have a certain “sizzle” to your product. Some talented bands and comedians just don’t have quite that sort of quality. I know that musicians tend to highly rate technical ability, but ability alone isn’t necessarily compelling if it’s not packaged the right way. In stand up, Bill Hicks developed a moderate following (mostly among young adults) in the late 80’s and early 90’s, but his material was really caustic, and his delivery wasn’t particularly good. No surprise that Dennis Leary ripped off some of this material successfully in the 90’s by figuring out how to deliver it better.

  64. Feryl says:
    @Jack D

    It’s also easier for creative people to sympathize with a less popular performer, because, um, fairly obvious reasons (you can’t be envious to a “loser”). Whereas big-shots in the entertainment industry often feud over allegations of “selling out”/pandering, running out of material, or stealing material*. There is a lot competitive insecurity in these fields, and once it become a clear that a particular artist is just not going to make it through to the masses, it’s easier to relax and pretend to feel sorry for that artist.

    *Nobody would be complaining about Led Zep “stealing” stuff if they had never found success.

  65. Mr. Anon says:

    Another of Zinoman’s recent articles is a profile of Jacqueline Novak, a comedienne who seems to have an entire act riffing on blow-jobs.

    I think stand-up comedy was funnier when it was just a guy (and it usually was a guy) making a living by telling jokes to entertain people. At some point, it became a form of therapy for the performer, and watching somebody work out their own psychological problems on stage just isn’t that entertaining.

  66. @ben tillman

    Born and/or lived in Mexico for a while, one of his parents is from Mexico I think. No more silly than NYT referring to Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz as Latino, despite both being Spaniards.

  67. @SFG

    But what kind of non-binary? In the ever-more hairsplitting and granular competition for Wokemon Points, it’s an important decision.

    Me, I recommend being hexidecimal, but it may be alright to just be octal….

  68. @Steve Sailer

    Hmmm. One must account for the relevant Venn diagrams in tastes.

    If Simon Phillips told me I ought to listen to Mike Mangini…well, okay.

    But if Kesha told me I ought to listen to Pitbull….

    But then, I guess it holds within the orbit of the claimant and his audience. I mean, if you’re the kind of tone-deaf, arhythmmic troll who enjoys Kesha’s “music,” you’ll probably eat up Pitbull’s, too….

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