Friday, August 30, 2019

Dave Chapelle Just Might Save America

Dave Chappelle
By John Nolte

Comedian Dave Chappelle’s latest Netflix special, Sticks & Stones, is one of the greatest hours of comedy I have ever seen — which is saying a lot. As much as I enjoyed his legendary sketch show from 15 years ago (which I only recently caught up with), I had not been all that impressed with his Netflix specials.

Granted, coming up with an hour of solid stand-up material is probably one of the hardest jobs in the world of show business, and very few can pull it off on a regular basis. Bill Cosby and George Carlin were the Ted Williams of this feat, the closest to enjoying a perfect record. Even The Mighty Richard Pryor had his Here and Now.

Chappelle’s done it. Sticks & Stones is a rarity: a perfect piece of art… Nothing could be improved upon, nothing need be touched up. Every brush stroke is exactly where it should be.

And what makes a stand up routine perfect is something that goes beyond the funny… There are probably at least 12 cylinders that must fire: solid jokes, timing, tone, knowing your audience, dealing with hecklers, insight, truth… But the most important one is having a theme, an overarching idea that sends the audience home thinking about something more than the punch-lines.

Throughout the hour, Chappelle does dozens of bits, but if you’re paying attention, all of them are woven together by one common idea, and that is Chappelle’s demand for his right to enjoy free and unfettered artistic expression.

Read the rest here.

No comments:

Post a Comment