Chap­pelle is back and in top form in Net­flix spe­cials

He tack­les Cosby, race and Care Bears in stream­ing de­buts

Chicago Sun-Times - - LIFE - Carly Mal­len­baum @that­girl­carly USA TO­DAY

Dave Chap­pelle, it’s so good to see you on back on TV.

The vet­eran co­me­dian shares two of his never- be­fore- aired per­for­mances — from 2015 at Austin City Lim­its and 2016 in the Hol­ly­wood Pal­la­dium — on Net­flix Tues­day. And though Chap­pelle jokes on­stage about how Kevin Hart has stolen his lime­light dur­ing a 12- year hia­tus, he proves that he still has that clever, sin­gu­lar point of view that made his Com­edy Cen­tral se­ries and tours a suc­cess. In the dozen years since he left Chap­pelle’s Show, the en­ter­tainer spent time in South Africa, was hit with a ba­nana peel on­stage (“It was pre­med­i­tated, I could tell,” he says, “It was brown.”), been booed off­stage ( a re­sult of smok­ing “reefer with some rap­pers”), done a few res­i­den­cies, played at a cou­ple of com­edy fes­ti­vals and, just last Novem­ber, hosted Satur­day Night Live. He jokes in his spe­cial filmed in 2015, “I haven’t been work­ing in 10 years. I had to watch Key and Peele domy show every night.”

Chap­pelle cov­ers much of that in his Net­flix shows, and much more: Ebola, sports scan­dals, Mak­ing a Mur­derer (“If it was about a black dude, it would be called Duh”), ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity, gen­i­tals, racism, Care Bears and O. J. Simp­son all fig­ure into his sets.

But never is Chap­pelle’s take on cur­rent events more poignant than when he’s dis­cussing Bill Cosby. Chap­pelle brings up Cosby in both of his one- hour shows. First, the em­bat­tled en­ter­tainer is men­tioned in a bit about Paula Deen, the chef who was dropped by Food Net­work, be­cause she used a racial ep­i­thet years ago: “That ( ex­ple­tive) came back 30 years later, like a Cosby rape,” Chap­pelle quips. Chap­pelle ref­er­ences Cosby again in a spiel about the ’ 60s: “While all of this was go­ing on, Bill Cosby raped 54 women. He’s like the Stephen Curry of rapes.” Ul­ti­mately, though, Chap­pelle treats Cosby’s crim­i­nal sex­u­alas­sault charges as much more than a punch­line.

“I’m a 42- year- old black co­me­dian. Ob­vi­ously, Bill Cosby was a hero to me,” Chap­pelle says sin­cerely in his sec­ond spe­cial, be­fore de­tail­ing how Cosby changed the way black char­ac­ters were por­trayed on TV.

“I didn’t wanna be­lieve” the al­le­ga­tions, Chap­pelle says. It would be like “if you heard cho­co­late ice cream, it­self, raped 54 peo­ple.”

In a run­ning gag, Chap­pelle likens Cosby to an in­vented movie su­per­hero — one who must vi­o­late a few women in or­der to ac­cess evil- fight­ing su­per­pow­ers that pro­tect many.

“The point is he rapes, but he saves,” says Chap­pelle. “That’s the dilemma for the au­di­ence.”

Dave Chap­pelle: Deep in the Heart of Texas and Dave Chap­pelle: The Age of Spin pre­miere on the stream­ing ser­vice Tues­day, with a funny open­ing voiceover from Mor­gan Free­man. And good news: You can ex­pect an­other com­edy spe­cial from Chap­pelle soon — he’s on the road pre­par­ing for a third Net­flix show.


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