Review: The Chappelle Show

Will Nsieyanji reviews The Chappelle Show, reminiscing on its importance.

William Nsieyanji
14th October 2019
Image- Flickr
It has been over a decade since Comedy Central has stopped producing episodes of The Chappelle Show, yet millions of people still stream the sketches on YouTube indicating that the show has aged like a fine merlot. Which comes as no surprise, because the show is consistently hilarious and daringly controversial.

You can sense Dave Chappelle ,46, is at the heart of the production as the humor resembles his stand-up specials and has that uncensored and unfiltered banter his fans love him for. Chappelle certainly loves to push boundaries and the “Frontline: Clayton Bigsby” sketch could possibly the riskiest material Comedy Central has ever aired.

This particular episode of The Chappelle Show would almost definitely not have been aired for national TV if it was made today

This sketch is about a blind black orphan raised in a densely white supremacist town in America and ends up being the leading voice for the white power movement in the area, without knowing that he himself is of African American origin. This particular episode of The Chappelle Show would almost definitely not have been aired for national TV if it was made today, with how politically correct audiences have become and in fairness I still ask myself how did they get away with it back then? The redeeming factor in my opinion is the fact that, they skillfully made sure no demographic was specifically targeted as more or less every race is mocked even Caucasians. Chappelle being black also helps as it reinforces that the producers are only joking around.

It would not be Dave Chappelle if a societal issue is not being over exaggerated for our entertainment and the reoccurring character Tyrone Biggums is how the show chooses to depict drug addiction. The Chappelle Show’s resident crackhead, Tyrone Biggums, has featured on a few episodes such as his failed intervention where it is revealed he steals unusual items to trade for drugs and that he sold his friend’s house to fund a $450,000 crack party at said house. On another episode he is invited into an elementary school to give an anti-drug talk but instead teaches to the children different means of acquiring drugs.

Taking existing issues and making them funny is one of Chappelle’s biggest strengths as a comedian and I highly recommend this sketch show to anyone who enjoys his stand-up or are fans of controversial humor. Despite the show being so successful, after season 2 Chappelle dropped out, rejected a $50million paycheck and retreated to South Africa. Since his return to Hollywood Chappelle has subtly addressed his reasoning for leaving the show in his Netflix Special “The Bird Revelation”.

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