Pop-Up Post: What Up with Chappelle?

Could Dave be unraveling again? (Mavsfan99)

It was June 2004 in Sacramento, California when popular comedian Dave Chappelle walked off the stage during a stand-up show and only returned to berate his audience of Chappelle’s Show fans.

You know why my show is good? Because the network officials say you’re not smart enough to get what I’m doing, and every day I fight for you. I tell them how smart you are. Turns out, I was wrong. You people are stupid.

Less than a year later, Chappelle stunned everyone by suddenly walking off the set of his show’s third season production and taking an impromptu trip to South Africa. He claimed to be unhappy with the direction his show was taking and needed to clear his head.

Coming here I don’t have the distractions of fame. It quiets the ego down. I’m interested in the kind of person I’ve got to become. I want to be well-rounded and the industry is a place of extremes. I want to be well-balanced. I’ve got to check my intentions, man.

Fortunately, Chappelle recovered and eventually returned to the stand-up scene. This year he is even part of the Funny or Die Oddball Comedy Tour, which also features Flight of the Conchords, John Mulaney and Kristen Schaal.

Chappelle doing stand-up, his passion (SMG)

Things had been going well for Chappelle, but then came Thursday night and a show in Hartford, Connecticut. And in many ways, it was as if history suddenly repeated itself.

During his set, Chappelle started to get heckled by several audience members, most of them drunk white males. Shouts of “You suck!” and “What the f–k is going on here?” echoed through the stadium. And judging from some of the cell phone videos of the incident, a number of audience members started to leave, as well.

Chappelle was clearly affected and basically sat down to smoke a cigarette while his contractually obligated 25 minutes passed.

I only have three minutes left. And when my three minutes is up, my ass is gone. I’m going straight to the bank and doing night deposit.

And with that—and the booming sound of Kanye West’s “New Slaves” accompanying him—Chappelle was gone.

I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to get a little worried about Dave… again.

What up, DC?

Posted on September 1, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Nobody likes to be heckled or ridiculed but that’s exactly what standup comedy is all about. If you play to a live audience you will not always end up with applause 100% of the time. Many comedians actually work heckling into their acts and deal with it like pros. It’s sad to say, Dave doesn’t seem to have this skill at all.

    As a live performer, he’s in the customer service business and it’s all about taking criticism, and BS from people who aren’t necessarily the most decent human beings. Most celebs get treated like crap and Dave is no exception. It’s sad but once you reach a level, people are eager to tear you down. If he doesn’t like the negative aspect of performing maybe he should go behind the scenes and write or produce.

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