Film / TV

grow up, dave chappelle

August 30, 2019
3.4K Picks

For the better part of the last 20 years, Dave Chappelle has solidified himself as one of the most important and clever comedians of his time. Once widely considered the funniest man in America, Chappelle’s latest stand up specials have disappointed many of us.

The latest of which, Sticks & Stones, features a “secret” epilogue called “The Punchline” where Chappelle takes questions from audience members who also attended his Dave Chappelle on Broadway stand-up show last July. And for some reason, Chappelle uses this as a second chance to double-down on his willful ignorance routine.

Going out of his way to minimize allegations of sexual assault levied at Michael Jackson and defend the accused child molester, Chappelle implies that the now-adult victims should have felt lucky that their first time was with the King of Pop. “I know more than half the people in this room have been molested in their lives. But it wasn’t no goddamn Michael Jackson, was it? This kid got his dick sucked by the King of Pop! All we get is awkward Thanksgivings for the rest of our lives.” I guess that’s one way to look at child rape.

Keeping with the predictability of his insistence to keep punching down, the formerly great comedian uses trans people as a punchline to shallow jokes, seemingly unconcerned with the fact that Black people can be trans and that Black trans women are fighting to live past the age of 35 in this country. It’s jokes, though, right?

And, like, we get that jokes are jokes. The problem with these ones is that they’re lazy and not funny. And they’re centered around communities that are in danger, preyed upon, and marginalized. Ain’t no one else to make fun of?