dave chappelle

I Get It, Chappelle. It's Hard to Be a Comedian in Your 40s

Dave Chappelle told Comedy Central and HBO MAX to kiss the ring.

It’s one thing to be an entertainer and follow the rules. Don’t make waves, smile, and nod, and give the standard talk show answers. It’s something completely different to give the media your ass to kiss. Back in the early 2000s, Chappelle’s Show recreated what a sketch comedy show was. It was unfiltered and unapologetic. We hadn’t seen anything close to this since In Living Color back in the early 1990s. After Dave Chappelle decided not to renew his contract with Comedy Central, things got weird. There were reports that he was smoking crack and a bad businessman for not taking the deal. Fast forward to 2016 and we see that he made the right decision. Not only is he better off, but he continues to teach creatives a lesson on integrity and other life lessons.

There were reports that he was smoking crack and a bad businessman for not taking the big-money deal. Now, let’s fast forward to 2016. We can clearly see that he made the right decision. Not only is he better off, but he continues to teach creatives a lesson on integrity and how to, as the phrase goes, ” move in a room full of vultures.” The most recent stand-up special on his Instagram page (in the link below) shows this and more. 

How Comedy Central ****ed up

Let’s be honest, Dave Chappelle was jerked out of not getting paid residuals for Chappelle’s Show. Now, does Comedy Central have to pay Dave anything? Absolutely not. However, and here’s the big part, what they did was not only foolish and very conniving. It was also shortsighted. Knowing all the money and viewers season 1 of Chappelle’s Show brought in, you’d assume that they’d want to make him happy. Now, it’s still airing and still getting views. They’ve made enough money to make things right by him. If for nothing else, because it’s the proper thing to do. 

Now, here’s where the foolish comment comes into play. Comedy Central burned a valuable bridge they can use to cross again. Seeing where Dave is now, there’s no way they’re not kicking themselves. They’re making money off his name, jokes, and likeness knowing that they’re screwing him. Now, Dave Chappelle will likely never work with Comedy Central ever again. 

Their first n**** lesson?

Now, here’s something that we didn’t know. Originally, Dave Chappelle pitched Chappelle’s Show to HBO. He was denied with a simple, yet rude comment. “What do we need you for?” Now, they’re streaming his show on their streaming platform HBO MAX. To which Dave accurately said in his special, “What do you need me for?” After all this, why is this important? Because Dave Chappelle hasn’t just been giving us comedy, he’s putting us on game. 

Dave Chappelle continues to put his career on the line to tell us things like this. On a deeper level, he doesn’t have to explain what happened. Dave could have said it in joke form and moved on. Instead, he took us behind the curtain. He showed us who the Wizard of Oz really is and how we can stop him. This wasn’t just for him. Everything he said was a warning to anyone else. Not just entertainers either. He was teaching us that the business offices are no better than the streets. The only differences are the clothes they wear and sometimes the color of their skin.

Dave Chappelle gives us the power to help him

“I like working for Netflix because when all those bad things happened to me, that company didn’t even exist. And when I found out they were streaming ‘Chappelle’s Show,’ I was furious. How could they not — how could they not know? So you know what I did? I called them, and I told them that this makes me feel bad. And you want to know what they did? They agreed that they would take it off their platform just so I could feel better,”-Dave Chappelle

This writer could go on and on about what was said. But, in the end, Dave Chappelle put the power in the hands of his fans and Netflix. He asked anyone who’s ever laughed at his jokes or really messes with him to boycott that show. Not the station (as some people will request), just him. Netflix taught future business people a lesson on integrity and how to keep their stars happy. They took his show down without being asked. They just wanted him to feel good. For that, Netflix will have a long partnership with Dave Chappelle.

Dave Chappelle has transcended comedy and become something bigger and more important. Hopefully, Dave will continue to give us game. For someone like myself, listening to him isn’t about laughter. Granted, he’s one of the funniest people of all time. For Dave, he’s one of the most influential black people I’ve had the honor to watch. For that, I’ll always be grateful. 

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