Son of Chappelle was an alter ego I gave myself when I was younger. You see Dave Chappelle is my favorite comedian of all time. I would mimic his jokes in the mirror and try to talk like him. The first time I saw anything Dave Chappelle related was in the mid 90s. I was watching this show called “Buddies” and Dave Chappelle was the costar of it. I don’t know why Chappelle resonated with me so much. In an era with Martin Lawrence, Jaime Foxx, Tommy Davidson, D.L. Hughley, Bernie Mac, Steve Harvey, Chris Rock, Cedric the Entertainer, Eddie Griffin,Chris Tucker, and Marlon Wayans, I chose Dave Chappelle. Could it be his easy delivery? Or maybe his excellent vocabulary? His cadence in his voice? Or maybe he was just different from his fellow Black comedians. I would watch every movie that featured Dave Chappelle and listen to his stand up routines on Napster or Limewire. (Hey I couldn’t afford the CD’s. Don’t judge.) In 2003 the world was gifted a precious gem known as the Chappelle Show.Pop culture history would change forever. I have this debate in my head on which show was better: The Chappelle show or In Living Color?
I personally choose The Chappelle show and the reasoning is the unity factor of it. In Living Color featured a predominantly Black cast with a predominantly Black audience while The Chappelle show was a household show viewed by everyone. While In Living Color launched Jim Carrey’s, Kelly Coffield’s, and Jennifer Lopez’s career, In Living Color was labeled a “Black Show.” The Chappelle show was watched by everybody. White, Black, Asian, Latino, Gay, Republican, Arab, Jews, etc. It didn’t matter who you were or what you represented. You watched The Chappelle Show. It was the talk of the town. Especially in Season 2, with the Lil Jon, Rick James, and Prince skits. Those 3 skits right there made Dave Chappelle crossover and with all his hardwork he was awarded with a $50 million dollar contract. Unfortunately we all know the demise of The Chappelle show. From Dave Chappelle being underrated for a decade, the stardom was overwhelming. Also the “Pixie” skit prompted Dave Chappelle to question the integrity of the show. Frustratingly enough, Dave Chappelle sought refuge in Africa in 2005 and 2006. Rumors of drug usage, steriods, drunkenness, and not delivering at some of his shows also were factors to the demise of Mr. Dave Chappelle. Keyword is rumors people.
Many people would tell you that the greatest days of their lives is when they get married. Or when they have children. Or when they achieve a personal milestone. For me, I am going to be selfish and say that 1 of MY greatest days of my life, was on March 25th 2015 in Oakland California. Dave Chappelle performed at Yoshi’s and as you know, Dave Chappelle shows sells out in a matter of seconds. My good friend Jose (Handy J, Broseph, Joser) and his sister Elizabeth (Eli) who I’ve known both for 19 years now had tickets. When Jose asked me if I wanted to go, I replied hell yea. What’s funny (in typical Tareau like fashion) I had a date with a lady I was trying to talk to for a while that night. (Sorry Nicole baby) We get to the Venue and the bouncer is very stern about the “No cell phone policy.” No cameras, no recorders, no cell phones, nothing. I was actually happy because for 1, we are here to see artistry at its finest. Not to be on Instagram or Snapchat streaming someone else’s hard work. And 2 the fact that in the Bay Area, everyone hyperventilates and has crack like withdrawls when their cell phone is not in used. Yes, no distractions. As we head to our seats I count about 6 other black people. The venue holds about 300 people. 7 black people folks, in Jack London square, to see Dave Chappelle. I was honestly kind of mad. But whatever. The show starts and they have a comic from New York. I was also upset that most of the “crowd” didn’t know that Dave Chappelle is from Washington D.C. So when the Emcee says “Ladies and Gentlemen, hailing from Brooklyn NYC” the crowd went wild. I said to myself “but Dave Chappelle is from DC people.” The next guy comes on, a local comic from Berkeley. Pretty funny. Chappelle comes out and the place goes wild. He noticed the lack of Black People as well and I noticed the crowd didn’t know how smart and socially aware Dave Chappelle was. When Dave Chappelle talked about Racism and issues within the Black community, the only people to laugh were the 7 black people and a few of the Latinos sprinkled in. Chappelle roasted a drunken, busty lady in the front. She kept trying to chime in. He also brought out Paul Mooney and 75% of the people did not know who he was. I stood up and cheered very loud. There was alot of tension in the crowd. They wanted some Rick James or Lil Jon type of jokes. Too bad most people here in the Silicon Valley, are socially disconnected. Dave Chappelle said that he didnt feel like the crowd was engaged and that he feeds off of crowd reactions. So with that being said, if this ever reaches Dave Chappelle, I wanna apologize on behalf of the colored folks here in the Bay Area.
Check out my next post. Tareau’s Top 15 Chappelle Show skits