Slate: Chappelle Weeds Out Bad Element Among His Fans (Because “A White Crew Member Laughed At The ‘Wrong’ Part Of The Joke “)
Bob Hope once explained that his Cypress Point Golf Club had just concluded a successful membership drive: “They drove out 40 members.”
By Jesse David Fox
… This is why he quit Chappelle’s Show. This is why he walked away from $50 million nine years ago. This is why he went to Africa. … He quit so he could eventually come back and perform a show like the one he did last night, at Radio City Music Hall, in front of 6,000 deferential, diverse, well-dressed fans.
I’m not exaggerating when I say it is the most diverse room I’ve ever been in. … It looks like the cast of Orange Is the New Black if it were half male and everyone were allowed to wear their cutest outfits.
Beyond Chappelle’s belief that African-Americans are no longer on the “racial hot seat,” it’s clear that part of his focus has shifted to the gay-rights movement. But, unlike he does with material about race, Chappelle approaches it as a supportive yet curious outsider, joking that he just wants to ask gay African-Americans how they prioritize their rage and what they’d do if a gay-pride parade and the Million Man March fell on the same day. It is the weakest, and the shortest, portion of the set.
… Success brought Chappelle creative control in the sense that he and Chappelle’s Show co-creator Neal Brennan had complete freedom to write and shoot whatever they wanted. Success, however, by creating a bigger and different audience than they ever expected, left them unable to control what people were laughing at. This is what he meant when Time interviewed him in Africa and he kept on repeating, “I’ve got to check my intentions.” The example he brought up often after quitting came when shooting a sketch in which, in an attempt to skewer racism, Chappelle was performing in blackface. Chappelle says a white crew member laughed at the “wrong” part of the joke.
… So, like a war of attrition, intentionally or not, Chappelle weeded the bad element out.
Liberalism is increasingly reminiscent of Cypress Point, but with cuter outfits.