Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Chappelle's Show at 15: Quintessential Sketches


Back when Comedy Central was more than just South Park and Tosh.0, it had some brilliant shows. They struck gold with Reno 911! in the summer of 2003, but earlier that year, they also had Chappelle's Show. From comedian Dave Chappelle, it was a huge hit for the network and these two shows combined with South Park and The Daily Show, were big ratings in a two year span. Chappelle was often controversial, but very funny without feeling dated like South Park.

Of course, most will know of the comedian's leaving during production of the third season, his leaving to Africa, and not doing much in a ten year span. He has since opened up on it in this past year as he has done Netflix specials and getting back in the spotlight. Comedy Central is still keen on airing reruns of his show, so let's get to the sketches that are must watches. Just some very quick thoughts.

Popcopy: From the pilot episode, it's how not to do your job. From spreading peanut butter and chocolate on a toilet to talking personal stories in front of customers, it's a gut buster with the stuff that creators Chappelle and Neal Brennan came up with.

Clayton Bigsby: Also from the pilot, one of the show's most controversial sketches. A blind black white supremacist. Just that idea alone is humorous, but the lengths he goes to stop black people confuses and impresses the whites. Very funny.

Tyrone Biggums: The only recurring character to appear in both seasons, it's a crack addict who finds himself doing things like appearing on Fear Factor for money and telling middle school kids about drugs. Chappelle does the character so well in making him so strung and out of control, especially in their Red Bull parody skit.

When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong: This is brilliant. It's over the top stuff that shouldn't be a big deal, but is hilarious. I don't want to get too far into these three skits, but the one at the nightclub is a good one.

The Racial Draft: For a skit centered around all sorts of races, it is genius and funny. Imagine a sports league draft but with acquiring and trading certain people of race. Trust me, it may seem like poor taste, but it does it in a way that doesn't feel as offensive. It's something that may need a second watching. Still, it's a skit that is funny.

True Hollywood Stories: Two skits with the late Charlie Murphy talking about encounters with Rick James (who did guest star in this skit) and Prince, both portrayed by Chappelle. The amount of stuff Murphy goes through is a testament to both him and Donnell Rawlings' contributions as other characters on the show.

The Niggar Family: A white family with the name Niggar set in a 1950s setting. Think Leave it to Beaver, but with the offending word as a crutch for the jokes, especially as Chappelle enters the skit as the milk man. It's a genius skit that is a gut buster and will make you wonder what other skits could have happened if Chappelle didn't end the show abruptly.

The Wayne Brady Show: Brady has taken over the show, and Chappelle rides in his car. It's shock value done well. Most will know Brady mainly for Whose Line Is It Anyway? and his consistent improv. Choking a bitch and using a gun may not work on Whose Line, but it sure is funny here. Chappelle's emotions alone make it good. His guest star is just icing on the cake.

Dave Gets Revenge: Surely, Chappelle has characters that go bonkers. Himself however in this skit, his antics are amusing and get funnier with as he goes through the revenge of the people who wronged him. The last one at a comedy club is one that needs to be watched, especially for that ending.

Do you have your own favorite skits? Which ones here do you think are the funniest? Give your thoughts here in the comments. Until then, laugh your ass off at this show. One of Comedy Central's best, if not, best show.

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