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Friday, September 24, 2004
Watching TV so you don't have to
Dave "God Among Mere Comedy Mortals" Chappelle recently appeared in a Showtime comedy special. Did you hear about it? Me neither. The cable network usually leaves stand-up to HBO, which has provided a podium for everyone from Jerry Seinfeld to George Carlin, who has appeared in less than 10 of them over the years. Apparently, the special, Dave Chapelle: For What It's Worth, originally aired on August 28th.
So was it any good? Well, the act seemed rushed, as if Chapelle jotted down the whole thing during a flight delay. Plus, it was shot in a tiny theater somewhere in San Francisco, a far cry from the riotous concert halls that Carlin fills. The topics ranged from Oakland vs. San Fran to a "biological attack" on a NYC bus ride. While the whole thing feels like a toss-off, Chapelle has the magical ability to make anything funny. As tired as crack jokes and gags about Michael Jackson are, in his hands, they're hilarious.
Because the special was missed by most it won't be quoted to death ala his now beyond infamous Rick James sketch. When For What It's Worth inevitably makes it to DVD, watch out. The bus ride and goldfish bits will be beaten into the ground faster than you can say "cocaine is a hell of a drug."
PS: That image was "borrowed" from an online collection of movie stubs. The webmaster has an entire site devoted to them. Have a look, if you dare.