#CouchWorthy: Dave Chappelle – 8:46

Dave Chappelle – 8:46 (Anytime / Youtube via Netflix) – “Don’t think my silence is complicit.”

Easily the best line of Dave Chappelle’s latest and raw “comedy” special: 8:46. Quietly released to YouTube late last night like a comedic Batman.

Silence. Does. Not. Speak. Volumes.

It’s clear Chappelle understands he is smarter (and flat out better) than his critics.

So that’s comforting.

2 things:
The special was filmed on June 6 in Yellow Springs, Ohio (dude’s home) with coronavirus-era social distancing guidelines in place for attendees, including face masks and temperature checks. A valid question every time Dave Chappelle’s name comes up: is this what the future of comedy is gonna look like?

Also a notebook? Be interesting to know how Chappelle’s comedy work has evolved: does he write on stage? In a notebook? His word economy is precise like a sniper and his emphasis and rhythm is an infectious beat. I believe the notebook is a prop; a cue for the audience to let em know he is still working through things; this isn’t polished. (And yet: Don Lemon who Dave references…Lemon’s impressive mediocrity serves only to affirm the greatness of Chappelle’s high quality of work.)

So yes. 8:46 is raw…emotional but also as a work: he’s formulating his thoughts on the black unrest in the US. Dave can take all the time he needs to get it right.


Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.

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