As Slate.com opines, “this is a high-postmodern masterpiece that finds the comedian at the top of his game.”
Last night’s premiere of the Chappelle Show’s “Lost Episodes” was well done, from the opening credits (“I don’t think he’s coming”) to the selection of guest hosts Charlie Murphy and what’s-his-name (I’m kidding, it’s Donnell Rawlings). The skits were funny. Not quite season 1 or 2 funny (as the dead guy predicts in the first sketch), but funnier than any 30 minutes of Mencia’s mind.
Chappelle always has something to say. Every sketch – no matter how silly – has an intelligent lining, often obscured by over-the-top sophomoric fart jokes.
Take, for instance, the last skit of the night called Tupac Lyrics (you can see it and more at the Comedy Central website). Jokes about doo-doo and infidelity sweetened an attack on the abuse levied toward the memory of a late great rapper. Like Ann Coulter ripping 9/11 widows, Chappelle ridiculed the notion that Tupac is resting in peace while releasing more albums posthumously than he did before two shots in 1996. Even Elvis is treated with more dignity (Japanese PMs notwithstanding). Only Dave could get away with such a swipe at a black icon.
Much of last night’s ep was a bit jerky with Dave not there, and you saw hints as to why he split the scenes. Chappelle was blessed to achieve great success at something be enjoyed. But he became too successful. He found himself somewhere north of where he wanted to be. He knows our culture treats you differently the greater you become at what you do.
As he told James Lipton, celebrities are held to a different standard. For example, divorce is by its nature a horrid experience. Yet the split of two people you may have heard of – Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston – drenched the tabloids and spilled over into the reputable news outlets. No detail was left out. Dave watched all that unfold and relized, “Oh sh*t. This could happen to me.”
Call it one man’s revolt against our celebrity-obsessed society. Why should somone’s stature dictate they become another marble in our bag of tricks. A toy to be enjoyed. At first it’s pretty and you admire it. Soon you put it into play slamming it against other marbles. It gets scuffed it up and scratched. You obsess over the faults, researching them in detail. It’s no longer as cool as it once was. Or maybe you think it’s cooler. The cracks add character. Whatever. Eventually it’s lost to a friend or couch cushion, but you don’t care. You have a newer marble, or better yet a yo-yo. What once you considered special is now but a meaningless memory. One day you may think back on that one great marble, but the “character” will be remembered more than the original perfection.
Dave decided he was something more than a marble. He rolled out the ring at a time of his own choosing, pissing off plenty but pleasing himself. He was Barry Sanders with a microphone. And last night he again ran well and scored often. Two more games are left. I’m lovin’ every minute. You da man, Dave. You da man.