(This article was originally posted on wibc.com)
If you have been following the reviews of Dave Chapelle’s new Netflix stand-up special ‘Sticks and Stones,’ you know that the media is already tearing it apart. The people at Vice say you can skip watching it and that it, “doubles down on misogyny and transphobia.” Paste Magazine called it, “boring, hypocritical and out-of-touch.” The Root calls it lazy. With reviews like that, you know you have to watch
Why is it that The Woke scolds are so opposed to it? Can you not engage in comedy about misogyny and transphobia? (Or is it only jokes about President Trump and Christians that are still allowed?) I thought that’s what comedy does – pointed out, poked at and prodded at the powerful, the pathetic and particular moments in society.
I hold stand-up in high regard, starting with people like Lenny Bruce and Mort Saul. It’s not that they were the funniest (always a debate,) but rather I am enamored with their presentation. These days, I feel the same way about Seinfeld (his honesty has been refreshing) and Joe Rogan (check out his Netflix specialwhere he plays out the inner monologue of Caitlyn Jenner while perched atop a bar stool. Amazing.)
I don’t find everything Dave Chapelle says to be funny. But I appreciate that Dave Chapelle is trying to do something that most other comedians aren’t doing: pulling out his and our inner demons and putting them in front of us, hopefully for us all to share a laugh over, whether it be nervously or in recognition of the truth in the existence of the demon. (Watch The Bird Revelation on Netflix.)
In his special, Chapelle asks the audience to identify the subject of an impression he does of a stupid person that seeks to destroy people over a disagreement. NOTE – Not Safe For Work: