In Honor Of Tonight's Show, Here Are Our 10 Favorite Chappelle's Show Sketches.
As you no doubt already know, Dave Chappelle announced last night that he will be making a special appearance tonight at the House of Blues.
Yes, it's a big deal. No, you can't buy tickets online any longer — the show, completely unsurprisingly, sold out this morning.
What's crazy, though, is that no one is altogether sure what to expect of tonight's show. Tonight's show, far as we know, could be a repeat of his July 2011 charity performance where he gave the crowd the silent treatment. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, he could try for the longest comedy set in history again, as he tried and failed to do in October 2009. No one knows.
And yet people just blindly purchased their tickets to this event anyway — at $52 before fees, no less — because, shit, man, it's Dave freakin' Chappelle, and, in the minds of many, that's enough. Especially when you consider that, for the most part, live sets from the comedy icon are few and far between these days. And that in and of itself is a big deal.
Tomorrow on Central Track, we'll let you know how things shake out tonight at the venue. In the meantime, however, let's remember the greatness that was Chappelle in the mid-'00s, when his Chappelle's Show was the most talked-about series on cable. In honor of tonight's show, here are, in no particular order, our 10 favorite sketches from that series.
I Know Black People. The crux of what made Chappelle's Show so great was the brazen and frank manner with which it handled race relations in modern America. Whereas most sketches from the show featured Chappelle's opinions on the matter, this game show offering gave regular folks the chance to (hilariously) offer up their own thoughts on the matter.
A Moment In The Life of Lil Jon. The sketch that perhaps first launched Chappelle's Show into the consciousness of mainstream popular culture was a send-up of the most popular hip-hop producer of the day, Atlanta's Lil Jon. The sketch itself was amazing; the aftermath it wrought less so. We'd be fine never hearing anyone ever impersonate Lil Jon again.
Tyrone on Fear Factor. Chappelle's recurring Tyrone Biggums character was homeless and addicted to crack and never did that play out more ridiculously than in this sketch, where Tyrone appeared as a contestant on the Joe Rogan-hosted reality competition series Fear Factor and was completely unfazed by the prospect of eating bull penis.
Black White Supremacist. The most genius Chappelle's Show sketch of all-time happened in its very first episode. In the clip, Chappelle plays a blind black man, who has lived his whole life under the impression that he was white — and that he'd lived said life as a white supremacist.
The Mad Real World. It's a simple idea: What would happenif The Real World filmed in a less glamorous locale — like, say, Hoboken, New Jersey — and what if its cast was filled with hoodlums? A nice guy from the Midwest will have his girlfriend stolen from him, among other things.
The Racial Draft. Another send-up of race relations, this sketch finds various races drafting celebrities of unknown racial pedigree onto their “teams,” much to the delight of Tiger Woods and, uh, Elian Gonzalez.
Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories: Rick James. If there was a second breakout star from Chappelle's Show, it was Eddie Murphy's comedian brother Charlie, who served as an actor in many of the series' most memorable sketches, including a handful of sketches in which he shared the tales of some of his '80s exploits with his more-famous kin. You've no doubt heard this sketch's long-standing catchphrase, “I'm Rick James, bitch!” countless times.
Making The Band. Another reality show send-up, this sketch actually featured a few of the Diddy-helmed MTV series' stars. But Chappelle shined brightest, of course, playing the roles of Diddy and, most memorably, the rapper Dylan, who considers himself all five of the best five rappers of all time. Hey, he spits hot fire.
Dave's Night Out With Wayne Brady. The great Paul Mooney said it best: “White people love Wayne Brady because he makes Bryant Gumbel look like Malcolm X.” But this episode, in which Brady stole the Chappelle's Show reins from its namesake, goes a long way toward busting that perception, capped off by this sketch in which Brady goes on a murderous spree and, a la Training Day, slips Chappelle drugs he isn't aware of. Also, Wayne Brady threatens to “choke a bitch,” which is pretty amazing.
Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories: Prince. Never before has Prince been so hilariously mocked — while simultaneously praised for being a surprisingly great basketball player and cook.