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June 20, 2004

Chocolate Covered Fish

Dave Chappelle is in trouble in Sacramento. He discovered that some of the people in his audience were stupid. Well, I'm going to have to appropriate Prince's comment and insert it into Cobb's Rules. To wit: You eventually get the audience you deserve.

I like Chappelle, and I think he's a brilliant comic. But he's about to have some growing pains, and they just might kill him. Check this:

"People can't distinguish between what's real and fake. This ain't a TV show. You're not watching Comedy Central. I'm real up here talking."

Shouts continued to interrupt Chappelle's routine until he stopped to give a lecture on "how comedy usually works: I say something. You mull it over and decide whether you want to laugh or not, and then you do or not. Then I say something else, and you think about that.

"It's worked well all across the country, but you people ..."

Performing in Sacramento, the comic said, might turn out "to be a bad idea - like chocolate-covered fish."

Chappelle told the crowd he knew why they liked his sketch-comedy show: "Because it's good. You know why my show is good? Because the network officials say you're not smart enough to get what I'm doing, and every day I fight for you. I tell them how smart you are. Turns out, I was wrong.

"You people are stupid."

I don't know for certain, but I think he has violated some cardinal rule of show business. Which means Chappelle has more going for him than most. I certainly hope he's made enough money in two seasons to retire, because he's going to have to go upmarket to HBO and break that Comedy Central contract.

You go Dave. Handle your business so we can get some more. Sooner or later you are going to have your Richard Pyror moment and stop with the n-word. Exploit yourself for the moment, then get to the plane of independence.

Posted by mbowen at June 20, 2004 10:51 AM

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