A week after Dave Chappelle made a string of trans jokes after enduring “the worst three weeks of my life,” he’s adopting an unrepentant stance again. The controversial comedian arrived at San Francisco’s Chase Center for his sold-out Thursday night appearance. Officially, this is the start of his 10-city tour to screen his Untitled documentary, which he said was cancelled by film festivals amid the controversy over his trans jokes in Netflix’s The Closer. If you were wondering if Chappelle has changed his tune on the reaction to those jokes, well, that didn’t happen.
Via Rolling Stone, Chappelle couldn’t resist likening himself to notorious crime boss Al Capone while he addressed the crowd who gave him a standing ovation. Yep, he’s still going back and forth on whether or not he’s thrilled to be cancelled. Here’s his latest:
[M]uch of the comic’s material focused on his self-proclaimed status as a cultural pariah. “Man, I love being cancelled,” Chappelle told the crowd of 19,000. “It is a huge relief. It’s like getting Capone on tax evasion.”
The gleefully abrasive comedian, who previously declared that Netflix’s trans employees “will not summon” him and must agree to conditions on speaking with him (to date, they haven’t shown interest in doing so), later proceeded with screening Untitled.
As Rolling Stone relayed and Yahoo further elaborated upon, the Untitled documentary screener went over well with the live audience (one attendee called it “fantastic” while many grew emotional). The film focuses upon how America grappled with both the economic devastation wrought by the pandemic and the killing of George Floyd, followed by civil unrest and associated debates on policing, all while Chappelle worked to pull off a grassroots comedy camp in Yellow Springs, Ohio. By reported accounts, Untitled is a thought-provoking film about how Americans “are trying to process the grief and isolation of the last year,” yet unfortunately, Chappelle continues to be unrepentant about those trans jokes and focuses a lot of his energy on being at odds with marginalized groups.
That juxtaposition is… something.