One of the best stand-up comedians of all time is back with another hour of hilarity… and be warned: this one is harsh.
Dave Chappelle’s new Netflix stand-up special “Sticks and Stones” was made available by the streaming service on Aug. 26 to all customers. The special was filmed at The Tabernacle in Atlanta.
Controversy has run side-by-side with Dave Chappelle his whole career. His groundbreaking sketch-comedy show “Chappelle’s Show” pushed the envelope of what was acceptable content to present on television while also promoting African-American culture in a way few shows have been able to.
Equally known for his stand-up specials, Chappelle loves to use the political and social climate in this country as inspiration for his material. This tactic is on full display throughout the entirety “Sticks & Stones.”
As the title indicates, the legendary entertainer’s aim in this hour-long show is to challenge an audience which he feels has become too easily susceptible to quick judgement and a lack of a sense of humor.
In a previous special, “The Age of Spin,” Chappelle makes the point that today’s media often distorts the truth, shaping information to fit a specific agenda. This time around, he goes as far as to mock the ‘audience’ in front of him, which represents American society.
His material covers a wide variety of topics. From abortion and paternal rights to the LBGTQ+ movement, Chappelle leaves no stone unturned, offering up plenty of cringe-worthy content to be discussed in public and private sectors.
As a fan of Chappelle for most of my life, I have always appreciated his over-the-top sense of humor. Anyone and anything are fair game in Chappelle’s eyes — even himself at times. Entertainers like this are good for society. They keep us in check and make us laugh at ourselves, even our most difficult issues to discuss.
While some of his takes on certain topics may not be popular — particularly regarding disgraced artists like Michael Jackson or Louis C.K. — it’s hard not to listen to what Chappelle has to say, taking it to heart and laughing at the ridiculousness of what he is uttering.
Chappelle has never hidden the fact that some of his views are a little old school or perhaps out of touch. But he never apologizes for what he says on stage, stating that it is a strict policy of his to not feel bad for the content he comes up with.
Exclaiming loudly to his critics abroad, one of the funniest moments of the entire special occurs when Chappelle calls attention to the fact that anyone at home unhappy with the special can stop watching at any time — “You clicked on my face!”
Chappelle has never stopped being who he is. Society has become more inclusive and faster to place judgment on those who are slower to catch up. But the points made by Chappelle are valid and, if nothing else, worth a laugh or three.
Final Grade: B+
John Everman is an Arts Editor for the Daily Cardinal. To read more of his work, click here.