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View Full Version : Dave Chappelle on Oprah: Um, okay


Mr. Blue Sky
02-03-2006, 07:11 PM
I just watched Oprah interview Dave Chappelle. I still don't know what the hell's going on.

He mentioned that his writing partner didn't call him after he returned from Africa. He talked about being "socially irresponsible" and how the people around were trying to make him think he was crazy.

All in all, it was a very strange interview. When asked if he would return to his show, he said he would if he could have the proper working atmosphere and that half the profits from the DVD sales would go back to "the people" who really could use it (like Katrina victims).

For some reason, this whole thing sounds like an elaborate setup for some massively huge joke.

Cat Fight
02-03-2006, 08:30 PM
Strange, indeed. Oprah kept putting words into his mouth and (thankfully) he'd correct her. I just don't think he was ready to articulate what he'd been through. All in all, it was very uneven-- he was funny, then offensive, open-minded, then bitter. First he's saying he had to got Africa to clear his head, or that he's hurt his friend didn't phone him since he's been back (wondering if it's a "culural" thing- WTF? He's known this guy since they were teenagers)-- then he's joking that no one goes from the U.S. to Africa for medical care, and admitting he didn't even tell his wife and kids he was taking off.

I understand that he felt overwhelmed and like people were using him, but he made it seem as if, say, Macauley Culkin hadn't been through that before him (and as a child). Plus I just can't see Oprah watching the show. I did like when he differentiated between fans who got the points he was trying to put across and those who just yelled "I'm Rick James, bitch!" at him.

I think he's got plenty to sort out. I'm a huge fan, so hope he comes out on top.

Improv Geek
02-03-2006, 08:50 PM
Well if http://chappelletheory.com/ is to be believed, she was actually part of the axis of evil... I'm just saying....

Citizen Bob
02-03-2006, 09:50 PM
Well if http://chappelletheory.com/ is to be believed, she was actually part of the axis of evil... I'm just saying.... Dude! Have you found any verification for this stuff? I've lived under usch conditions before,, and it was a nightmare... If it's true it makes MORE than even sense.

Mr. Blue Sky
02-03-2006, 09:56 PM
Dude! Have you found any verification for this stuff? I've lived under usch conditions before,, and it was a nightmare... If it's true it makes MORE than even sense.

The last page of that site has changed at least three times. The first time it ended with what appeared to be an advertisement for a movie based on the theory, but if you clicked on the "trailer" link, nothing happened. Later, it was a link to a company that sold t-shirts. Now it just ends with May 2005.

Marley23
02-03-2006, 10:17 PM
He did say he'd do the show again. That'd be interesting, not that I really expect it to happen.

Whatever the Chapelle Theory thing is, I doubt it's actually a truthful account written by somebody who knows the biz. It could be almost anything else and wouldn't surprise me.

Improv Geek
02-03-2006, 10:18 PM
I wasn't saying for or against, it seems pretty damn farfetched if you ask me, but anything's possible.

Mr. Blue Sky
02-03-2006, 10:20 PM
He did say he'd do the show again. That'd be interesting, not that I really expect it to happen.

Whatever the Chapelle Theory thing is, I doubt it's actually a truthful account written by somebody who knows the biz. It could be almost anything else and wouldn't surprise me.

There are those (including myself) that believe the site was concocted by Chappelle himself.

Marley23
02-03-2006, 10:23 PM
I thought the "it's a movie Chappelle is going to make" theory is very plausible, and could be funny. (And I wasn't trying to discredit ronincyberpunk.) I don't have a clue what Citizen Bob is talking about, but it sure isn't an expose.

Darkhold
02-04-2006, 01:14 AM
Well if http://chappelletheory.com/ is to be believed, she was actually part of the axis of evil... I'm just saying....That site is total crap. A few of the details it mentions seem wrong (mostly the summary of sketches in the first few shows) and it's odd that every prominent black person seems to be involved in an effort to destroy Dave even though In Living Color already made many of the same types of jokes several years ago.

I'm only about 1/3 through it but I don't have time to finish it before work but so far it seems very vaguely racist and definitely in the tinfoil hat range.

astro
02-04-2006, 01:21 AM
I'm being cynical, but I think he's lying. If I had to bet, I still put my money on heavy drug use being behind his meltdown.

devilsknew
02-04-2006, 03:04 AM
He is paranoid in the clinical sense. He reminds me of some people I knew who were on a no joke trip from trucker pills and marijuana.

Darkhold
02-04-2006, 02:27 PM
That site is good for one thing though laughs and many of them.
On Tuesday, while watching an episode of the Oprah Winfrey show, Chappelle recalled being completely stunned when Winfrey turned to the camera in the middle of interviewing Tom Cruise and said "Dave Chappelle, you should be ashamed of yourself for airing that Niggars sketch on your show this week, I'm going to make sure you never work in Hollywood again."

The image, allegedly taped by Winfrey, and transmitted to Chappelle's house under the direction of Robert L. Johnson who called in some favors with Chappelle's local affiliate station manager, terrified Chappelle. if Chappelle really reported that he's totally bonkers. If the maker of that site just made it up out of his own craziness well it's still comedy gold.

Queuing
02-04-2006, 04:58 PM
There are those (including myself) that believe the site was concocted by Chappelle himself.

Why do you believe that? As a viral marketing scheme? Or do you believe some of what it says? Or am I being whoosed here?

The site seems to making some rather odd claims. Couldn't the same people who are accused of bringing down Dave Chappelle easily shut down this website? Couldn't Chappelle himself for using his name?

Mr. Blue Sky
02-04-2006, 05:06 PM
Why do you believe that? As a viral marketing scheme? Or do you believe some of what it says? Or am I being whoosed here?

I don't believe any of it. It just sounds like a sketch he'd come up with. Nothing more.

Queuing
02-05-2006, 11:33 PM
I don't believe any of it. It just sounds like a sketch he'd come up with. Nothing more.
Ah, ok, I was just wondering. I agree with you, it does sound like something he might do, however I think its just complete bunk.

Cluricaun
02-06-2006, 09:48 AM
Then what about the Comedy Central commercials that promise new Chappelle’s Show episodes that end with the tag “….And we’re serious this time”. There must be some kind of commitment there, right?

KidCharlemagne
02-06-2006, 11:26 AM
Anybody else think he looked/acted drunk? I was getting the feeling that Oprah was thinking the same thing.

Marley23
02-06-2006, 11:51 AM
Then what about the Comedy Central commercials that promise new Chappelle’s Show episodes that end with the tag “….And we’re serious this time”. There must be some kind of commitment there, right?
Chappelle shot four episodes' worth of material before he bolted. Comedy Central is going to air those (without his standup interludes) some time in the next couple of months.

control-z
02-06-2006, 02:16 PM
Nobody has commented on his problems with his cow-orkers. He was stressed out and they were following him around telling him he was crazy and trying to get him to take medication. That sounds like Elvis all over again.

And his points about being laughed at, not with, I think are valid. I'm white and I laugh at the skits. But I'm not sure I'm laughing in a good way, I think I'm laughing because his skits are outrageous but reinforce racial stereotypes.

He also said (and Oprah agreed) that being a public figure carries social responsibility whether you like it or not. I am not an Oprah fan but I think her example having the the skinheads/KKK on her show and the audience member shouting "You tell her!" or whatever is interesting. By having them on her show most people were shocked, but she was actually exposing them to a wider audience at the same time.

Chappelle seems like a good guy to me. All in all to me it sounds like he was in a hostile or at least weird work environment, and he started questioning whether making and profiting these racially charged skits for the white-guy Comedy Central suits and white suburban youth was a good thing or not.

anu-la1979
02-06-2006, 02:36 PM
I also thought heavy drug use + potential mental illness behind the meltdown. But it may just be what control-z talked about. I actually saw him on his comedy tour, I think that must have been in 2004 at the University of Illinois and he seemed very put-off by a stadium full of kids shouting his signature lines. I mean, visibly annoyed and he started snarking. Maybe he just felt it had crossed over from outrageousness/ironic slant to unfairly mocking.

Push You Down
02-06-2006, 04:46 PM
He actually berated an audience and walked off the stage in Sacramento because the audience just kept shouting requests for bits. "Do Rick James!" "Do the crack head!"
The quote from the article about it was something like "What you people don't understand is I tell you jokes and you listen and when I give the punch line, you laugh. It's not hard."

Mr. Blue Sky
02-06-2006, 05:01 PM
I was in the same boat - should I be laughing at this? Well, it's funny and I laughed, but I think, or at least hope, I was laughing for the right reason.

As for people yelling out "I'm Rick James, bitch!", well, that's part of the price for being popular. Sucks sometimes, but there you go.

If his employees were suggesting he was crazy and insist he take meds, then fire them. It's his show and he calls the shots. If the employees can't deal, then they should know where the door is.

But if he really is off his nut, his world will collapse on him, employee opinion or not.

He talks about being socially responsible and it makes me think about the "Chappelle Theory" a little. When Bill Cosby got ripped for his comments, it wasn't what he said, but who he said it to. Apparently it's taboo for blacks to discuss their race's problems outside their race, I guess.

Either way, the comedy world will suffer just a bit without Chappelle. He's a genuinely talented man with a lot to offer everybody who likes to laugh.

YellowTail
02-06-2006, 05:22 PM
All of this sounds like great material for a new Chappelle's show. He could do skits addressing all the rumors, never letting on which one was really true. The speculation on the part of the audience would keep the thing going. He could draw all kinds of parallels to the Beatles having fun with the "Paul is Dead" thing, Elvis going off the tracks, that old show The Prisoner, etc., etc. Chappelle always seemed willing to laugh at himself during the first two seasons. And it's hard to imagine him just going back into random skits without addressing his leave of absence. I would think he'd hafta do something to address it, and frankly I don't care to hear a tearful confession from another celeb. Shove it back in their faces by making fun of it!

Hedda Rosa
02-07-2006, 10:39 AM
I'm not a particular fan of Dave Chapelle, and have never seen the show but watched this show because I watch Oprah a few days a week.

I was more-or-less with him for a lot of it; could get on board with the whole stressed out thing, the my-people-were-telling-me-I'm-crazy-thing, and fully understand about the white-guy laughining thing.

But he lost me with the rant about having to wear a dress. I can see it mattered to him but the way he honed in on that particular issue was just strange. It seemed completely off-topic and random and he had that crazy-man energy telling about it.

Also you might notice he never really answered if he had been in a mental institution in Africa. He just dodged it with his crack about going from the US to Africa for medical care.

Askia
02-07-2006, 11:11 AM
Apparently it's taboo for blacks to discuss their race's problems outside their race, I guess. It used to be taboo. It's been less so since the original Million Man March. It's still scandalous for high-profile African-Americans to frankly and openly discuss intraracial black issues in public forums and especially to criticize African-American leadership and the masses. This is changing big-time, though -- I'm tempted to say "rapidly changing." Right now you see a few people (a few low-key "Chappelle's Show" skits, Kelsey Grammar's "Girlfriends," Chris Rock's "Everybody Hates Chris", Aaron McGruder's "Boondocks," and almost back in the day, Ralph Farquar's excellent "South Central") do so in a humorous way. I expect the humor to open the way for more serious cultural debate and discussion.

I say African-American because it's not precisely synonymous to say black. This is more of an American ethnic thing than a racial one. Nelson Mandela is not African American and I read about him being quite critical of post-apartheid blacks all the time with regard to the AIDS epidemic and policy. When was the last time you heard Jesse Jackson, Condoleeza Rice or Barack Obama openly talk about black gay men? Or black single parent households? Or AIDS? Or recidivism?

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