There was never anything like Chappelle’s Show on TV before it, and there hasn’t been anything like it since. Chappelle’s Show ran from 2003-2006 on Comedy Central — and though it’s been gone for nine years, it still scans like the most acute contemporary commentary on the world today. Not to mention the funniest. The essence of a jarring provocative Chappelle skit is probably best exemplified by the blind white supremacist Clayton Bigsby, who happens to be black. Or by the white family called the Niggars. In comedy, famously, nothing is sacred. But in Chappelle, it’s as if sacred isn’t even a word. If any comedian ever tried to grab American society’s jugular, and rip apart the lies we tell ourselves it was Dave Chappelle during those three blistering years.
Chappelle’s back in action now, in what he calls a “surprisingly emotionally charged time.” Accepting an award recently Chappelle, said he can’t keep up with the horrible deaths of young black people in custody. He expects to tour. But there’s no TV show in the works. That’s too bad, but even Dave Chappelle probably can’t follow Dave Chappelle.