By Michael Foster-Sanders/multimedia editor
Richard Pryor once said “What I’m saying might be profane, but it’s also profound.”
Dave Chappelle takes Pryor’s thoughts to heart with his new Netflix comedy special “Sticks and Stones,” because this is Chappelle at his leanest, meanest and rawest.
Chappelle invokes his comedic forefathers’ spirit to go to war with what he labels “cancel culture,” which has risen in popularity due to his comedian friends such as Kevin Hart and Louis C.K.
Cancel culture is when a celebrity’s past is brought up, usually on social media platforms, and makes it a trending topic so the celebrity can lose their livelihood.
This is where the title’s name comes into play because he wants to educate the people who do this, and let them know that jokes can’t hurt them.
Chappelle wants to let those people know that they won’t stop him from being the best comedian he can be by stifling his creativity and threatening to get him banned.
Chappelle starts by talking about Michael Jackson’s sexual molestation cases right off the bat, and digs right into the accusers allegations presenting evidence why Jackson is innocent in his eyes.
He then plays devil’s advocate by saying if Jackson did do it, then they should be happy, because how many people can say they were molested by Michael Jackson.
His issues with the media and how words can be misconstrued comes into play when he speaks on an interaction he had with “Surviving R. Kelly” director Dream Hampton.
Hampton asked Chappelle to speak about the R. Kelly allegations, which he declined due to not knowing his business or him personally.
The director spins a narrative with her documentary that Chappelle passed on commenting, as if he didn’t care about the alleged abuse, thus creating the perfect storm which Chappelle tears into the director for lying to him.
The highlight of the show is when he scolds and mocks the alleged attack on actor Jussie Smollet, or who he calls “Juicy Smollett.”
The inconsistent story of his attack is cannon fodder for the veteran comedian.
No groups or ethnicities were left safe in this stand up special, as Chappelle forces the audience to realize dark humor, no matter how painful it may be, can be funny. Chappelle believes the best comedy comes from dark places.
Is this Chappelle’s best work? No, but he achieves his mission by making people take a look in the mirror and telling them to relax.