It has been an interesting start of the week for Dave Chappelle. The comedian’s two new specials released on Netflix Tuesday, giving fans of the former “Chappelle’s Show” comic a fix for his long-awaited standup.
But not everyone who watched the specials was laughing. Some viewers were put off by his raunchier jokes.
There was a backlash by viewers toward his jokes about the LGBTQ community and his comments on transgender issues. There was also a strong reaction toward the comedian’s discussion of Bill Cosby’s sexual assault case.
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The specials –“The Age of Spin: Live at the Hollywood Palladium” and “Deep in the Heart of Texas: Live at Austin City Limits” – have raised the question about what is and isn’t off limits in standup comedy, and if it’s acceptable for comedians to cross certain boundaries.
Many of Chappelle’s supporters came to the comedian’s defense, noting the jokes went in line with the brand that has made him so popular.
The conversation even moved toward comparisons of Richard Pryor and a debate over whether the famed comedian was ever offensive in his career.
That notion was quickly shot down.
The conversation about what is funny and what is offensive is sure to continue as fans wait for Chappelle’s third special to release on Netflix later this year.
LaVendrick Smith; @LaVendrickS