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Dave Chappelle: Stil Crazy After All These Years


Ellsworth Toohey
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To me, the goofiest part of this discussion is that the "take his ball home" rhetoric smacks of entitlement. He gave the world two seasons of arguably the best sketch show ever. What he did after that is colossally irrelevant.

 

 

No, what reeks of entitlement is quitting your job because you believe the very fans that propelled you to this level of success are too dumb to understand your brand of humor. From a guy whose prior well-known work consisted of a dead diabetic horse as a major plot device. Maybe he should've restricted box office sales to card-carrying MENSA members only.

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To me, the goofiest part of this discussion is that the "take his ball home" rhetoric smacks of entitlement. He gave the world two seasons of arguably the best sketch show ever. What he did after that is colossally irrelevant.

 No, what reeks of entitlement is quitting your job because you believe the very fans that propelled you to this level of success are too dumb to understand your brand of humor. From a guy whose prior well-known work consisted of a dead diabetic horse as a major plot device. Maybe he should've restricted box office sales to card-carrying MENSA members only.
Why are his motives relevant? Do you own Viacom stock? If not I fail to see how his decision to leave affected you in any way except that you totes wanted more Chappelle Show.
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To me, the goofiest part of this discussion is that the "take his ball home" rhetoric smacks of entitlement. He gave the world two seasons of arguably the best sketch show ever. What he did after that is colossally irrelevant.

 No, what reeks of entitlement is quitting your job because you believe the very fans that propelled you to this level of success are too dumb to understand your brand of humor. From a guy whose prior well-known work consisted of a dead diabetic horse as a major plot device. Maybe he should've restricted box office sales to card-carrying MENSA members only.
Why are his motives relevant? Do you own Viacom stock? If not I fail to see how his decision to leave affected you in any way except that you totes wanted more Chappelle Show.

 

 

"Why are his motives relevant?" You act as if this is a discussion about Zuckerberg donating $100M to Newark Schools right as The Social Network came out, when it's about a guy quitting his job. At what point did I even hint that his decision affected me in any sort of way? Have I demanded he return to his show? Did I cry a river for Viacom?

 

No. I simply called him a douche for the way he handled the situation (Chappelle's Show, not the Hartford incident). People in this thread were supporting his decision to walk out on CC because they believed he did so due to creative constraints from the suits, whereas I'm saying he walked out on his show because he thought his fans were too dumb to get his material. If you don't understand the difference between quitting a job because of creative differences versus quitting a job because you think you're too smart for your fanbase, I don't know what else to tell you.

 

(And yes, I do own Viacom stock, but not at the time of his walk out)

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The official word from Neal Brennan is that they went in for contract negotiations. At that time Comedy Central had to pay Dave, but they didn't want to pay Neal shit so CC's execs started playing the two against each other, telling Dave that Neal told them that there wouldn't be a show without Neal. Dave already went radio silent because of the negotiation process, which played off his ego and paranoia, and that just furthered the split. Playing off of Dave's paranoia, especially regarding racism, he would be told by execs and others in his entourage that Neal wrote this or Neal wrote that. Dave thinking that Hollywood regards black people as dumb and incapable of writing or creating such material didn't like it that Neal was getting any credit since it made it look like he was just the dummy who went along with whatever Neal said. CC still knew that they needed Brennan and would have to pay him, which offended Dave even more that Neal was going to get paid when everyone was telling him that Dave Chappelle is the show, not Neal Brennan. Neal gets paid, Dave has to work with Neal in a relationship that is just destroyed when they used to be friends, he has a bunch of yes people around him and Neal doesn't agree with anything, CC was wanting the work to be completed by a certain date putting pressure on them, and Dave chose to run from the pressure or getting this work done in a toxic environment where he was surrounded by a bunch of fake ass people and, at the time, a former friend that he resented. This is why Chappelle has no interest in being in showbiz ever again because you're dog shit until a certain point and then when you become a commodity the people in charge fuck with your life and make you miserable to try and control you and maintain their bottom line.

 

You're maybe the only person I've seen reference that Chappelle didn't want his work to be loved by people he didn't think were smart enough for it. It completely contradicts just about everything that has been said up until this point. And maybe at some point recently Dave has started spinning this tale, but it's about as much bullshit as his conspiracy theory about Hollywood having a fetish with putting black men in women's clothing to emasculate them.

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You're maybe the only person I've seen reference that Chappelle didn't want his work to be loved by people he didn't think were smart enough for it. It completely contradicts just about everything that has been said up until this point. And maybe at some point recently Dave has started spinning this tale, but it's about as much bullshit as his conspiracy theory about Hollywood having a fetish with putting black men in women's clothing to emasculate them.

 

1) I can't be the only person when Nate essentially posted the same thing I did just one page back.

 

2) From our friends at Wikipedia:

 

"In a June 2004 stand-up performance in Sacramento, California, Chappelle walked off the stage after berating his audience for constantly shouting "I'm Rick James, bitch!," which became a catchphrase from the popular "Rick James" sketch. After a few minutes, Chappelle returned and continued by saying, "The show is ruining my life." He stated that he disliked working "20 hours a day" and that the popularity of the show was making it difficult for him to continue his stand-up career, which was "the most important thing" to him. He also told the audience "You know why my show is good? Because the network officials say you're not smart enough to get what I'm doing, and every day I fight for you. I tell them how smart you are. Turns out, I was wrong. You people are stupid."

 

So according to Neal, Dave thought Hollywood regarded black writers as dumb, yet here Dave is, saying the suits not only asked him to tone it down, but then proceeded to insult the intelligence of the audience. The defense rests.

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You're maybe the only person I've seen reference that Chappelle didn't want his work to be loved by people he didn't think were smart enough for it. It completely contradicts just about everything that has been said up until this point. And maybe at some point recently Dave has started spinning this tale, but it's about as much bullshit as his conspiracy theory about Hollywood having a fetish with putting black men in women's clothing to emasculate them.

 

Many of the older, black comedians feel that way though. Maybe it's just a coincidence that the black comics who believe that actually support Dave's decision to walk away while the others with 1/10th the talent talk about they would have done this and that. Maronzio Vance (best known now as the Miller Light commercial guy) always tells the story of the time Katt Williams verbally eviscerated Brandon T.Jackson backstage at a show for supporting Martin Lawrence for wearing a dress. Then, Kevin Hart goes on SNL, puts on a dress, and a certain fraternity of black comics come down on him. You can chalk it up as homophobia, jealousy, bitterness, but I feel there is some credence to that theory. I would feel different if it was young comics with that belief, but not when it is comics that have been doing it for fifteen and twenty years.

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That says nothing about why he quit the show. All it says is that he doesn't like hecklers and said some shit back at them. So if everything you've said thus far is parsed from that tiny bit from fucking wikipedia, then please excuse me if I think your explanation is nonsense and bullshit at the same time. None of this even touches on how Neal, and others, didn't say that Dave believed Hollywood execs thought black writers were dumb, he said he believed that Hollywood execs thought black people were too dumb to write. Keep in mind that Dave Chappelle also thinks that these are the same Hollywood execs that have a hard-on for placing male black actors in dresses and he told this to Oprah on her show and Oprah looked at Dave like he was out of his fucking mind. At some point along the way, probably after hanging out with Paul Mooney too much, Dave became his character from Undercover Brother. So yes, clearly, "the defense rests."

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You're maybe the only person I've seen reference that Chappelle didn't want his work to be loved by people he didn't think were smart enough for it. It completely contradicts just about everything that has been said up until this point. And maybe at some point recently Dave has started spinning this tale, but it's about as much bullshit as his conspiracy theory about Hollywood having a fetish with putting black men in women's clothing to emasculate them.

 

Many of the older, black comedians feel that way though. Maybe it's just a coincidence that the black comics who believe that actually support Dave's decision to walk away while the others with 1/10th the talent talk about they would have done this and that. Maronzio Vance (best known now as the Miller Light commercial guy) always tells the story of the time Katt Williams verbally eviscerated Brandon T.Jackson backstage at a show for supporting Martin Lawrence for wearing a dress. Then, Kevin Hart goes on SNL, puts on a dress, and a certain fraternity of black comics come down on him. You can chalk it up as homophobia, jealousy, bitterness, but I feel there is some credence to that theory. I would feel different if it was young comics with that belief, but not when it is comics that have been doing it for fifteen and twenty years.

 

 

I will say this, I think Dave bringing this theory to light is on the weird side, but I do raise a suspicious eye to the number of male black actors who wear dresses.

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You're maybe the only person I've seen reference that Chappelle didn't want his work to be loved by people he didn't think were smart enough for it. It completely contradicts just about everything that has been said up until this point. And maybe at some point recently Dave has started spinning this tale, but it's about as much bullshit as his conspiracy theory about Hollywood having a fetish with putting black men in women's clothing to emasculate them.

 

Many of the older, black comedians feel that way though. Maybe it's just a coincidence that the black comics who believe that actually support Dave's decision to walk away while the others with 1/10th the talent talk about they would have done this and that. Maronzio Vance (best known now as the Miller Light commercial guy) always tells the story of the time Katt Williams verbally eviscerated Brandon T.Jackson backstage at a show for supporting Martin Lawrence for wearing a dress. Then, Kevin Hart goes on SNL, puts on a dress, and a certain fraternity of black comics come down on him. You can chalk it up as homophobia, jealousy, bitterness, but I feel there is some credence to that theory. I would feel different if it was young comics with that belief, but not when it is comics that have been doing it for fifteen and twenty years.

 

 

I will say this, I think Dave bringing this theory to light is on the weird side, but I do raise a suspicious eye to the number of male black actors who wear dresses.

 

 

It's not something that (when a person brings it up) comics who don't like it are very mum about. They tend to be very vocal about it. Dave has done some bizarre shit, but I don't personally believe that goes on the list. He was just saying how several people feel about that particular aspect of the industry.

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That says nothing about why he quit the show. All it says is that he doesn't like hecklers and said some shit back at them. So if everything you've said thus far is parsed from that tiny bit from fucking wikipedia, then please excuse me if I think your explanation is nonsense and bullshit at the same time. None of this even touches on how Neal, and others, didn't say that Dave believed Hollywood execs thought black writers were dumb, he said he believed that Hollywood execs thought black people were too dumb to write. Keep in mind that Dave Chappelle also thinks that these are the same Hollywood execs that have a hard-on for placing male black actors in dresses and he told this to Oprah on her show and Oprah looked at Dave like he was out of his fucking mind. At some point along the way, probably after hanging out with Paul Mooney too much, Dave became his character from Undercover Brother. So yes, clearly, "the defense rests."

 

Um, you do realize the Wikipedia quote has the link to the original source RIGHT THERE, no? Okay, how about ANOTHER direct quote from Dave, this time RIGHT AFTER he quit. Would the prosecution not object? Allllllll righty then.

 

http://content.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1061415,00.html

 

MAY 15, 2005:

 

"The problems, he says, started with his inner circle."If you don't have the right people around you and you're moving at a million miles an hour you can lose yourself," he says. "Everyone around me says, 'You're a genius!'; 'You're great!'; 'That's your voice!' But I'm not sure that they're right." And he stresses that Comedy Central was not part of the problem and put no more than normal television restrictions on what he could do."

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I've seen all of these quotes before too and it hardly proves what you are saying is right. If anything, it corroborates what I said up above. For some reason, you're completely fixated on me, or anyone else saying that him splitting was the result of restrictions placed on him by Comedy Central or that they tried to meddle with what he was doing with the show. That couldn't be farther from at least what I was describing. The quote was from May 2005, right after when he was going through all of the shit with contract negotiations and after CC execs played him and Neal against each other, and when he had a bunch of people around him who had his ear, boosting his ego, which just further drove the wedge in between him and Neal. So he has a bunch of people around him saying that it's his show, that he's great, and then there's Neal who was friends with Dave for years, saying, "hey, man, we're a team, we're making something really special and I'm just trying to get paid too. Ignore all of that other bullshit." Dave already is under the impression that Neal was taking all of the credit for the show when he told CC execs that Dave told him that he couldn't do the show without him. Now he has Neal saying he wants a slice of the pie too, but Dave thinks that Neal is pulling some underhanded shit and making it sound like Dave doesn't do anything. You couple that with CC holding them to a timeline, something that Dave and Neal said wasn't anything different than they experienced before, but producing a TV show takes so much work and puts so much pressure on them. So the normal stresses of making the TV show, combined with his resentment towards his then former friend (as they're now friends again), getting the impression that his entourage was fake as hell (which they were and he later understood they were), and having all of this money that he thinks Neal was trying to take from him, made him want to get the hell out of town as far as he could, away from any toxic elements, whether if those were perceived or real, and now he has no interest in returning back to showbiz because of how crazy it made him and how it practically ruined his life.

 

So the tl;dr of it is that I'm not saying he quit and split because Comedy Central was overbearing, it's because of the other elements in the exact quote you put it up and what factors were behind that quote. It contradicts what you're saying because if Dave quit due to the fans being too dumb to understand the comedy of his show, then why is he doubting himself in your quote?

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Yes I'm so "fixated" on you (A/S/L??) that I made two short and succinct claims (that he's a douche for quitting the show due to the fans, and not because of the CC suits), while also providing direct quotes from the man himself supporting my very statements during this time period. Clicked on Wikipedia and first link for Google "Dave Chappelle TIME," when will my obsession end~~~?!? 

 

You, on the other hand, are apparently part of Dave's entourage, or Neal's lover, because you keep rambling on and on about how "Neal said this" or "Obviously Dave thought that" without providing ANY sources at all. I mean, goddamn, re-read your last post, and then come back and talk to me about fixations. Either source your claims, post a selfie with Neal, or get back to me on the A/S/L. Otherwise I'm done here.

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This thread has far exceeded my expectations. A week ago, I thought this was going to be just another Hoardak thread: Two pages, tops, before everybody realized, "Oh, we're in a Hoardak thread," and moved on. Kudos to all involved for elevating the proceedings.

Would definitely read again.

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