After an eight-year hiatus away from the spotlight (aside from the occasional performance), Dave Chappelle is co-headlining the Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival, a 15-city tour presented by Funny or Die. He was welcomed to a standing ovation from the 14,000-plus comedy aficionados assembled at the Austin 360 Amphitheater in Austin, TX last night.
“I have terrible news for the audience,” he said by way of an opener. “I don’t have any material.” A besotted woman towards the front shouted “I still accept you!” The crowd cheered. We were just glad to have him back after Chappelle abruptly bolted from his Comedy Central show and a $50 million dollar paycheck in 2005, igniting rumors of drugs and crazy town. Last night the audience made sure his homecoming was sweet.
“Where do I start?” he wondered, all loose and rangy, his bald head pouring sweat in the Texas heat. “The world’s in turmoil. The lady from the Food Channel called somebody a n—er.” He went on to wonder about all the fuss, saying “every two years a white celebrity cracks and calls everybody n—ers.” He remembered back in 2006 when Seinfeld‘s Michael Richards lost it on a comedy club stage and started hurling racist epithets at a belligerent heckler. Chappelle admitted as a man he was disappointed in Richards’ stumble. “But the comedian in me was like ‘Ooh, this n—er is having a tough show. Hang in there Kramer.’” He went on to joke that as soon as he heard the Food Network had fired Deen “I called her agent and tried to get her as my personal chef!”
Last week, Prince took the comical approach to social media marketing by tweeting a mock-up cover of Chappelle as himself holding a plate of pancakes for his new single “Breakfast Can Wait” through his female backup band’s account.
Watch the making of the hilarious skit below.