The long awaited #netflixisajoke began its performances in theaters around the country, featuring the best of comedy, and those still with us here today. Many familiar faces, who have often been able to provide comfort and a voice of reason to talk us out of the seriousness of life and just reflect in a spontaneous way, make conversation happen, they have a nack for broaching subjects in heroic ways, and we commend them for that, without whom, life would be a little less funny to think about, isn’t it best when we can all relate better, it’s in shared humor the most solutions are found, so they would be the experts in fine tuning the general discourse current and brave enough for taking the stage. It was on May 3rd that on stage performances took yet again another turn for the worst, specifically in comedy, one of our best was attacked on stage, not to the chagrin of many angered viewers of the Academy Awards, why no immediate remedy was feasible at the time of the incident, and why we should also not blame anyone as having the responsibility to take matters into their own hands legally. You can’t hold victims responsible, but on May 3rd, actor comedian Chris Rock got on stage and joked, “Was that Will?” That’s the truth of the matter. This has brought up a very serious concern shared by comedians for additional stage attacks. It’s not your fault, and it’s a shame that the politics of what went wrong in a previous incident would be anyhow related to the motivations occurring in this attack, we hope not, that’s a bad precedent.
Dave Chappelle is one the greatest comedy geniuses of our time, and “of America” according to Esquire. Often described as an acquired taste, I think most millennials can agree that he was just as funny growing up, as he is in standup, with many memorable performances on screen. It takes a lot of courage to be creative and to share with personality unique to you the brings out such a community of laughter in an open space at The Hollywood Bowl, it sounded like everyone was friends sharing a laugh, and I think that’s the goal, like seeing a friend you know and admire. So why with love in the air and excitement at this beautiful venue could something like this happen. We are so thankful that an even worse result did not occur, reminded again of what more can be done to protect those in the limelight as performers from unknown audience members with the potential to threaten the safety of those there for entertainment, not political statements, fighting, or any violent attack or demonstration. The more innocent people present, the worse the effect this has on the sense of respect and morale for all those watching, the more are harmed. Dave is not just any comedian he is the winner of “four Emmy Awards and three Grammy Awards as well as the Mark Twain Prize”, we aren’t interested in why he got mauled down on stage, there’s a general “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to focusing on offenders, so lets focus elsewhere, what can be done to make performers feel safe again, and not be attacked for anything said or for what they stand for, there’s no excuse for violence toward people, that doesn’t solve anything, it doesn’t mean anything important to anyone, it just dampens the spirits of those who wish to live in peace, and not be bothered or worried by any instability around them, be in peace in public. Thankfully the security team tackled the perpetrator, who was later stomped on in private, and hospitalized with a broken arm, then jailed, maybe a funny Twitter meme to some, but really think about this, not just what you think others want to see, this is no joke, this cannot happen, not on any stage, not by any audience member, not in any public space.
We’ve known Dave throughout the years in films such as Half Baked and “Mel Brooks’s Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993), The Nutty Professor (1996), Con Air (1997), You’ve Got Mail (1998), Blue Streak (1999), Undercover Brother (2002), Chi-Raq (2015), and A Star Is Born (2018),” and in TV comedy series including Chapelle Show I’m sure we all still have our VHS cassette tapes. He is what we can relate to, he represents the majority of our younger years and experimental times, and all the stuff we could think but would never blurt out and share a laugh over, it takes a leader to make it okay for us to feel that way, think that way, and say those things, and for it to be okay for that to be considered a unique expression that we can all relate to, there is definitely genius in that likeability factor. According to Dave Chappelle, “You know, be able to do something great in your life, you’re gonna have to realize your failures. You’re gonna have to embrace them and figure out how to overcome it.”
Success doesn’t make us immune to controversy and hardship, he is but one example of those of us who maybe take life that much more seriously, so when he puts his health first, that must mean that he is going through some serious changes in life and in need of rest and reflection away from the spotlight and a big paycheck. What meant more to him was his sanity and we commend him for that, it’s better to fix a problem then to let a problem persist. That took a lot of courage and strength to let go of something in place of a different course in life. It was nice to see him back, returning to comedy along with everyone else who left, no names mentioned, we appreciate them all for sharing their light and personality with everyone, although we may not have always seen the value in it kept it going throughout the years, glad that they are able to make more spaces for us to explore out sense of humor again and for it to be okay to laugh, or feel funny inside, and smile, no matter how tough the times get. Checking himself into a mental health facility in South Africa, was maybe the best decision he ever made, seeing that mental health issues have become a growing dilemma for most no matter what your age is. That’s a good point, how to just to get away, when something is not right and we need to rethink life and our purpose and what’s important to us moving forward, perform to the best of our standards in life, everyone is different, if you can’t make it happen, it’s always okay to step aside, the spotlight will always be there, with or without you, it’s about what you can bring to the table when the time is necessary, that makes him a hero, not crazy as he adamantly denies about being hospitalized, however mental health issues happen, blame it on whatever you want it’s a chemical imbalance that must be treated, and not unless you get help, hard to solve on your own, without medical assistance, something money can’t solve, healing is achieved from within. -In one interview he described how “destructive the Hollywood culture,” can be and describes those similarly affected Britney Spears and Mariah Carey to name a few, as “strong people” feeling that instead maybe there is something wrong with the environment.
Dave has been working on his comeback since 2017, after taking a 12 year break from the spotlight, and it’s not been an easy return to comedy. Around October 20, 2021, a debate was sparked by his transphobic comments, putting Netflixunder yet another critical controversy concerning their choice publications. Transphobia is not a new issue, it’s just a more prevalent issue, and I’m assuming when an issue has been supported for discussion, then that makes the discussion relatable to other issues people face and can relate to on that basis be helped. When an identity type is stereotyped and marginalized this puts that person at risk of harm for being judged as though it’s a choice, or an assignment in life that they should be viewed as responsible for having a condition that anyone would deem they are to be affected by. It’s like the whole attraction methodology to feeling good got translated to some imagined transmission of contact unwanted mentally to a person who does not relate or does not want to be affected by. We cannot always help who we are or what we become, we can do our best to be ourselves, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not okay to embrace other cultures in life, and identity types if that is what worked to build solidarity and confidence among, then allow be to be inspired by one another whether or not they are so-called “trans” or bear those same qualities and characteristics. I couldn’t help but think about growing up privileged and how being a tomboy reflects on others concerning your own sexuality, confidences, and privileges in life. It seems the less you can be embraced, and the more of a show that you are, the harder it is for you to be loved the same, some things you can’t just hug out, if no one feels like consoling you or making you feel loved just the way you are. Is wearing a baseball cap as a woman considered “gender nonconforming?” Why is it hot for some women to exude masculine traits but for some women it is not okay, in what way does that make it fair for us to assume that anyone’s choice expression makes them defective to the general concept of what it means to be human and to look the way you feel, and to feel the way you look, since when does it matter what you look like, just to be yourself? I’m assuming this applies to finding a mate, love, and a job, I’m sure that matters. So why so much disdain for this minority group, what is it that they represent in humanity that makes them any less than human compared to others? It’s not okay to make people feel like it’s not okay to be who they want to be in life, and be themselves, and sometimes it’s uncomfortable to be a certain way expected, like naked for example or sexy in swimsuits, show your body and assets. Does not showing your assets make you a stranger to sexuality? No, but why do we have to show our sexuality in such a grandiose way? Who is responsible for people who do not feel loved, and is this anyhow some basis for extending the privilege to other minority groups and gender roles assumed to be had, mismatched, or occupied by people in life we do not think they should occupy. Anyone can be anything they want to be in life, and by today’s standards that also means how you decorate your space in life, and what represents you, and how others see you, no that’s not your fault either.
Recently Elon Musk bought Twitter for 44 Billion, which just goes to show how important Free Speech is to our Country and who values protecting our right to be heard. And Dave Chapelle is one of them, free to speak his mind and relate to his audience that’s how smart he is, even when he’s making fun of others, since when are comedians expected to be serious. Chappelle is known for his “commentary on racial inequality” and has always “shed light on the truth using comedy.”