Dave Chappelle’s new Netflix special has everyone’s panties in a bunch. The politically incorrect comedian raised the ire of both the woke brigade, which took exception to his remarks on cancel culture and the LGBTQ movement. Amusingly, Chappelle, referred to them as the “alphabet people.”
He likewise raised the ire of stodgy old conservatives at the National Review in his defense of Michael Jackson. Fortunately, no one reads National Review.
Chappelle’s new special, Sticks & Stones, is a return to form for the uncancellable comedian, whose topics and punchlines spared absolutely no one across the political spectrum.
Darkly humorous and humorously uncomfortable, Chappelle’s new set follows in the wake of the progressive left’s attempt to cancel him for his remarks on Caitlyn Jenner and the transtrenderism fad, which has taken much of America and the rest of the Western world by storm in the form of kids in drag, sex transitions for prepubescent children and Canada’s now-infamous “wax my balls” case.
The comedian took aim at the very subject that almost cost him his career, describing transgenderism as a hilarious condition. How funny would it be, asked Chappelle, if he was a transracial black man trapped in the body of a Chinese person? The answer – along with many other punchlines – sent VICE’s Taylor Hosking into a raging conniption.
Hosking, a humourless scold, takes umbrage with Chappelle’s jokes about trans people and his refusal to be cancelled by his remarks.
Hosking’s remarks fall directly into the very trap Chappelle set up at the start of his skit. Performing two types of impressions, Chappelle first produces the impression of one of America’s founding fathers as he asks a black slave to finish writing the constitution – an act that immediately lulls the audience into thinking that the next joke will be about white supremacy.
Performing the impression of an inarticulate doofus who’s threatening to ruin someone’s career for decade-old remarks, the audience wrongly guesses that Chappelle is imitating President Trump. Instead, he fires back by revealing that his impression is in fact of the audience themselves – always ready to cancel anyone for stepping out of line and saying the wrong thing.
And that’s precisely what Hosking sounds like – a doofus (albeit an articulate one) who spends much of his review complaining about Chappelle’s past sins in stand-up. With no irony whatsoever, the writer claims Chappelle’s defiant approach to comedy draws attention to the “worst aspects of his important career,” claiming that the “biggest cost will be tarnishing his own legacy.”
This is what’s being written about the same man who infamously made fun of the crack cocaine epidemic that affected much of black America in the 2000s; of consent contracts in the bedroom; and of a blind, black Ku Klux Klan member named Clayton Bigby. These old jokes, prescient as they are, would be considered “problematic” if produced in 2019.