Dave Chappelle Is Funny But He Makes a Serious Point About Comedy in These Troubling Times

Dave Chappelle’s humor, like many comedians, is often built around the formula of pain-plus-time-equals-funny. In his heralded series, “Chapelle’s Show,” the Dayton, Ohio native poked fun at a number of taboo topics. These included White Supremacy, drug addiction, and immigration reform.


In the midst of a return to the public stage, Chappelle spoke to The Associated Press over this past weekend. The stand-up comic and actor was asked to reflect on a time that his seen a number Black men (and children) murdered by police officers, as well as an act of mass-murderous terrorism at a South Carolina church, among others.

“The biggest enemy of an artist is apathy,” Chappelle stated. “A kid gets killed by the poilice and I buy a t-shirt and before I can wear that one, there’s another kid [murdered] and I’m running out of closet space.”

At a time when comic relief may be deemed controversial, the Half Baked star explained, “This is a very surprisingly emotionally charged time, so people like me, I think, are very relevant and necessary in sorting through all this information and emotional content.” He continued, “And when we are at our best, hopefully we are doing a great service to many people.”

How do you feel about comic relief in these times?

Read: Comedian Dave Chappelle Speaks Out About Comeback by Julia Walker.

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