Dave Chappelle Provokes Laughter, Examination in Portland

By Garrick Hoffman

The Merrill Auditorium was packed with people on the night of Tuesday, September 22.

The only sound was the white-noise hum of the crowd. Everyone was awaiting the living

(and still quite young) comedic legend to arrive on stage.

When he did, the audience found that there was no shortage of laughs.

The illustrious Dave Chappelle has delighted in tremendous success throughout

his career. He began in acting (a cameo in Dr. Dolittle and a starring role in Half Baked).

Later he went on to spawn Chappelle’s Show, a sketch comedy masterpiece of television

that takes on race, pop culture and social absurdities, among other things. His first season

– which was also the last – became the best-selling DVD for television in history. His

second season, which was arguably (not statistically) the most popular, was the last.

Chappelle broached a myriad of topics, from his comeback to stand up touring, to

his role in the transgender movement, to who he sympathizes for. (“I feel bad for fat

black dudes. You know what’s the number one threat to fat black dudes? Salt. Just

regular table salt.”)ChappelleIMG(ArtsFeatures)

With the comedian at the vanguard of the night, the hour of Chappelle comedy

felt short-lived. But he was on top of his game for someone who in the last number of

years has experienced harsh criticism on his tours and had a shaky return after his sudden

disappearance from the world of entertainment. He was clever, blunt (despite his pot

adoration, there’s no pun intended there), and as what many popular comedians are:

irreverent, making unabashed remarks that surely would offend the average leftist.

And, as expected, he was hilarious.

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