Dave Chappelle Dropped a Surprise Netflix Comedy Special on YouTube About George Floyd and Police Brutality

Dave Chappelle has never been shy about addressing racial issues in his comedy, whether it’s in his stand-up specials or his late, great sketch comedy series on Comedy Central. So it should come as no surprise that in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in Minnesota, and the Black Lives Matter protests around the globe, Dave Chappelle has a few things to say as only the influential comedian can.

Chappelle has dropped a surprise comedy special on YouTube that addresses the current situation. And although this is a comedy special, Chappelle has some serious and poignant things to say.

Dave Chappelle Surprise Comedy Special

The new special is called 8:46, which is a reference to how long Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee down on the neck of George Floyd, killing him and resulting in a charge of second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. But the special itself lasts over 27 minutes, and even though it’s meant to honor George Floyd, Chappelle still isn’t entirely sure what to say about the situation, and it seems like he’s working through a combination of serious thoughts and new material. He said:

“It’s hard to figure out what to say about George Floyd, so I’m not going to say it yet. I got to tell you, this is like the first concert in North America since all this shit happened, so like it or not, it’s history. It’s going to be in the books.”

It’s especially in the books now that the special has been uploaded to the official Netflix Is A Joke account on YouTube. But Chappelle’s latest comedic offering isn’t necessarily meant to be a polished piece of comedy, which is probably why it’s not on Netflix proper.

In releasing the special, Chappelle made a brief statement noting, “Normally I wouldn’t show you something so unrefined, I hope you understand.” The comedian hadn’t been on stage for 87 days before recording this special in his hometown of Yellow Springs, Ohio on June 6. That’s a long time for a comedian to be off stage, but for a professional like Chappelle, coming back after an extended hiatus isn’t all that difficult. Since recording this special, he’s been performing in front of small crowds in the Dayton, Ohio area.

Among the subjects that Chappelle touches upon, in addition to police brutality and George Floyd, is Don Lemon’s call to celebrities to actually do something instead of sitting in their mansions. He also addresses the toxic lies being spewed by television pundits like Laura Ingraham, and the absolute nonsense being perpetuated by Candace Owens, a right-wing author who gets touted around by the Republican trophy simply because she’s a black Trump supporter.

Chappelle is the kind of comedian we need to listen to right now, and I love that he took the time to create a more raw, intimate stand-up special that wasn’t made to just make us laugh.

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