Stand Up comedy is an art form, apart from cinema of course, which I really care about and appreciate. Clearly, this makes me extremely selective about the comics that I watch. The fact that this is an art form that I do not participate in gives me the advantage of commenting purely as a member of the audience, a luxury that I do not possess when it comes to films.
I came across Dave Chappelle around a year ago. I’ve seen my fair share of great American Stand Up comics and he is not even nearly my favorite one (I prefer Carlin over everyone else). Even then, Dave Chappelle has a quality that I have never seen any other comic hold. This is something extremely unique to him. And that is, simplicity.
If you go through any of Chappelle’s shows, his speech is extremely conversationalist. It doesn’t even seem like he’s making an effort into whatever he’s saying. It’s almost like sitting with a friend who’s telling you a bunch of stories. I know that most comics try to do what he does but I have rarely seen anyone else successfully pulling off that brand of humour so effortlessly.
Chappelle’s presence on the stage is unlike any others. The thing is, the main problem that most comics have is that there’s really no reason for them to be on a stage and try to make people laugh. It’s pretty creepy actually, from an objective stand point. But that’s the point / challenge that good comics overcome, when they don’t have to explain their presence and that’s exactly where Chappelle Excels. He manages to keep things so insanely casual that no one can even begin to see through the rehearsed jokes when he’s on stage.
He’s one of the most popular comics in American stand up but I really think that on a world wide level he deserves a lot more attention. If any of you like watching stand up comedy and haven’t seen Dave Chappelle’s stuff yet, then I highly suggest that you check out his two specials which are available on YouTube (For What It’s Worth & Killing Them Softly. I’m not linking them, search it yourself).
P.S – If you know of other comics who you think are better at the aforementioned quality in stand up then please conment your opinions. I’d love to check them out.