6 Things I learned at a Dave Chappelle comedy show
Dave Chappelle at the Comedy Works in downtown Denver is a fairly common thing these days. Well, maybe not common exactly, but over the last few years, he seems to put on a couple shows a year at the iconic venue. Tickets always sell out immediately, and I've never been fortunate enough to get entry to any of his shows ... until last night. Two tickets to the 10PM show. Score.
For some reason, people love to give Dave Chappelle shit about his sets and how he deals with hecklers. Which, I've never really understood, and still don't. Everyone seems to forget that Dave Chappelle is literally one of the best stand up comedians of all time and that he shouldn't have to deal with shitheads yelling out "I'm Rick James, bitch!" every 10 seconds. For real.
Fun fact: Chappelle used to carry around a mic and an amp around NYC as a teenager and stand on a street corner or some random spot in Central park and do stand up. What were you doing as an 18-year-old? Whatever it was, it wasn't as badass as that. The dude has been grinding out a career for decades that people incorrectly think is centered around his retired Comedy Central show. That’s absurd. The dude is and always has been a murderous stand up comedian who happens to indirectly teach you things while he speaks.
1: Cigs are badass
Yes, cigs are badass. Blah blah blah something about lung cancer and emphysema. We get it. Cigs are bad for you, but that doesn't change the fact that smoking them can exude unlimited badass-ery. Specifically the yellow pack of American Spirits, as smoked by Dave Chappelle non-stop throughout the entirety of his set last night. Let it be known that cigs are specifically badass if you are Dave Chappelle. Your mileage may vary on the badass meter if you are not Dave Chappelle. Also, vaping is not smoking and therefore vaping is not as cool. Vaping is like having sex with a condom. Is it safer? Yeah, probably. Is it as badass? Nah, not even close.
2: Tequila is badass
Tequila, much like the cigs that were smoked all night, was drank with boundless voracity. And what does that mean? That drinking Tequila is extremely badass. It is especially badass when you're Dave Chappelle drinking a bottle of George Clooney's brand of tequila on stage and passing the bottle around to random audience members in the front row. Which brings us to a minor life lesson in itself: If you go to a Dave Chappelle show in an actual comedy club and not some obnoxiously huge venue, try to sit in the front row. Yeah, he might talk shit to you, but you probably deserve it anyway and will maybe get a free drink from it.
3: Weed culture in Denver is actually kinda badass
Yeah, the whole weed thing in Colorado is kind of played out these days. We’ve got legal weed and that still freaks people out (and stokes the shit out of them). But the plus of having legal weed is that Dave Chappele might give you a container of weed and tell you to roll a joint an proceed to smoke it with you. This once again brings us to the point that front row seats at a Dave Chappelle stand up show in a comedy club are extremely badass.
4: Prince was a badass
Things got real for a second when Dave talked about Prince. Apparently they were homies and that in itself is badass as fuck. Was Prince a badass? Hell yeah. Is Dave Chappelle a badass? You know it. Is them hanging out together ultimately badass? Duh. Nothing more to say about it.
5: Not having your phone is surprisingly badass
Dave’s recently received flack for his super strict policy on cell phones at shows. But really, that’s not a Dave Chappelle thing so much as it's a stand up comedy thing. No one wants their sets filmed when they are working out new material ... or smoking weed with the audience. People are too quick to post a video and be all "This dude sucks. Not funny. 0/10." When in reality they were just being a shitty audience member. At all of Dave's shows, the audience has to put their phones in lockable bags created by some company called Yondr. You can't access your phone unless you step outside the show room. Not having your phone distract you during 90 minutes of live comedy is also completely badass.
6. Stand up comedy is infinitely more badass at a comedy club
It seems like every person that claims to have witnessed a bad Dave Chappelle set saw him at some huge venue. Look, stand up comedy is not the same in a packed 200 person basement comedy club as it is at a 5,000 seat outdoor venue. They provide extremely different experiences. A comedian certainly wont seem as funny when you are 300 feet away from the stage. Stand up comedy is best viewed in a real comedy club. Last night Chappelle absolutely killed and tore tore the room apart. That's not going to happen at some huge venue. No one complains that they can't fly a kite indoors because that's just not where kites work. Similarly, stand up doesn't work in shitty venues.
6a: Dave Chappelle is a badass
Obviously. Last night was one of the best comedy shows I've seen. Chappelle chain smoked and drank tequila the whole time, smoked weed with the crowd, brought some audience member on stage to tell a joke, made fun of Caitlyn Jenner. It was great. Yeah, Dave Chappelle is a badass. Is that a life lesson? Eh probably not, but whatever.