Dave Chappelle

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Dave Chappelle

The “Chappelle Show” written by the comedy legend Dave Chappelle, presents its characters in ways that make fun of their stereotypical speech and it influences the audience to think differently about certain groups of people.

With the show “The Chappelle show” Chappelle likes to bring out the best and worst of characters in the show through the selection of their language. With Dave being such a powerful man in the comedy strip today, he really influences people on how they view and group people. In Dave’s show, he uses a lot of stereotypes to bring out the language and tone of different races and religions to get a hook on the audience. It is as if, that is his secret weapon.  In his show, he likes to make fun of certain races speech to draw attention to his point which is to make people have a good time, but sometimes people take it too far...

For example in his most controversial skit, with the title “The Race Draft” Dave plays multiple roles. In the race draft, he plays an announcer, a black candidate, and a white candidate. With Dave being the white candidate, he spoke with a clear deep voice that is a “generic white american male voice”. When he speaks like that, the audience can hear his natural voice come out. When he is the black candidate, he just speaks with his usual voice, but with a southern tone. When he plays the announcer he is a black male, but he has a tone of voice that is very clear and contains no ebonics. When the black candidate is up to pick, his physical language is very clear that he is rooting for them. So when Chappelle uses the white voice, you can hear the black voice under it. The Audience can hear the black voice which makes Dave sound very funny. The way Dave describes the other candidates in the skit is no way that makes the audience assume that David being racist towards other races other than his own race which is black. During the skit when Dave is playing a white man he is very insensitive the other races on how he talks. For example in the skit Dave talks about trading Eminem for Tiger Woods because Eminem acts a lot more black Tiger Woods is. Dave’s definition of black is someone that wears baggy clothes and someone that listens to Hip-Hop.Then later in the skit the switches back to the African American representative and he starts talking about how Eminem is a lot blacker than the Tiger Woods, also how Tiger does not deserve to be black. Being white like me this picked up as being very racist and I'm assuming as an audience member that this could be seen as racist. In the skit when Chappelle is playing the African American candidate, towards the end of the skit when he is having his closing speech he talks with a white tone. For someone that may not understand Chappelles message, they could see it as “Black People just use ebonics and they can code switch at any point”. That is not right because the accent and the way you speak is how it will be in your roots. It may change, but it will always be what it first was.

Another example is the Clayton Bigsby skit which is also a very controversial skit in Chappelles career.  Dave Chappelle plays a blind KKK member which turns out to be black. For the skit, Chappelle has a very deep southern’ accent. For the bulk of the episode, Chappelle is in a KKK suit when he was at meetings until the end. People did not know that he was black other than the man that was visiting him from Fox’ DATELINE and his mother that fostered him. Clayton is a writer of KKK books and he goes to a book signing. No one has not seen him without his mask. The KKK members start chanting him on to take it off then he does. Peoples heads actually explode. With Chappelle acting out such a very sensitive subject, a lot of the viewers could be potentially be turned off of the show by the way he talks and some of the viewers could pick up the speech and think it is okay.

About eight years ago when the show is first broadcasted, NBC had a whole news article about the Dave Chapelle's given the wrong message that is not racist at all. Now from them saying that they obviously have not seen the show because almost every episode and most of every sketch touches on different types of racist insults and stereotypes. Then years later NBC says that Dave Chappelle is a very racist man on the way he speaks. The fact that NBC one the biggest news channels in America contradicted themselves with this outrageous claim is crazy. This is a very touchy subject in the US today about how people speak and how they're influenced by each other. Today the TV shows people want to be funny. Well sometimes they do indeed go overboard with the way stereotypes in speech are played out. There should be an equilibrium with this. There should be a board of people that can rate these television programs other than the FCC because they obviously did not catch this. If someone were to break down the way people were speaking and where they pick it up from in the United States, then about half of us would admit to picking up certain slangs from TV shows or Movies today.

Recently A show with the name of Key and Peele started getting a lot of attention. So I decided to check it out; It was an alright show, but there is one skit which made me want to do this piece. It was when this African American guy standing on the corner waiting for the light to turn green. Then another guy is walking down the street, and he is talking on the phone and he says “Yo whats up homie” and all of this stuff to make him sound like he is a gangster. Then as soon as he crosses the street he says “ oh my god, I just like almost jumped”. From this whole sketch, the audience can tell that Key and Peele are trying to make fun of the way stereotypical Gay and also Black people talk.

In conclusion, the “Chappelle Show” written by the comedy legend Dave Chappelle, presents its characters in ways that make fun of their stereotypical speech and it influences the audience to think differently about certain groups of people.


The Race Draft: http://www.comedycentral.com/video-clips/b224ei/chappelle-s-show-the-racial-draft

Chappelle, Dave .. "The Racial Draft." Comedy Central. Comedy Central, 10 Feb. 2008. Web. 03 Nov. 2013.

Clayton Bigsby:


Cha, Dave .. "Frontline - Clayton Bigsby." Comedy Central. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2013.