Dave Chappelle courts attention not only because of comedic brilliance but his ability to use his gift to discuss serious topics of the moment. The veteran entertainer delivered 8:46, a surprise stand-up special inspired by the murder of George Floyd that is at times angry, but the emotional bent serves a larger purpose.
Details of 8:46 were unveiled by Variety, which shared that the special was filmed in Chappelle’s adopted hometown of Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he has performed similar small gigs of the sort in times past. The stand-up special is less comedy but more a casual conversation between Dave and friends, although the nature of the talk is far from the light-hearted fare some may have been hoping for.
The laughs in 8:46 are stifled but perfectly timed as CNN’s Don Lemon gets mentioned for calling out celebrities on their lack of reaction to the murder of Floyd and other Black lives.
Chappelle also brings into the light the case of Christopher Dorner, which is a surprisingly funny bit that revealed the well-known fact that Dorner mentioned Chappelle in his manifesto along with the comedian’s friend, Bradley Cooper, which was another great bit of comedic timing that got chuckles. How Chappelle ties together Dorner’s death and the reaction to what’s occurring worldwide in relation to Floyd is among the best use of the comedian’s skills in recent times.
Overall, 8:46 is an indictment of the police violence handed down at the expense of Black lives, and also the conditions that have inspired outrage and empathy for Black America. As some on Twitter have noted, 8:46 isn’t the easiest watch but it is most certainly a necessary one.
Check out the special via YouTube below and keep scrolling to see reactions from Twitter.