Friday, August 11, 2006

Is the Joke on You?: "The Devil and Dave Chappelle"

A great article I jacked from Dr. Hill's blog:

The Devil and Dave Chappelle
By William Jelani Cobb--Special to
Aug 9, 2006, 23:03

The cheap wisdom holds that nothing succeeds like success, but the truth is that nothing fails like it either. That's the reason there are as many great epics about a hero falling from the pinnacle of glory as there are about one struggling to get there in the first place. It's the reason we say that someone is "a victim of his ownsuccess." And it's the reason a great many of us have lined up to view ”Chappelle's Show: The Lost Episodes.”

In Hollywood, where nervous breakdowns are considered a normal stage in career development, Dave Chappelle's flameout last year at least scored points for originality. Where the cliché ones involve overdoses, bad weekend grosses and cross-dressing hookers, Chappelle's crisis wasmore like a lost scene from Spike Lee's “Bamboozled.” Blackface, $50 million and a stint as a fugitive in South Africa are, at the least, a plot twist. Less benign observers are apt to say the man simply choked under pressure or got turned out by the cash that ComedyCentral dropped on him. (The middle-tier talent Mike Epps weighed in, saying that Chappelle's stable suburban upbringing had been his undoing and a Black man like himself with a ghetto pedigree would have no problem handling that kind of situation.) That line of thought cameoff like a bad joke given that the tagline for Chappelle's show is "I'm rich, bitch."

Continue reading the article here

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