Late final evening, June 11th, iconoclast comic Dave Chappelle quietly dropped 8:46, a new 30-minute particular billed as a “talk with punchlines.” The efficiency was recorded on June sixth in Dayton, Ohio, and at one level Chappelle tells the viewers that the gig is perhaps an leisure milestone. 

“I got to tell you, this is like the first concert in North American since all this shit happened, so like it or not, it’s history. It’s going to be in the books,” he says, referencing the coronavirus pandemic. But the set might be remembered for different causes. 

To quote Dave himself, “This is not funny at all. I got some pussy jokes, too, I can do…” Instead, he makes use of the platform to first commend protesters throughout the nation (“You all are excellent drivers; I am comfortable in the back seat…”) earlier than admitting his reluctance to talk out in any respect, as it would distract from the widespread activism. 

Then, nevertheless, he does what Dave does finest: embracing stand-up as “the last stronghold for civil discourse.” The comic particulars the killings of George Floyd, John Crawford III, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Philando Castile and different folks of colour by the hands of regulation enforcement. 

And interspersed amongst his recounting of these police-spurred tragedies, he describes fearing for his life throughout a 30-second earthquake, and compares it to the eight minutes and forty-six seconds that Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd’s neck. It turns into a parable: “What are you signifying — that you can kneel on a man’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds and feel like you wouldn’t get the wrath of god. That’s what is happening right now. It’s not for a single cop. It’s for all of it. Fucking all of it.”

Chappelle additionally rails towards conservative media and the racist canine whistles emanating from broadcasters when describing the Black Lives Matter protests. He even particulars why he believes so-called pundits like Candace Owen are “the worst.” 

“She told George Floyd’s rap record on the internet. ‘He was this… He was that… He was a drug addict. And he’s not a hero. And why does the black community make him a hero? Why did you choose him as a hero?’ WE didn’t choose him. YOU did. They killed him, and that wasn’t right, so he’s the guy. We’re not desperate for heroes in the black community. Any ***** that survives this nightmare is my goddamn hero.” 

And when it comes time to deal with the silence from well-known public figures and celebrities amid the protests, Chappelle doubles down on his assist for the motion and activists throughout the nation. 

‘Why isn’t David Chappelle saying anything?’ David Chappelle understands what the fuck he is seeing, and these streets will speak for themselves whether I am alive or dead. I trust you guys. I love you guys. We’ll keep this space open. This is the last stronghold for civil discourse. After this, it’s just “rat-a-tat-tat-tat-TAAAAT.” I really like you very a lot. Thank you for being right here. Goodnight.” 

In lower than 30 minutes, Chappelle demonstrates once more why he is likely one of the most sharp and biting thinkers in American popular culture, and makes it palpable that Eight minutes and 46 seconds is something however a mere timestamp. 

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