What the Chappelle?

I was flipping thru the channels the other night and noticed that ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio’ was a two hour special. I thought maybe they were doing a retrospective of great actors or maybe a tribute to one person in particular. After all, this organization is such a well respected mainstay of the acting community.

Well I was half right. It was two hours of Dave Chappelle. Now come on!! Oh sure, there are a few ripe moments in his Comedy Central show that made me laugh, but other than that, what has he done to deserve this attention? Let’s see … he was Ahchoo Son of Asneeze in ‘Robin Hood: Men In Tights’. And yes he played a few other sidekick parts many of which, quite honestly were characters that he later rehashed for TV. One of the more subtle roles was as the friend of Tom Hanks in ‘You’ve Got Mail’.

Speaking of Tom Hanks; this man has won countless awards including back to back Oscars. He has starred in some of the most respected films of our times. Yet his ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio’ feature was only one hour long. I think it’s a travesty when most of the great actors that have been on this show only get one hour and someone like Chappelle-whose career is not nearly as illustrious-gets two.

In one excerpt from Chappelle’s appearance, the audience breaks out into a roaring laughter as he lights a cigarette. That’s all it takes? I really feel that people laugh at him because they feel like they’re supposed to think he’s funny. Maybe they need to snuff out their joints and dump their forties before listening or watching again.

What really pisses me off is how serious everyone talks about his ‘running away’ and his ‘breakdown’. I know there are a bunch of reasons for this that have floated around. Some that were initiated by Chappelle himself. Personally, I still think it’s because the man came to realize that he was not worth the hype. It is a hard pill to swallow when you’re handed $50,000,000 and told to save a network.

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