Legendary comedian Dave Chappelle is back with an all-new stand-up comedy special, Sticks & Stones, his fifth Netflix Original.
“If you say anything, you risk everything.” That line paints Chappelle as someone who’s willing to walk on the razor’s edge of what’s socially acceptable – which is arguably what any iconic comedian should do, and is exactly what he has done over the course of his long career. But as expected, that approach to comedy can ruffle some feathers: in the aforementioned award-winning special Equanimity, Chappelle made several jokes about transgender people that many found offensive, earning him lots of negative press at the time.
I’m not here to police what should and shouldn’t be said on a stage in the context of a comedy special, but as narrator Morgan Freeman says in this trailer, comedy is a “high stakes game.” How does one know how far to push the boundaries in a changing landscape that’s more socially aware than it used to be? I don’t know the answer to that question, but personally, I think we may have to acknowledge that comedians will occasionally go too far, and as long as they’re willing to listen and hopefully learn, maybe that’s OK in the end? It’s a tough thing, and again, I don’t know what the right call is here. I just know that personally, I’m looking forward to watching one of the world’s greatest comedians take the stage again and give us a look into his worldview.
Unflinching and boundary-pushing, Dave gives his provocative perspective on the tidal wave of celebrity scandals, the opioid crisis, and more — in trademarked Chappelle fashion. Dave Chappelle’s Sticks & Stones streams August 26, only on Netflix.