Iconic comedian Dave Chappelle addressed current events and cancel culture in his new Netflix stand-up special, ‘Sticks & Stones’, released Monday to mixed reviews. In the set, Chappelle discussed his disbelief in the allegations against #MichaelJackson, explained the differences in the #LGBT community and released a hidden ending only seen after the ending credits of the special.
“This is the worst time ever to be a celebrity,” Chappelle said in the comedian’s fifth special in the last two years. “You’re gonna be finished. Everyone’s doomed,” he added. As he addressed “cancel culture,” he opened up about the claims against celebrities like Michael Jackson and Louis C.K., as well as the outrage over Kevin Hart’s tweets amid “celebrity hunting season.”
At one point, Chappelle called into question the new allegations against Jackson and joked about the alleged abuse, saying, “You know how good it must have felt to go to school the next day after that sh**?”
Chapelle then switched gears to R. Kelly, stating he believed the allegations against the R&B singer to be true. “This guy makes more sex tapes than he does music. He’s like the DJ Khaled of sex tapes,” Chappelle said before calling out DJ Khaled’s famous line, “Another one!”
Of course, Dave didn’t exclude one of his most controversial topics, the LGBTQ community, as he broke down the difference between each member of the “alphabet.” “What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was breaking an unwritten and unspoken rule of show business … no matter what you do in your artistic expression, you are never, ever, allowed to upset the alphabet people,” Chappelle said.
“You know who I mean. Those people who took 20% of the alphabet for themselves. I’m talking about them Ls and Bs and Gs and the Ts.” Chappelle spoke about transgender people, and said, “Say Lebron James changed his gender… can he stay in the NBA? Or does he have to go to the WNBA, where he will score 800 points a game?”
Viewers of ‘Sticks & Stones’ shared mixed reviews of the special on social media, some cringing at the content and some applauding his realness. One Twitter user wrote, “Does Dave Chappelle tell joke anymore, or is it just him spouting unpopular opinions?” Another tweeted, “Dave Chappelle’s kinda trash isn’t he? Laughed once, cringed like 20 times. Politics aside it’s all just stupid identity jokes.”
However, a larger majority of Twitter users were quick to defend the comedian’s shock-value humor. “Dave Chappelle not even a comedian to me anymore lmfao that nigga a preacher ???????,” said one Tweeter. Another wrote, “Dave Chappelle’s entire career was built on being offensive. For those of you that hate-watched it, exactly what type of content were you expecting from him?”
Wade Robson and James Safechuck both fired back at Chappelle following the release of the special, telling TMZ, “He can say whatever he wants. It reveals him, not us.”
Wade’s lawyer, Vince Finaldi, said, “Although Mr. Chappelle is entitled to his opinions, however misinformed they may be, it’s unfortunate that he has chosen to use his platform to shame sexual abuse victims, and spread his ignorance of sexual abuse and the way it is perpetrated upon children, in an attempt to resurrect his career.”
Safechuck said in his own statement, “I’m heartbroken for all those children who look to see how they will be received when they finally find the courage to speak out about their sexual abuse. I just want to reach out to other survivors and let them know that we can’t let this type of behavior silence us. Together we are strong.”
If viewers were able to stomach the hour-long show, there’s a secret hidden ending that can only be seen once the entire special is finished (including credits). The 22-minute bonus content is called ‘Epilogue: The Punchline,’ and you cannot search for it on Netflix or anywhere else. The bonus material mainly consists of Chappelle casually talking to the audience, offering them the opportunity to confront him or ask him anything they wanted.
One audience member asked, “Do you have any advice for young comedians?” Dave replied, “Are you thinking of doing comedy?” “I’ve never done it before, but watching you has made me want to try it,” the audience member answers as the audience laughs.
“I don’t know if that’s an insult or not,” Chappelle replies. “I mean, n**ga don’t say, ‘I’ve never done brain surgery, but it looks a lot easier than I thought.’ I’m teasing. Here would be my advice. Okay, I don’t know how comedians start nowadays, right? But what I would suggest is just start. And once you start, you can’t really stop. No matter what happens, no matter how bad it gets, no matter what people say. You know what I mean? Because comedy is weird like that.”
What did you think of Dave Chappelle’s ‘Sticks & Stones’? If you haven’t seen it, check it out on Netflix and get back with us in the comments!