Review by Gordon Justesen
Audio: English Dolby Stereo
Video: Full Screen 1.33:1
Features: See Review
Length: 283 Minutes
Release Date: February 24, 2004
back, I still haven’t been cancelled yet…but I’m working on it…and I
think this next piece might be the one to do it. This is probably the wildest
thing I’ve ever done in my career.”
I think that Comedy
Central should be given a Lifetime Achievement Award for pushing the boundaries
of what can be aired on basic cable television. The first show that perfectly
illustrates this notion is South Park,
the show that pretty much put the network on the map. Then early last year,
actor and comedian Dave Chappelle premiered his new sketch comedy series,
appropriately titled Chappelle's Show,
perhaps the rawest and most daring show of its type to ever come across the
I remember catching
the last sketch of the pilot episode. Right afterward, as I dried the tears on
my face which came as a result of laughing so hard, I knew right then and there
that Dave has been given complete control of the show, and that Comedy Central
respects him enough to let him have control. As for the sketch I am referring
to, it's one that will shock you not just by how extreme it is, but by how much
genius it is.
The quote above is
what precedes the segment, which is a send up of the news program Frontline. The
subject is that of a man who is attempting to revive the white supremacist
movement to extreme heights. The man's name is Clayton Bigsby, and when the
reporter tracks him down, he discovers that the man is not only blind, but black
as well, making him a Black White Supremacist. Chappelle's is a pure genius at
spoofing all kinds of racial issues, and this sketch has to be seen to be
Needless to say, Chappelle's
Show is not for the easily offended. Even those who are used to the antics
on the more standard sketch shows like Saturday
Night Live or Mad TV may get
knocked out by the excessive lengths that Dave goes to get a laugh. The only
difference between this show and ones like the current SNL
is that none of the segments on Chappelle's
Show fall flat. The only falling that will be taking place is perhaps when
you find yourself falling to the floor, laughing in hysterics.
first season of the series includes many outstandingly funny and memorable
sketches. They include a training video for employment at a copy place, which
basically encourages you not to do your job; an outrageous spin on The
Real World called The Mad Real World,
in which the six roommates consist of 5 black people and 1 unsuspecting white
guy sharing a complex in a New Jersey ghetto.
include a preview for a movie about Dave Chappelle's life story, spoofing both 8
Mile and Antwone Fisher, a commercial for the Special Edition DVD of Roots
with some newly discovered outtakes, and segments called Real Movies, which
shows real versions of such movies as Ghost,
Pretty Woman and The Matrix.
Of all the
sketches, I'd have to say the one I found the most gut-wrenchingly funniest was
a mockumentary look into The Player Haters' Ball, an annual celebration of
haters from all around the globe who hate on everyone who has more than they do.
Chappelle's character, the notorious Silky Johnson, is the biggest hater around.
I would like to mention a quote from this segment, but the fact is I can't
because of the extreme content. I guarantee, though, you will be laughing every
minute of this segment.
groundbreaking, and undeniably funny in every sense of the word, Chappelle's Show is a nonstop laughfest that is sure to garner big
time reactions from those who watch it. Be prepared to have some tissue handy,
not because you'll be crying tears of sadness, but because you will most likely
be laughing so incredibly hard, you won't have much of a choice.
Show comes courtesy of TV, the picture brought to us from Paramount,
consists of the standard full screen format. Usually, we at DMC don't find
ourselves fond of the format, but in the case of this release, I don't see any
need to complain, as the picture comes across quite clean and clear, and doesn't
appear to keep much out of the frame. Even though certain television shows do
get the occasional anamorphic widescreen makeover, this presentation appears to
be just as good without the treatment.
The 2.0 track
offering, which is a standard offering for nearly all the television releases,
does what it can. Although several cases of music playback do offer something of
jolt on the part of the channel playback, the action is reduced to the front,
for the most part. Not a weak performance at all, just very much what you should
expect from this sound format for a television show.
Included on this 2
Disc package is selected episode commentary by Dave Chappelle and co-creator
Neil Brennan, about 30 minutes of deleted footage and bloopers with optional
commentary. Also featured is extra footage of the segment "Ask a Black
Dude" with comedian Paul Mooney, and a look at sketches from the shows Reno
911 and Crank Yankers.
Show is a superbly executed
comedy enterprise, headlined by the razor sharp genius of Dave Chappelle's truly
edgy and envelope-pushing antics. Here's hoping that the show will remain for a
while, and future seasons will make it to DVD.