Dave Chappelle has returned to the stage with his signature blend of comedy and racial commentary. A new special performance appeared late Thursday night on Netflix‘s comedy YouTube channel, filmed last Saturday as nationwide protests continued over the police killing of George Floyd.
The special, 8:46, is named after the length of time former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck, resulting in his death. Chappelle in the special said he couldn’t get that number out of his head because it also happens to be the time of day he was born, per his birth certificate.
Over the course of nearly 30 minutes, the popular comedian rips into the four Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd’s death and laments Floyd with a mournful monologue: “He knew he was going to die. He called for his dead mother.”
Chappelle, 46, was full of praise for the protesters peacefully demonstrating across the country against police brutality and systemic racism—though he pushed back against CNN anchor Don Lemon’s critique that Hollywood celebrities are “sitting in [their] mansions and doing nothing.”
“This is the streets talking for themselves. They don’t need me right now. I kept my mouth shut. And I’ll keep my mouth shut. Don’t think my silence is complicit,” Chappelle said. “Why would anyone care what their favorite comedian thinks after they saw a police officer kneel on a man’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds?”
Chappelle also had harsh words for right-wing pundits Candace Owens and Laura Ingraham, describing the former as an “articulate idiot,” as well as mentioning the latter’s hypocrisy with the “Shut up and dribble” controversy with LeBron James.
8:46 was filmed in Beavercreek, Ohio, on June 6 in front of a socially distanced audience wearing Chappelle-branded masks. The comedian noted that “like it or not, it’s going to be history” because the show is among the first entertainment specials to occur as restrictions ease on coronavirus lockdowns.
The special, which is about 27 minutes long, includes a disclaimer in the description: “From Dave: Normally I wouldn’t show you something so unrefined, I hope you understand.” This was followed by a link to the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending mass incarceration and racial inequality.
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