8 January 2007 | bob the moo
Too hit and miss for mass appeal but fans will love it
Live in San Francisco for this television special, Dave Chappelle shows here the qualities that make some love him, some hate him and others fall in between. That is a rubbish description of this film of course but by it I mean that this is very hit and miss stuff. One moment I am roaring with laughter, only for the next for a whole section to fall flat (even though the audience are rolling and wiping tears from their eyes). Some of his stuff is very smart and very funny while other bits just seem lazy and a tad forced with only the outrageousness of his material carrying him with the audience.
It is undeniable that race is a bit part of all his material and I can completely understand why some people dislike him for that. However for me his race-based material here (and there was a lot of it) is no different from the rest of his material in that it has hits and misses across it. This lack of consistency across the hour was a downer for me but the hits were just about often and strong enough to keep the show going. Chappelle himself runs the stage well and engages with his small audience like a pro. He is good at broaching whatever subject he sees fit to deal with, which is a good thing in a comedian rather than settling for comfort. At times this produces some material that is very funny as well as thought-provoking , sadly at other times I was left wondering what he was getting at (his attack on the kidnapped white girl was badly misjudged surely the media that focused on this girl should have been his target?).
Overall though this was an enjoyable film even if it wasn't as consistent as I would have liked. Too hit and miss to appeal to a wider audience but for fans of Chappelle this will make for a good laugh.