Sticks and Stones: Dave is a Big Fool

It is daybreak, just like my normal summer routine- no sleep, long Netflix session and now I am supposed to call it a night. But today is different as I have just completed Dave Chappelle’s latest stand-up special on Netflix and this sudden urge to put something down came over me, which would be my first in weeks. In other words, this is a review of Chappelle’s fifth Netflix special. This is my first post in weeks and my first stand-up review, which I hope to do more in future. I am glad the first I would be doing is a favourite of mine. Not like I would even write about something I do not like as I mostly watch only comics that I adore. I would not want to waste my so precious time watching any random stand-up. Well, only if it has been recommended.

Dave is a big fool is not an insult, let me clear that. Where I come from and as I constantly ring in your ears, Nigeria, has a bunch of phrases and slangs that only those in the know would understand. ”A big fool”, is one of the easiest ones to understand. It could be an insult, true. But in this case, as it is mostly used among friends, ”a big fool”, is more of a playful praise. Calling him a big fool cos he is never going to be serious or allowed to be pushed around. He is not even paid to be a serious person, so what is the fuss with getting pissed over funny things he says. He has been paid for that. Laugh and remain happy. You don’t find it funny, then move on. As he directed a joke to the Netflix viewers during the special after making a harsh joke, Mr. Chappelle, says, ”And if you are at home watching this shit on Netflix, remember, bitch, you clicked on my face”, which gets him a ton of laughter from the audience. Which is true, if you know Dave Chappelle constantly offends you, why do you keep going back for more things to be annoyed with? Those tweets aren’t going to tweet themselves, right? You need something to be angry about in order to fill those characters up trying not to pass the 280 limit. If you clicked on his face on the beautiful start to your week, well, you have got yourself a bunch of things to bitch about on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which should be your resting day, my Gee.

Why Sticks and Stones?, I asked myself on seeing the trailer earlier this month. An appointment with Dr. Google it was. No bookings, no delays. I found out that ‘sticks and stones’ is actually from a longer saying which I had no clue about before. According to urban dictionary and a whole lot of other sites, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me” is from a kiddies rhyme which is used as a response to insults, saying you can be hurt by physical violence, but totally immune from words as insults. A more applicable one in Dave Chappelle’s case would be, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but I don’t give a fuck”. Does the man really give a fuck, when he stands by every carefully chosen word he says, no apologies, no reverse, but rather refueling the jokes with newer quips. His chosen title could also be going the other way from the perspective of those most of his jokes are based on. Meaning, all of his jokes which might be hurtful sometimes every time won’t cause you no harm, so you can just simply disregard it. No physical harm done. Only if you are really butt hurt and you decide that shooting up a school is the next step (one of his numerous jokes).

I have watched his four other specials on Netflix without regret, with the shortest just shy of 45 minutes. Sticks and Stones was barely promoted, as we only got to see one trailer which featured a voiceover from Morgan Freeman introducing the comic with his well known ‘wise-man’ voice. I got excited. I forgot the release date. I got reminded about it due to news articles telling people this special was skippable. Skippable? Whaaaaaat! That got me more interested. 13 Reasons Why season 3 got bumped down in the order of the week for a late night with Chappelle. We can always find out who killed Bryce Walker later. Who likes him anyway? Let’s find out what’s making people angry again. I was put into the mood for this latest standup special by watching a forty-minute interview featuring Eddie Murphy and Jerry Seinfeld on NetflixIsAJoke’s Youtube account (So many Eddie Murphy projects coming up btw. What 2019-2020 has used to bless us, is the same way it has plans to take all of our time).

What do you want to know about the Sticks and Stones special? It is funny, it is what is going on currently in life, it’s not nice, ‘e no hold torchlight for hand’ and it felt good laughing without thinking about why you should be angry. If you think too deeply, of course you will get enough reasons to keep the fire burning in your head as I mentioned earlier, which would then be redirected to your fingers as tweets. Dave Chappelle is not here to build a dollhouse. He does not see your tweets. He only hears about the important ones and uses it in the next special for a funnier joke. I love them impressions when he is quoting internet backlashes. You could use those tweeting hours to watch 3 episodes of Brooklyn nine-nine or whatever actually makes you laugh.

Right from the first joke, he made fun of the dead. Not just the dead, we are talking about the dead by suicide which no one ever wants to talk about. He made fun of Anthony Bourdain, by comparing his ‘sweet and enticing life of travel and eating around the world’ to that of a failed law school grad who ended up being a store manager at Footlocker. He says, Bourdain killed himself, not the struggling 46 year old manager trying to get his life back on track. Although he has advised this 46 year old man to take his own life, the man wouldn’t listen. He would rather struggle. Other jokes of the night include frequent audience outcry on his jokes, the opioid crisis in the USA, the Me Too movement, supporting his friend, Louis C.K, Jussie Smollett, the French actor , who made him have a go at the Nigerian accent, which no one seems to ever get right in the show business. The day I see a good Nigerian accent on TV, I would host a f*cking party for everyone. He also talks about the shooting in the USA, how African American people need to arm themselves with gun, matching the ratio owned by the whites, saying, maybe that would make them scared and take a moment to amend the laws up there. He makes a funny joke about how pupils in schools take part in shooting drills, with the future potential shooter being among the kids and knowing what drills come into place the day he or she decides to become the psycho. He stands with Michael Jackson. He is against R. Kelly. He does not understand comments from one’s past coming back to hunt someone in the present, as he shows love for Kevin Hart following the Oscar saga. I bet, if Chappelle never took that long-ass hiatus, he would have tweeted worse during the early days of twitter. Finally, he doubles down on his LGBTQ stance, most especially the T’s as he says during the special, which still confuses him a lot. It confuses us all. We are just starting to understand. I am Nigerian, mehn. Let’s not act woke just to be cool or because it’d nab 5 hearts on twitter. Each topic he touched all had good jokes in them. He has taught me one big thing: say what you need to say, and stand by it when the weather changes. Do not change what you have said during summer cos it is now a new season and harsh.

Not agreeing with all of what he says, doesn’t make it less funny to people who find it funny. The moment you realize he is not your type of comic, you stay away. He is here to lighten up the room with whichever stories he can tell. Getting angry does not help you, it only helps him. It has reached a point where Dave Chappelle gets away with these career threatening jokes. These are jokes that would derail the career of a few other comedians. But, for Chappelle, it seems, he has been accepted for it. No level of rage or anger sinks the man’s ship. He has clocked legend status. I still see 2-3 lead role movies or TV shows in him before he finally calls it quit. Before then, do not act woke just to fill up 280 characters. Look closer in your family and cancel people who really say inhuman things daily without meaning it as a joke. We have a lot of them. Those family members are the big fools, while David Chappelle is a big fool!

Bis Bald!

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