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Friday, June 15, 2007

Dave Chappelle at Punchline Comedy Club

Posted By on Fri, Jun 15, 2007 at 11:46 AM

click to enlarge chapelle.jpg

Yesterday, seven more people got shot in the Western Addition, the Spurs swept the Cavs and gay marriage survived in Massachusetts. Label me a dick, but all of that sorta falls behind Dave Chappelle’s low-key, intimate performance at the Punchline Comedy Club last night.

He does a series of unannounced shows in San Francsico every few months or so (he was just here in April) which get leaked on the radio, spread by word of mouth and sell out within minutes. San Francisco, he says, is one of his favorite cities, and Gavin Newsom is his favorite politician. Why? Because he fucked his campaign manager’s wife and then checked into rehab. “That’s gangster,” he joked. “That shit’s like base for famous people -- ‘Uhn uh nigga, you can’t touch me for 60 days.’”

The joke’s a little outdated, but isn’t that the way the fame game works? Fuck up, find something else to take the heat off and hop back in the public sphere like everything’s all good? Maybe Ed Jew should check into rehab as well.

Chappelle has a genuinely good time while performing, always laughing at his own jokes to the point where he’s about to fall over, but maybe that’s because he’s always higher than a giraffe’s vagina. And the audience, of course, laughs at just about anything he says. He can say a punchline without a joke (“…so I kicked her in the pussy”), and the crowd will go crazy.

But it wasn’t all politics and pussy jokes (though the latter comprised most of his routine). In sad clown fashion, he broke down “the game” and explained his reasons for fleeing fame by retelling a chapter from Iceberg Slim’s autobiography, Pimp. It was a long story with few punches, but was a secret he shared with last night’s audience that served as a glimpse inside the mind of a comedic genius who refuses to get burned by the spotlight. -- Zoneil Maharaj

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Matt Stroud

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