“8:46,” is Chappelle at his best – a storyteller, in the form of a wise-man, who makes you laugh enough to pay attention as he drops the knowledge you need.
|Written By||Dave Chappelle|
|Aired (YouTube – Netflix Is A Joke)||6/11/2020|
|Genre(s)||Stand Up Comedy|
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
No one really wants to be seen while they or something they are perfecting, is in progress. However, there are times when a person needs to allow others to see their process. There are times when you need to see the frustration, the stumbles, the cathartic release. In “8:46,” Chappelle has his. Largely in breaking down the various murders of Black Americans, ranging from Eric Garner to George Floyd, but he does veer off speaking of those murders and goes into other topics.
For example, he does name Azealia Banks, who mentioned him as someone she had a tryst with. Also, he brings up Chris Dorner, Candace Owens, and Lauren Ingrahm. Leading to an appetizer of a special that has a few littered jokes, but is primarily focused on people understand how both as an individual Dave Chappelle came to this point, and how as a people, Black people, and those who act on being allies, got to this point.
Collected Quote(s) or .Gifs
We’re not desperate for heroes in the Black community. Any n**** that survives this nightmare is my goddamn hero!
— Dave Chappelle
These streets will speak for themselves whether I’m alive or dead.
— Dave Chappelle
Storytelling At Its Finest
“8:46” is in tune with “The Bird Revelation” in terms of you getting less of Chappelle, the often controversial funnyman, and more so the man himself. Someone who, like any Black American citizen, is vulnerable, happy about his success, but knows there are many forces and means for the dream to end.
In recent specials, the topic of how the dream could end usually focuses on cancel culture and political correctness. However, in “8:46,” it’s about death and the murder of Black people. To be specific, Black men, as Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor, aren’t named.
However, the reason the women aren’t named is that Chappelle has uncomfortable connections to George Floyd, among others. Be it Floyd calling out to his mother before he died, like Chappelle’s dad called out to his grandmother before his death, or how 8:46 is the time Chappelle was born and how long Floyd was choked before succumbing to the officer with his knee on Floyd’s neck.
But don’t take this as Chappelle trying to make the movement about him. The whole point of “8:46” is quite the opposite. For while Chappelle recognizes himself as a celebrity, he doesn’t believe celebrities need to lead or be prominent voices in the movement. In a way, Chappelle subtly notes, if he needed to, he can take his family and leave – he decides to stay in the country. However, the people marching, they can’t just uproot and move to a different state or country. Hence why they march and protest. They’d rather see things get better than leave it, and allow it, to get worse.
And in telling the story of how he is connected to Floyd, why he doesn’t wish to add his voice, in any consistent and prominent way, into the mix, no matter what some like Don Lemon may say, he ends up doing so. However, rather than present a knee jerk reaction, one which can be seen as anything from PR to a cathartic release, Chappelle gives a concise statement.
Would Watch Again? – A Potential Classic
Rating: Positive (Watch This) – Recommended
Even without necessarily being polished, or with much in the way of jokes, this is recommended viewing. Chappelle, while he does say some things which he needs to be held accountable for, remains the comedian to watch and follows the reigns of Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy, and takes things to new heights. For on top of the jokes, Chappelle will tell you a story, and in many ways, it almost seems the comedy is but a Trojan Horse so that you’ll leave not with a joke to repeat but something to think and talk about.