STAND UP TUESDAYS: Dave Chappelle

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Stand-Up Tuesdays is a weekly comedy spotlight written by the wonderfully talented Angie Frissore. Covering both known and unknown comics, Stand-up Tuesdays is your new source for all things funny.

This week, Angie puts a spotlight on Dave Chappelle’s comedy career. If you or your comedy troupe would like to be featured on Stand-Up Tuesdays, please email utgjames@gmail.com.

It’s been a long time coming, but well worth the wait. After years away from the spotlight, comedian Dave Chappelle made his unofficial return to stand up comedy by performing ten shows at this year’s Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, breaking the festival’s all-time record for the most tickets sold at an unimaginable 14,221.

By far, the most successful night of the comedian’s run came on Friday, as Chappelle took the stage at his midnight show to a standing ovation. Placing his hand upon his heart, it was clear to see how moved the comedic heavyweight was by the reception.

As he chain smoked during his almost two-hour set, Chappelle not only stretched his comedy legs, offering his audience a whopping helping of the smart and snarky humor they’ve come to expect, but also opened up about walking away from a $55 million dollar deal, his time spent in Africa, and life with his wife and kids in Ohio.   He also demonstrated his comedic genius in several off-the-cuff Lil’ Wayne impressions that led the comic to muse about going on for another seven hour set.

Despite his performances and upcoming tour schedule, Chappelle insists that this isn’t a comeback – mainly because he never saw himself as having gone anywhere. And while the media ran full-steam with theories on what had happened to the comedian, Chappelle assured his fans that the rumors of his demise were greatly overstated (like the fact that he’s never done crack in his life).

It’s been said that Dave Chappelle ‘owes’ his fans an explanation for his decision to walk away from his Chappelle’s Show contract extension, but personally, I don’t feel that’s anyone’s business but Chappelle’s. Regardless of the mega-star status he’s attained, he’s still a human being underneath it all, and susceptible to the same emotional downfalls as the rest of us are. If taking that time away was what the comedian needed to find his way back, then kudos to him for doing just that. As a result, we’re now presented with a Dave Chappelle who is bigger and better than every before.

And while some were quick to criticize Chappelle for a less-than-stellar start to his Montreal run, the comedian certainly had those critics eating their words by the time the weekend wrapped up as his shows proved to be the biggest draw of the 2013 Just For Laughs Festival. Dave will be hitting the road this fall as part of the Oddball Comedy Festival, and, after what we’ve just seen, you won’t want to miss it for anything.

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