Dave Chappelle is back, bitches! Well, sort of . . .
It was hard for me to enjoy Sunday's premiere of Chappelle's Show: The Lost Episodes knowing that the funnyman was against the network airing the so-called "lost" footage. Comedy Central piecemeal together the unused skits into a three-episode showcase with comedians Charlie Murphy and Donnell Rawlings hosting the series. "If it wasn't for Dave Chappelle, y'all motherfuckers would still be calling me Eddie Murphy's brother," quipped Charlie at the top of the show.
The first skit was the funniest one of them all. It revealed Chappelle's insecurities with his fame after nabbing a $50 million deal. The bit, which I like the call the "Ka-Chung" sketch, shows Dave -- after his newfound wealth -- being strong-armed for cash from his barber, mechanic and the IRS. Dave gets so tired of being robbed that he hires the "nigga from The Green Mile" as his bodyguard for $4,000 a week to hold him down -- and even that fails. In the final scene, an IRS agent shoots Chappelle's bodyguard. The bodyguard, who lies dying gasping for air, tells Dave: "Money: the root of all evil. The IRS pulled the trigger, but your greed did this to me, Dave. You didn't have to do two more seasons, no matter how good the show is. They're only gonna say it's not as good as last year was."
Dave hasn't lost his comedic edge, but some of his sketches weren't funny. One boring sketch features Dave -- caked in white makeup -- as an anchorman reporting on Method Man's torture rap (from Wu-Tang Clan's 1994 hit "Method Man") coming to life on the streets of New York. Granted, Dave likes to poke fun at rappers (check out his Lil Jon parodies from season two), but the Wu-Tang Clan -- as a group -- are pretty outdated as a target for jokes. I did enjoy Dave's spoof on Tupac Shakur's lyrics being so prophetic in 1994 that the late rapper could predict what Dave was doing in 2006.
All and all, some of the sketches were amusing but none of them were classic -- thus, the rub in watching all of this material. What was missing from the show were sketches of Dave's examination of race in America like the Black White Supremacist Clayton Bigsby from season one, or the superbly funny "Racial Draft" from season two.
I'm glad that Chappelle's Show is back on the television albeit for only three episodes. I'm sure I'll like the next two shows but I have to keep my expectations very low. I have to enjoy them for what they are -- just outtakes, nothing more or less.
To Dave Chappelle: Please come back, you are sorely missed.