So when Dave Chappelle became a great cultural icon circa 2003 I was excited. It seemed like America was finally getting and beginning to appreciate an African-American comedy that gave social critiques and that was smart, funny, irreverent, and as complex as real life. I applauded Comedy Central for being so progressive and giving opportunity to a minority voice that was funny and relevant. The show made perfect sense alongside the rest of the channels fare such as The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and South Park, and it provided a different perspective than these shows.
Of course we all know of the demise of that show and nobody is blaming the channel for that (at least not for the purposes of this argument but that's another story). Really the biggest question is why, after seeing the power of smart and relevant comedy that this channel continues putting forth such lackluster and offensive minority offerings.
The notoriously unfunny Carlos Mencia has somehow continued his show for going on 4 years now and he continues to incessantly and adamantly push the bar lower for comic value. One would think the survival of his ignorance would be enough but nope. Last week the network premiered what is supposed to be the black alternative to the Daily Show called Chocolate News by David Alan Grier. Let's look at the list of mistakes made by the network and DAG in the production of this show.
DAG is notoriously unfunny.
He was on the funniest urban comedy sketch show (In Living Color) and managed to be unfunny then so it begs the question of why would a network give him a new show targeting a contemporary audience as he gets older and less relevant and wasn't even really good in his prime.
DAG is remarkably out of touch.
If anyone had the misfortune of seeing the first episode of this show then the opening monologue is a perfect example. He goes on for about three minutes about how hip-hop is dead. If this seems played out to you it's because it is. Nas released an album called Hip-Hop is Dead going on two years ago and even then that whole phenomenon was reaching it's apex of interest. Nobody is talking about the "death" of hip-hop and if DAG had any sense he would keep his nose out of a culture that he clearly is no longer a part of (if he ever really was) and just talk about old people mess.
DAG's comedy has no larger purpose.
The first sketch of that show was a mock interview with Maya Angelou. In the piece Maya (played by DAG) is asked to recite a rough draft of a poem she would recite at the inaugaration of Barack Obama. The joke that ran throughout the piece was something along the lines of "look at how she speaks, it's funny! And it's funny because DAG is dressed like Maya! hahaha!" Wow. That's pretty pointless. And furthermore, I think the right to make fun of remarkably talented people should be reserved for people who have actual talent (ie. not DAG).
THIS SHOW IS STUPID
If you don't believe me then watch it. I am personally offended that DAG, Comedy Central, or anyone else would even think of this show as in the leagues of Stewart, Colbert, or Chappelle. The only thing this show does well is give white people another reason to laugh at the negroes as they make fun of themselves and tap dance (the same reason, I might add, that Chappelle pulled the plug on his own show).
Get With The Movement.
Rhythmic Cultural Critic