The Corner

Culture

Dave Chappelle Downplays Trump Reelection Fears

Dave Chappelle in Toronto, Canada, September 9, 2018 (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

Following >Sticks & Stones, Dave Chappelle’s new Netflix special, there’s a hidden 22-minute epilogue, The Punch Line, that consists of some bits from his recent Broadway residency, a little reminiscing about his favorite club (The Punch Line, a 200-seater in San Francisco) and some excerpts from various Q & A sessions with his audiences. “There are no dumb questions allowed,” he warns. Asked what his favorite book is, he replies, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Interesting.

In his act, Chappelle doesn’t get much into partisan politics (though he obviously leans left). People ask him direct political questions such as what he thinks of President Trump’s chances next year. “I don’t know,” he says, “but I think Trump has a lot better shot than people like to think . . . all depends on how the Left talks. The way we’re talking right now is not going to win the f***ing ballgame. Donald Trump’s over there on the right, grabbing handfuls of p****, Joe Biden’s can’t even smell hair over here, f*** this side.”

Another audience member puts matters a bit less neutrally: “What the f*** you gonna do if Trump gets reelected?”

“What am I gonna do if Trump gets reelected? Probably get a significant tax break,” Chappelle says. “You want to know why I don’t even talk about Trump in my show? Because that mother****er is not the hokey-pokey. He is not what it’s all about. There’s millions of people that put him in power and the ideas that he puts forth are not his own. He’s singing poor white people’s greatest hits. So why the f*** would I worry about him and not the other millions?” Then he jokes that he’s thinking about voting for “that gay dude.” After the audience shouts back at him, he says, “No, Mike Pence.”

Chappelle talks about how he once went to a charity dinner years ago and found himself sitting with Gavin Newsom, Kamala Harris, Al Gore, the co-founders of Google. Harris told him, “A friend of mine is announcing his candidacy for the presidency tomorrow.” “Barack Obama?” said Chappelle. Harris called Obama for Chappelle, got voice mail. Chappelle jokes that he left a message: “I just said what’d you say to any black dude who’s running for president. Stay low, run in a zig-zag pattern, this kind of s***.” Later, when he met then-senator Obama during the Democratic-primary season, he says Obama hugged him after a debate and whispered in Chappelle’s ear, “I got your message.”

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