The most engaging public speakers are always the ones that can make an audience laugh. Politicians haven’t really had a need for humor because people either love them or hate them, but for most others, humor is vital.
No one wants to be barked at or made to feel small. From a preacher to a drill instructor, incorporating humor is the way to hook a person’s ears and then drop knowledge in them.
To that end, witness the brilliance and wisdom of Dave Chappelle.
The man has grown. With each successive comedy special, and the genius of his sketch-comedy show, Chappelle has displayed an ever-increasing desire to teach us while making us laugh.
His latest Netflix special, Equanimity & The Bird Revelation, is the current summation of that desire. I say “current” because I suspect he isn’t done. He says this is his last Netflix special and while his contract may be up, a good teacher is never done teaching. A good teacher is always learning, as Dave clearly is, and the desire to pass that knowledge along will never die.
A good teacher also takes the time to reflect on themselves. They learn from it and again, pass it right along to us. Here, Chappelle takes time to examine exactly what his issue is with the transgender community. He does come to a conclusion on it, and the revelation is hilarious. He also tries to understand why that community has such an issue with his comedy.
Dave wants us to find reasons to laugh at each other while subtracting hate from our hearts. However impossible it might be to remove hatred from the human heart, I agree with him that laughing at each other and ourselves is the best way to approach any issue.
Take this gem from 2004’s For What It’s Worth.
“Sugar, water…and of course, purple.”
That shit makes me crack up laughing no matter how many times I hear it.
I won’t spoil any of the jokes contained in the new special but I will say that Chappelle comes out with a bravado he doesn’t normally express verbally. He knows he’s at the pinnacle of his craft and he makes damn sure we know it, too. To me, that self-confidence is another aspect that makes a teacher great.
If you’re a fan, this special is well worth your precious time.
If you’re not a fan, listen to it anyway. Try to understand how laughing at each other and at ourselves is a great way to bring some light into this dismal world of uptight assholes.
Adios, amigos y amiguitas!