Category: Sketch Comedy
What is the Chappelle Theory? According to the site, It’s a film with Charlie Murphy, written by Neal Brennan (though I suspect that might just be wrong). Just got dropped this in my mail box - uncertain of source yet. Visit http://www.chappelletheory.com/next. The video links are not working (possibly because they don’t exist)
.(Picture of Chappelle Theory movie page removed because the site is complete bullshit)
More to come. Considering I’ve heard Neal Brennan was bothered by Chappelle believing the sketches for the third season were racist, perhaps this is a pointed satire of that.
It may instead
be the coming out party for anti-social.com (another weblinc domain), which has added this disclaimer to the site (though not in an easy place to find), asking peeps, particularly Cosby, not to sue. See my earlier speculation. It may just also mean that it’s not a film and the whole site, including this update, is a hilarious parody. (Yes, I did just swallow the red pill.)
UPDATE: Site has been changed to show the link to the disclaimer and the logo updated with the addition of word “Bullshit.” I’m impressed - they didn’t get me with the first thing, but they did with the reveal of the fake film. I’ll have to check out anti-social whenever it launches.
Filed Under Sketch Comedy
The Chappelle Theory website has gotten a fair amount of pass along on the Internet since Friday. With its mentions of “Dark Crusaders” ( a cabal of (among others) Cosby, Whoopi Goldberg, Al Sharpton, and, of course, Oprah) pursuing the end of Chappelle’s sketch show because they see it as a form of minstrelsy. The silliest part of Chappelle Theory comes when the group broadcasts a threatening message to Dave’s TV and Dave’s TV only:
On Tuesday, while watching an episode of the Oprah Winfrey show, Chappelle recalled being completely stunned when Winfrey turned to the camera in the middle of interviewing Tom Cruise and said “Dave Chappelle, you should be ashamed of yourself for airing that Niggars sketch on your show this week, I’m going to make sure you never work in Hollywood again.
It was obvious that this was either the work of a crackpot or someone who has comedy writing aspirations. But after being seeing the whois registrations for the URL at digg, which point to a webshop in Philly named Weblinc. I figured out the names of the heads, and found one of them - Jason Hill - had not only posted on it once, but twice, but also posted an original digg posting on Chappelle Theory that was removed. It was also blogged early on by another Weblinc employee, Anthony Bucci .
Now I’m certain that this is a viral marketing campaign for Chappelle’s Third Season. (According to my quick e-mail correspondence with Weblinc’s Jason Hill, he claims Comedy Central didn’t hire them.) It’s impressive to see the effort put into to push the new season, although if I was one of the viral marketers, I’d be a little uneasy about adding Bill Cosby’s name into this. He’s been known to sue. See the House of Cosbys.
Still, nice work. Rising black comics, you may continue your “negative stereotypes” without fear of “Dark Crusaders.”
Inspired by his talk with Bob Newhart at the Aspen Comedy Festival, comedian and director David Steinberg is repeating the experience with Newhart and five others in Sit Down Comedy, a talk show about comedians and comedy premiering tonight on TV Land at 10 PM. All of the episodes can be previewed with podcasts available through iTunes, with full episodes available later as streaming video. The comics to be featured along with Newhart are Mike Meyers, Larry David, George Lopez, Martin Short and Jon Lovitz.
From my viewing of the podcast clips, you can see how Steinberg likes to keep things loose, even admiting he hasn’t done any research. So insights into the craft of comedy are more like discoveries within a mass of pretty enjoyable banter. (In other words, this isn’t Inside Joke.) Still, hearing Larry David giving his first hand account of how he famously abandoned a stand-up set before he said the first joke is pretty priceless. (it’s also kinda fun for Meyers admit, though it is practically common knowledge by now, that Monty Python is an anti-aphrodisiac.)
At times, it’s seems Steinberg isn’t interested in the details of how his guests became and learned to be comics, but rather in them performing their greatest hits (or in the case of Jon Lovitz, encouraging him to perform one of Woody Allen’s bits). But the forum is so relaxed and friendly, the subjects are comfortable enough to talk about whatever. With someone who’s an interview shy as Larry David, it’s a real opportunity. If you’re interested in the comic Steinberg’s talking to, it’s worth watching.
Filed Under Sketch Comedy
Apparently, Kazakhstan authorities want to prove how progressive and forward thinking they are by shutting down comeidan Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat website. The site, which had a .kz domain name, is gone. (See for yourself) I’m unfamiliar with the free speech rights in this former Soviet republic, but it’s obvious that they’ve allowed the silly jokes of one comedian to demonstrate how far they have to go as a country.
I imagine it is frustrating that Borat is the only representation of Kazakhstan life in Western media, but anybody watching Borat knows that the character isn’t real. Though like all good comedy it plays the pranks straight, the exaggerations tip it too far for anyone watching the final result to take it seriously. But the leaders of Kazakhstan have played completely into the joke. The foreign ministry of Kazakhstan even believes that Cohen/Borat is under “politcal orders” to demean the country.
Getting into fights with comedians is the worst thing the humorless can do. You’ll just look more foolish or worse, exactly like the caricature you were fighting against. Kazakhstan, stop playing Borat’s game, and move on.
Filed Under Sketch Comedy
Yesterday, I wondered how Chappelle would take Comedy Central running episodes of his show from sketches he abandoned. Well, according to his rep interviewed by the Washington Post:
“Comedy Central is not going to obtain Dave’s return by releasing material that he has not approved or that doesn’t meet his standards.”
So I suppose it’s not the best negotiating posture.
John Belushi, more than twenty years after his death, has finally received the biography he deserves. ”Belushi” assembles anecdotes and stories from John’s family, friends and collaborators in the oral history style of “Live from New York”. The form befits “Belushi” more than “Live,” fitting the form of a scrapbook where the phrase “Eat a Bowl of Fuck” is the norm. I talked with Tanner Colby, co-author of the book with Judy Belushi Pisano, via e-mail about the book and the man. You can meet Tanner, Judy Belushi Pisano and the webbed wonder Dan Aykroyd at
the Lincoln Center Barnes & Noble (66th & Broadway) tonight at 7 PM for a signing/discussion.
As a comedy writer who didn’t have the chance to work with John Belushi, did collecting these interviews ever make you feel like the guy who arrived late to the party (i.e. “You shoulda seen this guy…”)?
Quite the contrary. I was six years old when John died, so the chances of my making it to that party were fairly slim. Collecting the interviews, and helping Judy set down the definitive portrait of John and his era, let me be a small part of what went on in those days, which was pretty damn great.
Filed Under Sketch Comedy
A rumor has gone around that apparently during the taping of Comedy Central’s Last Laugh special, they showed a video promoting Chappelle’s Show - Season 3. Today, the homepage for comedycentral.com confirms as much saying, “Get ready for a new season of Chappelle’s Show in 2006, and get ready for a preview during Last Laugh ‘05!” Some might wonder if all this pondering of why he quit is now completely moot.
It’s not. Variety has the full story. The episodes are the remnants of the aborted third season. They’ll first premiere on Motherload - Comedy Central’s broadband video site - then will appear on the network. It’s a pretty big coup for them to go to the web first and I imagine that’s part of what’s driving this - let’s really make a mark in the digital realm here with lost material from a sketch comedy show that’s one of the best sellers on DVD ever (both Season 1 and Season 2). From previous reports, the network has enough to make five episodes of the show from the material Chappelle created before he left the production for Africa.
The preview video shown at Last Laugh according to this MTV article included “spoofs of MTV’s “Cribs” and the Morgan Spurlock fast-food documentary “Super Size Me.”
Still, it’s uncertain how Chappelle will feel about this development. It’s unclear right now if Comedy Central had to do any negotiations with the comic to use the material. It’s also unclear if Chappelle will get any of the $50 million now that Comedy Central is going to air the episodes. And since Chappelle originally wasn’t happy with where the humor of those shows was going - will he be happy we’re going to see the sketches at all? According to a recent article in the Arizona Star about a Chappelle stand-up appearance, when a fan yelled “Season three!”, Chappelle replied “This is season three.” I’m curious to see the sketches, but one has to wonder if this is really going to be Chappelle’s Chappelle’s show.