I live near Webster Hall in NYC... so Kanye West's not-to-be pop-up show was a fascinating spectacle for me in the difference between music and comedy. Earlier that day, my attentions had been on a quieter pop-up event in Minnesota.
Last night at the Riverview Theatre in Minneapolis, Dave Chappelle showed a unreleased comedy special to a crowd of roughly 700 people. Chappelle has not released a special in over 10 years. So to see something he might release is pretty big.
There hasn't much been about the content of the special online - not even a title. But the audience did love it:
Dave chappelle at Riverview was pretty much incredible.. #theswindler— Zack Gizmo (@Zack_Gizmo) June 6, 2016
Got to see an unreleased Dave Chappelle special tonight and heard him tell Prince & Muhammad Ali stories. Great.— Paul R. Novak (@paulrnovak) June 6, 2016
$20 to see an unreleased Dave Chappelle comedy special at the Riverview was the deal of the year: intro by Dave + short B.S. session after— David Kingsbury (@kingsbury) June 6, 2016
Checked out @DaveChappelle at the Riverview Theater last night. He told some jokes and spoke about Prince and Muhammad Ali. It was amazing.— Delane Cleveland (@DelaneCleveland) June 6, 2016
The Chapelle screening at Riverview was awesome, he did a great Q and A after, too.— Dan Hendricks (@Dan_H) June 6, 2016
Sounds great. Will it ever be released? At least a couple folks from the audience seemed to think that was unlikely...
That Chappelle event at the Riverview was a screening of a comedy special he's not sure he will release. He also hosted, shit was dope!— Doug Lef | Cash Only (@douglef) June 6, 2016
I don't think he's gonna release this special either, we may have been the only crowd to get to see it.— Dan Hendricks (@Dan_H) June 6, 2016
I'm sure that's disappointing for sure, but that's Dave Chappelle. He's does what he wants. And he should.
What could help him to decide to release it? Post Comedy Central, money has not been the driving factor for Chappelle. Netflix or HBO would offer a great deal of money for a new Dave Chappele special, but I doubt that would make a difference.
With the Internet, never have stand-ups has more control in how they release their specials, but Dave doesn't have a website or even an active Twitter account. I'm not certain Chappelle looks at the Internet as a place for artistic freedom. Considering the no-cell-phone policy at his shows, I'd imagine that the web seems like more of a nuisance to him that anything else. So I'm not sure even a self-released special is likely.
This special screening was added late in Chappelle's Minneapolis run of shows, which suggests to me that this was pretty spontaneous. So when Chappelle does come to your town, I would not be surprised if he does it again - at a moment's notice. A pop-up special. Try not to stampede anybody on your way there.