Racial Identity And Politics In The Chappelle Show By Dave Chapelle

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“There’s a truth in every joke.” This phrase mean on a joke being taken seriously after all the laughs have died down. Joking around can be for the sake of getting laughter from others, but it is a fun and lighthearted way to bring awareness. Satire isn’t an unfamiliar subject to most performers and comedians. Comedian Dave Chappelle used satire, that usually dealt with racial identity and politics in America in most of his comedy bits in his comedy hit, The Chappelle Show. The use of satire in Dave Chappelle’s comedy sketches draws attention to politics through the eyes of a black man in America. Dave Chappelle is able to use his platform to spread his experiences among anyone who’ll listen, including people of different demographics in order …show more content…
Chappelle took noticed to how the audiences were receiving his satire due to his use of “internalized racism” and felt that it’ll misinform people who aren’t of the black community (Haggins 244). One of the sketches consisted of a pixie dressed in blackface trying to convince comic Chappelle to submit to stereotypes disregarding how others may look at him. This may have raised an awareness on how many black people and other races try to battle an internal fight to not conform to stereotypes, Chappelle expresses that there are “dangers inherent in comedy challenges cultural, social, and political sensibilities” (Haggins 245). Considering that another one of his sketch comedies involved a drug addict named Tyrone Biggums, it was only a matter of time before people would start to get the wrong ideas about the black community.
This content of Dave Chappelle’s “pixie” sketch has direct ties to black minstrel shows in America. Black minstrel shows are comedic pieces that were performed by white people in blackface. The black Minstrels shows were a part of American theatre in the 1800’s. Even though Chappelle is already a black man, he used a black-faced pixie character as a self-conscious voice to himself in the “pixie” scene. In the history of blackface minstrel performances, it has been known to reinforced faulty ideas about black people in
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Artists should be careful in how they handle racial material.Dave Chappelle was noticed when he went to far and wandered away from his intended art form. He took this lesson to reinvent himself as an artist. Recently, he made a comeback to stand up comedy where he mostly tackles American politics, such as the 2016 elections and police brutality. Surely, after his lesson with racial satire, he should know how to better form a premise around racially charged jokes so that the message doesn’t get misconstrued from what he actually meant. Satire can be a tricky subject so if people follows the “There’s a truth in every joke” phrase too closely, they can end up losing deeper meaning due to lack of critical

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