Got lucky and scored tickets to see Dave Chappelle at the tiny (approx. 150 capacity) Punch Line in SF last night, and took my wife for Valentine's day. I'm a fan of his show and his concert films but seeing him on TV doesn't capture his genius at all. Show was supposed to be at 10, doors didn't end up opening until after 11, then an hour of opening acts, and Dave didn't take the stage until after midnight. We waited in line for close to 4 hours so that we could be front and center and it was worth every second. Chappelle was practically ashing his cigarettes in our faces . He was on stage for a solid 4 hours (apparently he's been known to push 4 hours before), finally wrapping it up at just after 3. I don't know if there is another comic on the planet who could hold my attention for that long, but he was absolutely riveting. It wasn't your typical routine at all. As he himself said, he stretched about 11 minutes worth of material into a 3 hour set. Most of the show it was like he was just basically hanging out, clowning on the audience, goofing on songs that his DJ (DJ Fuse) would cue up. It was like the comedy equivalent of a jam session. There were a few "jokes" interspersed throughout, but mostly it was just an improvised freestyle jazz conversation with Dave.
Chappelle is at the absolute top of his game. It felt like we were watching him revolutionize comedy before our eyes. If anybody has a chance to go see him in this kind of intimate setting, I highly recommend seizing the opportunity.
I feel kinda bad for the folks who went to the early show (including "Da Mayor" Willie Brown and his hoochie mama looking lady-friend). They got maybe an hour tops. Must've been a much more conventional set. The late show it was just like he kept on going until his tank just plain ran out of funny. I don't know how he kept it up for so long (aside from the three cups of coffee and constant cigarettes). Anyway, I don't think there's anybody on the planet doing this kind of thing right now, and nothing I could say would do it justice at all, so if you get the chance, go see him for yourself.
Nice! Sounds like it was worth the wait!
I saw him do a show a few years back before Chappelle show came around, and got the same kind of thing...he just gets up and talks, and does all this funny shit...busts on people and stuff...we probably got about three hours, including one twenty minute bit about how when famous people visit college campuses, they get honorary degrees and such...and we were at UConn, so he staged a short sit in to get himself a honorary degree. there's nobody out there that has the ability to control a crowd the way that Dave does.