Chappelle Smokes Up UB
When comedian Dave Chappelle ambled his way on the Mainstage Theatre in the Center for the Arts on Wednesday night, it was difficult to determine whether he was high. His memory was hazy, but his enthusiastic presence suggested he was not feeling like Sir Smoke-a-Lot from his hit film, "Half Baked."
"It's my first time chilling up in Buffalo before. It's cold as a motherf---er. If white people didn't kill the Indians, they wouldn't have survived this cold," Chappelle said in his first address to the audience.
Chappelle forgot he appeared in the very same room two years ago as the first stand-up act of the Student Association's Comedy Series. Jim Breuer, his fellow smoker-in-crime from "Half Baked," appeared last November.
But the wiry comedian has been busy. Besides guest appearances in films such as "Undercover Brother" and other stand-up tours, Chappelle debuted his program, "Chappelle's Show" earlier this year on Comedy Central.
At UB, Chappelle launched into a routine that covered the comedian's opinion on the Iraqi conflict, masturbation, "peach cobbler gobblers," more masturbation and why Chappelle had problems in health class.
But before any of that, came an introductory bit about the Indians. Viewers familiar with Chappelle's brand of comedy know he's a consummate expert on race relations. But it wasn't until recently at a tour stop in Wal-Mart when he encountered his first Native American.
"I went up to one of them and asked, 'Excuse me sir, you an Indian?' Had to make sure, could have been Puerto Rican or something. Dude said, 'Yes, I am an Indian.' I said, 'Word? What tribe are you from?' 'I am a Navajo.' 'No s---, Navajo? I studied you in social studies,'" Chappelle said.
But Chappelle's most recent racial discovery came upon following current events.
"When (it was revealed) the sniper was black, that news cracked you right on the head. I didn't even know they train a n---- to do that! Damn! I thought he was white. I did, I'm not a racist, but c'mon, dawg! They found tarot cards (at the crime scene), and s---, I said, 'Tarot cards?' This man is white as f---! Black people don't know any f---ing tarot cards. I think Elizabeth Cleo did that s---," said Chappelle.
Ripping into much of the racially charged material featured on "Chappelle's Show," the comedian addressed his surprise about the identity of the alleged sniper by partly mocking, partly acknowledging stereotypes.
"The first clue that he might be black was... when he started taking weekends off."
Chappelle quipped that the police never suspected the snipers could be "two brothers in a s---ty Caprice." According to the comedian, the police had the following reaction when the suspected snipers confessed before them:
"Beat it, n-----s, we're looking for somebody intelligent," he said.
Skeptical of the Bush administration's foreign incursions, Chappelle chimed in his view on the world of terrorism.
"(Bush said) 'Sept. 11, the day we will never forget!' You're right motherf---er, but it's Jan. 14 and I got some bills to pay... First he hit us with the axis of evil. That s--- set it off. Here's the other speech, 'You're either with us or you're with the terrorists.' Word, n----? There's nothing in between at all?"
Taking a jab at recent commercials linking marijuana to terrorism, Chappelle made a satirical connection between his weed habit and that the country's security level is on "orange alert" alert all the time.
Perhaps this dissatisfaction with the administration is what prompted Chappelle to sneak into the White House.
"I walked right into the door. Nobody said s--- to me, I wasn't supposed to be there. They didn't know that, because I was sweeping," said Chappelle.
According to Chappelle's story, his cover was almost blown by the secretary of state.
"He was walking in the hallway and he see me (and said), 'Wait a minute, I've seen you on Def Comedy Jam.' I freaked out. I said, 'Colin Powell, please sir. A big thank-you, homes. I love what you do. For God's sakes, please Colin Powell, don't tell anybody.' Colin Powell said, 'I ain't going to say s---. How do you think I got in here?'"
But most of the personal encounters Chappelle related to the audience were not quite as esteemed. Or as clean.
Chappelle said that very recently he had his own brush with terrorism while riding public transportation. The culprit was a man who bore striking similarities to Tyrone, a homeless crack addict who has appeared on "Chappelle's Show."
"I myself was held hostage on a bus in New York. It didn't make the news or get a lot of publicity, they kept it quiet, but I was there. I was held up for 45 minutes, held hostage by a maniac... that was jerking off. It's a mild form of terrorism," said Chappelle.
Attempting to mediate between a person Chappelle identified as a homeless man and a crowd of freaked out bus patrons, the comic said his result proved unsuccessful when a man threatened to rush the masturbator.
"Dude freaked out and shot one off. Ah! I dodged that s--- like 'The Matrix,'" Chappelle said, posing in front of the audience as if caught in "bullet time." "The dude behind me wasn't so lucky, (he shouted) 'Ah! Ah! I'm hit! I'm hit!' It didn't kill him or nothing. I'm sure it ruined his day though. You can't have a normal day if a homeless dude busts a nut on your cheek."
Although expressive when describing his terrorist encounter, midway through his performance Chappelle became sedate and lit a cigarette. Speaking in a somber tone, the comic expressed concern about the Earth's atmosphere.
"There's a hole in the ozone layer. Let's not forget about that hole, it keeps growing. It's not that I'm worried about it for my sake, I'm black. Everyone is worried about the sun. Motherf---er, the sun is protecting me. There's not a sun block strong enough to save a white person."
But Chappelle was called out for polluting the air. In the middle of his environmental musings, someone in the audience continually shouted to Chappelle, "Quit smoking!"
"Quit smoking what, cigarettes? This has nothing to do with the ozone layer, n----. It's hairspray. And I don't f--- with that," Chappelle said, taking his hat off to reveal his shaven head. "This is a whole other deal. For me, smoking is a defensive measure, n----. Second hand smoke kills. It's you motherf---ers that's in trouble."
The comic eventually declared a truce and put out the cigarette. Sitting down on edge of the stage, he proceeded to tell a story about how he took a "tour through history" by having sex with an old woman.
Although Chappelle joked about his romantic encounter with maturity, when he was young, the comedian had difficulty learning the finer points of a woman's body. But identifying his own private parts was a breeze, at least according to the diagrams they gave him in health class.
"I'm speaking objectively, I think we can agree the penis worksheet was just a little easier. It only had three blanks on the paper, I filled that s--- right out. Head, chains, balls. (The teacher said), 'Good work, Chappelle.' 'Thank-you. I didn't even study.' 'Excellent job.'"
But labeling the female genitalia was something else.
"Then they give you the vagina worksheet. Bam! There's 25 f---ing blank spaces! Even the girls were like, 'S---!' I was struggling, (I thought) 'Must be some kind of beans up here. What is this, a Pikachu? Are you telling me how this works?"
Opening for Chappelle was low-talking comedian Greer Barnes, who also appeared with the Comedy Central comic two years ago at their previous show at UB. Unlike Chappelle, it wasn't hard to determine the sobriety of Barnes.
"So I smoke marijuana sometimes. Sometimes, like everyday. I don't see the downside to that s---. (I'd be) down at the parks, harassing trees," Barnes said casually to a room full of cheers while slowly kicking the air. "I know you're in there little elf man. Just tell us where the tree y'all make the cookies."
Barnes attracted a favorable response from the crowd, although not quite matching the applause and laughter for Chappelle. But he aroused much of the audience's approval by telling the audience about his everyday battle.
"All day we go through a fight with our penis. Notice how all the fellas aren't laughing? They know. He just pops up on us anywhere (and says), 'Hey man, what we doing today?' 'We ain't doing nothing, penis.' 'Come on, man, the sun is shining.' 'I'm not taking you out.' 'Aw, man, how come?' 'I'm in Burger King, penis.'"