Dave Chappelle returns to television after a 12-year absence with two stand-up specials on Netflix that started streaming on March 21. Critics welcomed him back, and heaped praise on the stand-up for continuing with the take-no-prisoners approach to comedy that made him a star. He riffs on ISIS (“they’re going to cut your head off”) O.J. Simpson (and his “soon to be slain wife”) and the simple staple that proves deadly to African Americans (“regular ass table salt”).
“Dave Chappelle: Deep in the Heart of Texas,” was filmed at Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater in Austin, TX almost two years ago, in April 2015. And “Dave Chappelle: The Age of Spin” was filmed at The Palladium in Los Angeles last March.
Chappelle produced both specials, which were directed by Stan Lathan, an executive producer of his 2005 Emmy-nominated special “Dave Chappelle: For What It’s Worth.” Both of these turns at the mike will put Chappelle in Emmy contention for the first time in more than a decade.
He lost his bid for Best Variety Special back in 2005 to the Tony Awards, which now contends in a separate category. In 2004, he was nominated as both a writer and producer of the variety series “The Chappelle Show” but lost both those races to “The Daily Show.” Back then, sketch shows like his and talkers like “The Daily Show” contended in the same category; now they have separate ones.
This year, Chappelle could also reap a Comedy Guest Actor bid for his well-received turn as host of “Saturday Night Live” on the first episode after last fall’s presidential election. And he continues to tour the country and is committed to filming at least of these shows for Netflix in the future.
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