Chappelle's Show: The Series Collection

Chappelle's Show: The Series Collection
With Dave Chappelle all but disowning his remarkable, groundbreaking show, Comedy Central helplessly puts the previously released two-and-half season DVD editions together here with no new frills. There's no doubt that season two contains some of the most memorable, provocative comedy to yet show up on television. Beyond the memorable catchphrases (i.e., "I'm Rick James, bitch!" and the parody of Lil' John's perpetually amped up "Okayyyyyyy!"), Chappelle and his collaborators came up with sharp, ridiculous shit. The "Racial Draft" and the exploration of white people's dance patterns (featuring John Mayer and the Roots' ?uestlove) perfectly send up racial tensions, while "I Know Black People" and Paul Mooney's "Negrodamus" hilariously clarified some misconceptions. Then there are the two crowning achievements: Chappelle imagining life as Oprah's baby daddy and quitting the show to be replaced by a deceptively harmless Wayne Brady ("Is Wayne Brady gonna have to choke a bitch?" is just a priceless line, a pimped upgrade of "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn"). If season two is perfect next to the preceding season's unfocused overzealousness, The Lost Episodes document a sinking ship. When Chappelle and series co-creator Neal Brennan do audio commentaries in the first season they can't believe what they're getting away with and gleefully enjoy their luck. By season two, they've earned a place in television history but are completely open about how much working on the show is killing them. Part of the premise of the Wayne Brady episode includes a contract dispute, where Chappelle complains of being underpaid and overworked and the brass balk at his demands, bringing Brady aboard to demonstrate how expendable their star really is. The satire became reality when Chappelle actually quit the show in the middle of shooting season three, citing concerns over the harm of his racially-charged comedy but also feeling stressed out about money and how the show was affecting his home life. The Lost Episodes features a scant number of uneven taped sketches hosted by scabs/regulars Charlie Murphy and Donnell Rawlings. Even with Chappelle in the sketches, the spirit of the show is missing and the audience discussion of the infamous "Racial Pixies" sketch is so corny-ass I don't know where to begin. Chappelle's Show is a classic hall-of-famer and deserves a proper send-off. Plus: deleted scenes, bloopers, more. (Paramount)