Inside the Actor's Studio: Dave Chappelle

With his beloved show off the air it seems that anything Dave Chappelle does winds up on DVD in hopes of soothing the broken hearts of the audience that made his monumental series a pop culture juggernaut. James Lipton is a creepy individual, so anyone familiar with Inside the Actor's Studio knows that the contrast between Lipton and Dave is going to be awkward at times, and it is, but this is about as real and raw as you're ever going to see the comedian. This isn't Dave Chappelle coming close to doing stand up, as the jokes are few and far between but when they come, you'll be satisfied. The predominantly white crowd may have not expected the serious side of Dave to come out so strongly, as they inappropriately laugh when the word "crack" is mentioned while describing the drug epidemic in Washington. If you were frustrated by the Oprah appearance where Dave danced around the reasons for his temporarily leaving show business you'll get a better idea as to why he was driven to do the things he did here, but Dave still manages to keep things cryptic, although one can easily read between the lines. And you have to admire the man for not flat-out saying that Hollywood destroyed something sacred to him and that the popularity of racially-driven jokes amongst white college kids was unsettling. Dave is calm, cool and intelligent, and continuously drops knowledge in this 90-minute interview, as he talks about the struggles he went through to get to the top and the precautions he had to take in order to retain his sanity within an incredibly demanding and seriously fucked-up media empire. This is for fans of Dave Chappelle the person — if you're interested in the strides this important figure is taking in Hollywood then this interview is essential. The DVD also contains about ten minutes of worthwhile footage that was edited out, such as how Dave got involved with Russell Simmon's Def Comedy Jam and the story of how Chappelle's Show was passed on by uninterested networks before finally finding a home on a then desperate Comedy Central. (Shout! Factory)