‘Trump’s kind of bad for comedy,’ says Dave Chappelle

‘Trump’s kind of bad for comedy,’ says Dave Chappelle


Eli Glasner:We’re not used
to seeing you here that often,
how does it feel to be here
at the Canadian Screen Awards?
It’s amazing. You know, it’s funny,
Canada’s so close yet so far away,
in some respects. And you know, if I go to
a country like Australia, they watch so much
American television. They have their own thing,
but not to the extent that Canada does,
you know, so it’s kind of
interesting to see, I’m meeting celebrities
I’ve never met before, and it’s nice, man. It’s like a nice vibe
here tonight. Eli:Now we, of course,
have been watching
what’s been happening
in the United States,
I see you’ve been
very outspoken.
Do you think comedy has
a role to play right now
with what’s happening
in America under Trump?
Interestingly enough,
it’s turning out that way. I wouldn’t normally have
made that assumption, though. I think Trump’s kind
of bad for comedy. Eli:You think? Really?In a way, yeah.
Most comics in the States have started to do
the same jokes just because Trump makes– is so on
everybody’s mind. So it’ll be nice when we don’t
have to talk about him as much. Eli:When you have
something like this,
when you feel as
strongly as you do,
do you sometimes think, like,
this is bigger than comedy?
Like, I just want
to speak,
I don’t want to try and
get a laugh out of this?
Well in my life,
nothing’s bigger than comedy. Eli:
[chuckles] I guess so.
You know,
I love my genre, and my genre allows me
to be more honest than most people’s,
but it still is, this is still comedy, man. Like you know, it’s got to be
in the spirit of levity because it kind of helps us get
through tough times like this. Eli:
Let’s go back a little.
When you were just– Dave was
just breaking into the biz,
is there someone that really
made that difference for you,
that you wouldn’t be here today
if it wasn’t for them?
There’s many people,
but today in particular has to do with the people
that carried the Montreal Comedy Festival. Eli:Why is that?Because I’m one of the few
people that came from America to Canada to
get a break. Like, I came to
the Montreal Festival, I spent a weekend here,
and it changed my life. You know, it’s never
been the same. And it put me on a path
to become a better comedian than I would have been had I
not come through the festival. Eli:So how did the fest force
you to raise your game?
Because I’d never seen comedy
taken so seriously before. You know what I mean,
it was, it was, it was comedians from
all over the world, I was exposed to more talent
in a single weekend than I had seen
in years, and it was the festival,
so everyone was playing their A game. And it made me want to be
more serious about my work. Eli:Who are the comedians that
are inspiring you these days?
Oh these days,
there’s tons of them. I think that most of these guys
that you see working are wildly courageous. It’s like, it’s such
a strange time with like, people being
bombarded with information, and I think comedy
is an important valve in like siphoning through
all that, and I think that
the comedians– like, I feel like
my genre is secure. The guys that I see coming up
carry the mantle well. And then a lot
of the guys who have been banging
from the beginning have come back
to stand up. You’re seeing
Chris Rock back, you’re seeing Jon Stewart
in the clubs, you’re seeing
Seinfeld back. So I feel like the genre’s
just very strong and healthy and everyone inspires me. Eli:Except you seem to really
kind of protect your space,
like you pick
your moments.
Is that about kind of finding
that place to create
so you’re not overexposed?I enjoy comedy,
and I enjoy celebrity but it’s not something
that I completely trust. Eli:
Ah, you don’t trust it.
Yeah, it’s one
of those things. You get big enough, they blow
you up like a balloon animal, they just twist you in whatever
shape they think you fit. So I like to just
stay out of the fray and try to just focus on
the things about my work that I really enjoy. And you know,
keep good people around me and try to have fun, man.
Just try to have fun with it. Tell us about
theNetflixspecial. I got two specials– Two? coming up. You got that huge deal, right? Yeah, I got
one of ’em. Netflixis just
changing everything.
They did change the game, they
changed it for me personally. March 21,
I’ll release two specials. These were in my vault,
so they just bought ’em. So they’re not like
new
specials. The most recent,
I think, is a year old. But they’re funny specials,
and then I’m working on a third forNetflix
that I’ll put out probably by the end
of the year. So you might get three Dave
Chappelle specials this year. Eli:That’s all right.
It’s been too long,
so people are ready.All right, good deal.All right, great stuff.
Thanks.
Thank you, man.

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