Anticipation was sky-high ahead of Dave Chappelle’s first ever full-length London shows back in the summer. The elusive ‘Chappelle’s Show’ star constantly ranks as one of the best stand-ups in the world, yet he kept a low profile for years and only returned to the stage in 2013. But if there were any doubters, the chain-smoking stand-up immediately proved them wrong.
His seven-night run at the Hammersmith Apollo was a masterclass in incisive, contentious, issue-driven stand-up, and it was breathtakingly funny. The Bill Cosby accusations, Isis’s rise and racial politics were all tackled head-on with impish goading, but the ever-relaxed Chappelle seamlessly mixed his weighty topics with knowingly pompous stories and proper, grown-up filth.
At his best he reached highs that other comics can only dream of. Many of whom were in the audience, actually, and were probably rethinking their career choice.
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