"On the outskirts of every agony sits some observant fellow who points." --Virginia Woolf
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Chappelle's SF Show
On Friday the 13th I was lucky enough to get one of perhaps less than 300 tickets to see Dave Chappelle, a show that was announced on the day of, and sold out within a few hours. After having the "Dave Chappelle experience" I completely understand why--when he does a show, he REALLY does a show. He tries to heckle as many people in the audience as possible, or just make small talk, and rambles on until he's not stoned anymore. And all I can say is, if you begin a show before midnight and don't stop until 3 a.m., that's some mighty strong weed.
Towards the second half of his schtick, at least a third of the audience--myself included--had fallen asleep or had made a visit to the restroom at least half a dozen times. Of course I woke back up after drifting off for a few minutes, and it had nothing to do with the content but everything to do with sitting for so long and realizing that, after the first two hours, Chappelle was totally unprepared for his show and is just making conversation. But really hilarious conversation. And since he began yelling at people for getting up to go to the bathroom so much, I tried to go even more, just so he would yell at me and we could converse. Alas he didn't notice me and my small bladder, and instead heckled some girl because her boyfriend had left early.
Apparently he came to San Francisco because his agent gave him the option of playing Houston or my little city by the Bay. Chappelle explained that he had just read about a gay serial rapist in Houston and told his agent, "I'll go to San Francisco where the ass raping is consensual." As a few people piled in, he said to one of them, "Hey, y'all didn't miss anything. Just having a little talk about man rape"--and so it went from there.
Chappelle was extremely unpolished-sounding, but you could tell that he knew what he was doing, he didn't have to come prepared because he didn't have to win everybody over, people like him for the sheer force of his personality. He kept making himself laugh and banging the microphone on his leg, which was hilarious in and of itself. But one ongoing joke that I don't know if I was a fan of was the one about the "baby that came from a man's penis."
He started by bringing up the pregnant man that was all over the news recently. Not such a great news item to me because it's misleading--the "father" is actually a transgendered, woman-to-man so it's not like someone is having a baby that's actually coming out of their penis. Chappelle just went on about the "baby from a man's penis" as if it were a sign of the apocalypse. And at one point he even pretended that the microphone was a big penis and re-enacted the "birth process." Then, he did a demonic voice of the "baby from a man's penis," cupping the microphone and lowering his voice dramatically. He did this voice all night, and at times I got a bit irritated. But after you hear the "baby that came from a man's penis"'s voice over fifty times, you start to get delirious and find it to be the most absurdly funny thing you've ever heard. At one point I think he began projecting a bit of himself into the baby's voice, saying in the demonic baby's voice, "I want to destroy Carlos Mencia" (that incredibly unfunny racist dude that replaced "Chappell's Show").
So anyways, my point is, the man is so funny he can make a character like the "baby from a man's penis" the most ridiculously humorous thing you've ever heard, even if it means driving you to a delirious stupor in order to do so.
I am uncommonly mobile; I have circumnavigated the globe eight times, walking amazing distances. Through the South Island of New Zealand to the Southern Alps. From Chile to the Andes in Argentina. Across the Serengeti in Africa. I made 300 ascents of mountains 10,000 ft. tall or more, including the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, and Kilimanjaro. I traveled alone, aided only by my porters, sketching volcanos and collecting wildflowers along the way.