“Are you guys having a good time or is this weird?” Normally, you don’t hear those words at the beginning of a comedy routine. For Dave Chappelle’s 8:46 impromptu Netflix special however, it might be fitting as both are true.
Any time spent with Chappelle, considered one of the G.O.A.T.’s of comedy, should probably be considered a good time. When you’re looking out at a small crowd of masked covered fans socially distancing themselves, it’s definitely weird.
And yet Dave Chappelle’s 8:46 special is not as funny as it is necessary. It’s not a good time when you consider the inspiration behind it. People don’t watch Chappelle for his comedy anymore anyway. Not because he isn’t funny, but as with all the great comics, because of his communications skills and social commentary. In this regard 8:46 is indeed a good time.
The title is derived from the amount of time that unspeakable cop had his knee down on George Floyd’s neck. The 27-minute routine is focused squarely on racial injustice at the hands of the police and those that defend them.
I don’t want to give much away, save for the opening bit because it really highlight’s the type of crime that was committed. Chappelle talked about a time when he was in L.A., getting high and watching apocalypse now at 4:00AM.
Suddenly, what came to be known as the Northridge earthquake, struck. Chappelle recounted that it felt like it started in his apartment. Having never experienced an earthquake before, he was terrified. He scrambled around the house gathering things thinking that he was certain he might die.
knowing that earthquake couldn’t have lasted more than 35 seconds, Chappelle reminded us “This man kneeled on a man’s neck for eight minutes and forty-six seconds. Can you Imagine that? This kid thought he was going to die; he knew he was going to die. He called for his dead mother.” A lot of people can’t really grasp how long eight minutes and forty-six seconds can be to when facing your mortality.
Chappelle called out specific media figures like Don Lemon for suggesting celebrities need to speak out. The protesters were doing just fine in Chappelle’s eyes. Soon after, he called out Laura Ingraham again for telling LeBron James to shut up and dribble. His biggest scorn was saved for black Trump supporter and media pundit Candace Owens… I won’t repeat it here.
One of the more interesting points he made was about police killings at the hands of black people. Chappelle mentioned three separate occasions where black men, all ex-military, slaughtered multiple cops. He suggested these crazy black people had been brainwashed in the military to fight terrorism, so what they were doing, in their minds, was actually protecting their community.
Chappelle’s 8:46 is absolutely worth the watch and doesn’t take up too much time. It isn’t laugh out loud funny of course given the subject matter, but it hits home. At the very least, if you weren’t already aware of what’s going on and why people are taking to the streets like never before, you’ll now have a better understanding. You can watch it here: