Dave Chappelle performs to a sold out crowd onstage at the Hollywood Palladium.
Lester Cohen | WireImage | Getty Images
Dave Chappelle’s latest Netflix special, like his previous sets, doesn’t pull punches.
The comedian dropped a 27-minute set titled “8:46” on the streaming service’s YouTube channel late Thursday. The segment features Chappelle’s signature searing social commentary as he speaks about George Floyd’s death in police custody and the ensuing Black Lives Matter protests sweeping the country.
The title of the special is a reference to the length of time that Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck.
Notably, the show comes at a time when many live events are canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was filmed on June 6 at an open-air theater in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Attendees sat 6 feet apart, adhering to local safety guidelines, and wore cloth face coverings. They also had their temperatures taken prior to entry and all parking attendants, ushers and members of security also wore masks.
“This is weird and less than ideal circumstances for a show,” Chappelle said. Despite that, the comedian is planning to hold more in the coming days. All are sold out.
During the special, Chappelle delved into police brutality, referencing Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Philandro Castile as victims of violence at the hands of law enforcement officers.
He also spoke about Christopher Dorner, a former Los Angeles police officer who went on a killing spree in 2013 after declaring “unconventional and asymmetric warfare” upon the Los Angeles Police Department. Dorner had accused a coworker of excessive force in 2007 and was later fired for making false statements, despite his insistence that he was telling the truth.
“They found him … he was hiding in a cabin,” Chappelle said during the set. “When they figured out where this n—– was, no less than 400 police officers showed up and answered the call … and you know why 400 cops showed up? Because one of their own was murdered. So how the f— can’t they understand what’s going on in these streets?” he said of the recent protests.
While Chappelle made his opinions known during the special, he said he doesn’t think now is the time for celebrities to step in and speak for the public.
“This is the streets talking for themselves,” he said. “They don’t need me right now … Why would everyone care what their favorite comedian thinks after they saw a police officer kneel on a man’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds?”