So you watched Dave Chappelle perform at Howard University on Saturday night, right? Chappelle managed to make jokes about rape and sex slavery that made the other performers seem fragile and needy by comparison.
The best talkers in the bunch included Kyle Kinane, the official Washingtonian comedian and the famous host of “The Late Show of Fish Out of Water.” Kinane put up his own Twitter storm, letting us know he was not having Chappelle’s set and how the whole thing made him extremely uncomfortable.
I wasn’t watching. I didn’t want to be there. Dave Chappelle might as well have been, “I’m a pro. Things will go fine.” — Kyle Kinane (@TheLateFish) January 5, 2019
But Kinane wasn’t the only one who felt this way. Ellen DeGeneres criticized Chappelle online. The host noted she even told Chappelle on her show several years ago to stop making jokes about rape.
I heard Dave Chappelle’s show last night and I’m not even laughing. Why does rape have to be such a laughing matter? I can’t get over it. — Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 5, 2019
Al Franken wasn’t laughing either. “Really, Dave?” Franken tweeted. “I told you to stop.”
I can’t help but notice that Dave Chappelle is obviously not very politically correct. He definitely fell short, personally, in telling a few jokes about rape in his performance at Howard University. https://t.co/5jniSGJ6mB — Al Franken (@alfranken) January 5, 2019
To the soldiers. ❤️✊🏾
Dave Chappelle in DC last night 👏👏🏾😂 — Grace Graves Peterson (@GracePeterson) January 5, 2019
A comedian who attended Chappelle’s set who wishes to remain anonymous because she was told to keep her identity private, told The Washington Post that she was also not amused.
“It was barely funny. I laughed at all the rape jokes, but they were the ones that really hit home with me,” she said. “He said: ‘I been talking about rape, since the time I was four.’ He was talking about how when I got the Today Show I asked him, ‘Do you want to discuss rape?’ He was not joking, not even a little bit. To me, that was a sign of a problematic figure, of a misogynist figure.”
The comedian who witnessed Chappelle’s performance told the Post that Chappelle spoke about his own sexual assault and said that he hoped future jokes could do more than just provoke laughs.
I can see these black men from Kanye to Chappelle pushing America to look at this disgusting issue differently. Listen to the stories we hear today from girls and women of all races and sexualities who are, essentially, saying: “Look, I just want you to laugh at my pain.” — Josh Bernstein (@jtcolbert) January 5, 2019
“This was supposed to be a room filled with people who care about this issue, and he showed no concern. I thought he was disgusting,” said the comedian who attended the event. “I don’t know what he was thinking … It seemed like he was really upset with the audience, trying to prove himself to them.
“There was nothing funny about it. This is a guy who has open mic nights, and he feels he needs to go too far to get a laugh.”
Chappelle’s set has been highly anticipated ever since he announced last year that he would be making his Howard University debut. Chappelle’s inner circle has called the venue his alma mater, and the former “Chappelle’s Show” creator certainly intends to be honored.
One of the students who attended the performance, Arielle Rose, had announced her intention to appear in a video to promote Chappelle’s appearance last fall. While the performance has indeed made Rose well-known, that kind of recognition is not something she was anticipating.