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Dave Chappelle slays L.A. Laugh Factory with all-new material

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Dave Chappelle gets his own chapter in comedian Jim Breuer’s autobiography “I’m Not High,” which I recently finished. The two infamously starred in the stoner comedy “Half Baked,” but they also almost headlined an ABC sitcom titled “Buddies,” which never made it much further than the pilot stages. But Breuer gives Chappelle lots of love.

I wonder if it’s returned in Chappelle’s new material.

That’s right. After being off the grid for years, leaving his Comedy Central sketch show in the lurch and “abandoning” his fanbase (albeit temporarily), Chappelle appears to be ready to return to the spotlight … and he started that comeback with a marathon six hours of combined standup at Los Angeles’ Laugh Factory over the weekend.

“You can’t keep a genius comic down,” says Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada, “What else to say?”

Chappelle started his set on Sunday night riffing about his career, according to a release.

“I need the right comeback, you know what I mean? I need to shock people. I can’t do ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ cause then in the back of their minds they’re gonna be like, ‘It’s over.’ Now here to do the salsa, it’s Dave Chappelle! Like what?”

Following Chappelle’s second night, Masada commented, “He just performed six hours of brand new material. Six hours. For most good comics, new sets of 20 minutes take years to perfect. He is our comic jazz artist who can rip all night long, and one of the most genius comedians of our time.”

The previous night, Chappelle arrived and did almost four hours of new material. He announced that all the old jokes and routines were out and he had burned them. He also announced that he’d try, yet again, to beat the Laugh Factory record for continuous stand-up set by Dane Cook at 7 hours and 11 minutes, and he’d do it with only new material.

Members of the audience reportedly teased him as they took restroom breaks throughout the show. And according to reports, the packed house stayed well past 4 a.m to witness Chappelle’s set.

“Everyone focused on the record on Sunday night, since he had gone past 5 hours and was drinking coffee on stage,” Masada said. “But his bladder beat him again. He set the record once, and he’ll eventually set it again.”

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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One Comment

  • March 30, 2011 | Permalink |

    I’d rather spend an eternity in hell than watch Dane Cook for 7 hours (or 7 minutes)

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