“Chappelle’s Show” debuted on Comedy Central
in the fall of 2002 and immediately caused a stir. Starring the
energetic and unpredictable comedian Dave Chappelle, the
sketch-comedy program shocked viewers with its controversial topics
and liberal use of profanity. Now, the outrageously funny first
season has made its way onto DVD the way it was truly meant to be:
uncut and uncensored.

The first episode sets the tone for the two-disc set, as one
sketch features Chappelle portraying a white supremacist who,
because he is blind, does not realize he is black. The entire
concept of the sketch resulted in some people calling for the
show’s cancellation, a notion Chappelle regularly jokes
about. What these people fail to realize is that this is where
Chappelle’s genius shines forth. By playing off of many
stereotypes and taking them to the extreme, he creates an
environment where the audience is free to laugh at society due to
the sheer ridiculousness of the sketches.

The show does push the envelope in terms of content, but the
raciness separates it from all the other comedy programs on
television. Whether the sketches involve a financial consulting
firm operated by the Wu-Tang Clan, a season of “The Real
World” starring only one white guy or the results of giving
reparations to blacks for slavery, the ideas are fresh and the
laughs never stop. The one downside is that many episodes are less
than 20 minutes long, and with a musical performance, only a few
sketches are shown each time.

The set features crisp picture and clear sound and is enhanced
even more with the special features. Chappelle and series
co-creator Neal Brennan provide audio commentary for five of the 12
episodes and for all of the 29 minutes of bloopers and deleted
scenes. Their commentary is witty and adds even more humor to the
show.

“Chappelle’s Show” is now in its sophomore
season and has managed to meet the hilarity of the first. Hopefully
the show will go on to find success similar to “South
Park” and have a long run on Comedy Central. If not, one fact
will still remain: Chappelle will always leave the audience
laughing.

 

Show: 4 out 5 stars

Picture/Sound: 4 out of 5 stars

Features: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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