Dave Chappelle has cut a deal with Netflix for three new comedy specials.
The projects will mark Chappelle’s first standup TV specials in 12 years, and it marks another aggressive push by Netflix in the standup comedy arena.
“Dave Chappelle is a legendary voice in comedy — searing, vital, and now more than ever, essential,” said Lisa Nishimura, Netflix’s VP of original documentary and comedy. “Dave’s three new specials promise to be some of the most anticipated events in comedy.”
The deal calls for Chappelle and director Stan Lathan to produce an original special for Netflix. Two other unreleased projects will come from Chappelle’s vault — one produced out of the Austin City Limits Live venue, the other from a performance at the Hollywood Palladium.
The projects from the vault are set for release simultaneously next year. There’s no premiere date yet for the new special.
Chappelle is coming off a strong performance earlier this month as host of “Saturday Night Live,” which generated the show’s highest ratings in three years. He is among the most prolific and successful touring comics in country, staging some 500 shows during the past three years.
Netflix made headlines last month by setting a $40 million deal with Chris Rock for two new comedy specials.
The Apollo Theater in Harlem will induct famed comedians Richard Pryor, Moms Mabley and Redd Foxx into its Walk of Fame.
The ceremony, to take place on Oct. 1, will mark the first time that non-musical artists will be inducted. All three had long-standing relationships with the venue. The historic theater also is launching a new comedy series on the same night. The Apollo Comedy Club will feature emerging comics.
Its fall and winter season also includes the return of the international hip-hop dance festival Breakin’ Convention that will feature French dance duo Les Twins.
“Rush Hour” and “Friday” star Chris Tucker is getting back in the comedy game with his first ever stand-up special, which launches exclusively on Netflix today, Friday, July 10th. In the special, Chris Tucker shares experiences from childhood to present day, as well as doing his always-anticipated impersonations. To watch the trailer for “Chris Tucker Live,” click below:
HARTFORD — One year after he bombed in one of the most notoriously disastrous stand-up sets in memory, Dave Chappelle made a surprise return here — and no one seemed more surprised than he.
“I didn’t think I’d ever come back to Hartford,” he said on Saturday, closing out a star-studded Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival show that was the biggest blockbuster in stand-up this summer.
After being roundly booed and heckled in 2013, Mr. Chappelle had promised that he would never return to Hartford, “not even for gas.” He also joked that if North Korea were to drop a nuclear bomb on the United States, he hoped it would fall on Hartford. He did not retract his criticism (“It was your fault,” he reminded the crowd), but on the day before his 41st birthday, he struck conciliatory notes. “I was really immature,” he conceded, before apologizing for making T-shirts that cursed the city.
The crowd embraced him without restraint, roaring when he appeared onstage, laughing throughout his set and remaining carefully quiet in between jokes. Mr. Chappelle, dressed in a long black dress shirt and smoking a cigarette, said that doing so poorly was hard on him. Then he confessed that he had not prepared anything for this show. “I figured showing up is funny enough.”
The warm show was in a stark contrast to last year’s Oddball performance, which began boisterous, turned contentious and ended with him running out his allotted time by, among other things, reading a book aloud onstage. Media accounts situated the show as part of a pattern of mercurial behavior, including his quitting his hit show on Comedy Central. Some described the evening as a meltdown, others as a crowd run amok.
As Mr. Chappelle has deftly done before, he turned bad press to his advantage, using it for comedy, starting with his next show in Chicago, where he described the Hartford crowd as “evil.” The jokes must have stung, since they earned a response from the mayor of Hartford, Pedro Segarra, who tweeted, “Dave Chappelle needs to quit whining, do his job and try some yoga.”
Mr. Chappelle’s return capped a dynamite night of stand-up comedy featuring a murderers’ row of comics, including Sarah Silverman, Hannibal Buress, Dave Attell, Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari and Louis C.K. In a nice bit of suspense-generating stagecraft, Louis C.K., the final act on the bill, finished his set, started walking offstage, only to stop, return to the microphone and dramatically tell everyone to stay, before introducing Mr. Chappelle.
Last year’s Hartford show was so infamous that at several points, jokes by comics evoked the controversy. When after Mr. Ansari made his entrance and thanked the crowd, he made a joke demanding to know whether the audience would finally be quiet and let him speak.
Louis C.K. made an even more pointed jab by opening his set by saying of Hartford, “Nice area,” then making a wry face. The large screens picked up his smile and raised eyebrows when he held onto the moment, extending the pause, and repeating sarcastically, “Really nice.” With a new set dense with jokes, Louis C.K. was in peak form, returning to bread-and-butter subjects like raising two kids and also mining humor through some of the most unpredictable punch lines in comedy. After a setup about trying to answer the question of why babies always cry on planes, he concluded, “They are upset about gay marriage.”
Mr. Chappelle made a callback to this joke in a bit he does about Chaz Bono. While Mr. Chappelle comes off as the absent-minded enigma, he has a showman’s sense of event honed over a lifetime of performing. (He did his first stand-up set in Washington at the age of 14.) But on this night, he also seemed genuinely moved by the response.
“Are you sure this is Hartford?” Mr. Chappelle asked toward the end. Then, not much later, looking pleased and a little mischievous, he pointed to the front rows and said, “There’s someone giving me the middle finger.”
Legendary comedian-actor-activist Dick Gregory will receive a coveted star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next year, reports Variety.com.
The Walk of Fame Selection Committee announced the list of 30 honorees—which also includes iconic R&B group Kool & The Gang and super-producer Pharrell Williams last week.
“We know that the new selections represent the best of the entertainment industry and will be a great addition to the Walk of Fame for both the Hollywood community and fans from around the world who visit Hollywood every year,” Maureen Schultz, Chair of the Walk of Fame selection committee, said in a statement.
Will Farrell, Melissa McCarthy, Jennifer Garner, Peter Jackson, Eugenio Derbez, Daniel Radcliffe, Paul Rudd, Christoph Waltz, James L. Brooks, Ken Ehrlich, Bobby Flay, Seth MacFarlane, Julianna Margulies, Chris O’Donnell, Jim Parsons, Amy Poehler, Kelly Ripa, Sofia Vergara, Lukasz ‘Dr. Luke’ Gottwald, Pitbull, Al Schmitt, Raymond Chandler, Bob Kane and Larry Elder round out the diverse and sure to debated over list.
Of the 30 ceremonies planned for the recipients, approximately 24 of them will be broadcasted to a worldwide audience.
Dave Chappelle is back in the spotlight and reclaiming his title as one of America’s favorite comedians. The stand-up legend is co-headlining Funny or Die Presents The Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival, a comedy tour launching late this summer. The comedy duo and music band Flight of the Conchords will join him in hosting and performing throughout the tour.
“The Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival w/ Dave Chappelle & Flight of the Conchords is going to destroy your funny bone this summer!” says a descriptor on the tour’s official site. The 5-weekend tour will kick off its first show in Austin, Texas on August 23rd and will appear in 12 other cities through Sept. 20.
Although Chappelle has performed stand-up across the country over the years, his recent series of gigs with comedian Chris Rock had many speculating his big return to the limelight. Now, the tour marks the funnyman’s high-profile return to the center stage since his abrupt departure from Comedy Central’s Chappelle’s Show in 2003.
On Saturday night, President Obama took the White House Correspondents’ Dinner podium, Politico rounded up his best barbs, including his note of the Republicans’ attempt to attract more minorities. Their efforts, he joked, could start with him. Watch video above for more.
Mike Epps and Katt Williams will face off in Blazin Four, a Blazing Saddles-style action comedy. The independent film revolves around a ragtag quartet of gunslingers hired to protect a small town from marauding Mexican bandits. John Luessenhop and Gabriel Casseus, who produced Sony Screen Gems’Takers, optioned the project and will produce. Luessenhop, who also helmed 2010’s Takers and this year’s Texas Chainsaw 3D, is considering taking the helm on Blazin Four. Epps is playing Noah, a lowlife preacher who takes the job on in the hopes of finding redemption. Williams is El Loco, the menacing leader of the Mexican bandits. Found as a baby on a Mexican family’s doorstep, El Loco has no idea he is black — and none of his bandits has the nerve to tell him. The producers are shopping the project around town.
Nicki Minaj, whose clever and sassy commentary makes American Idol bearable, has signed on to star with Cameron Diaz inThe Other Woman, a film that Nick Cassavetes is directing for Fox. Diaz plays a woman who realizes she is not her boyfriend’s primary lover, and teams up with the man’s wife to plot revenge. Game Of Thrones‘ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau plays the cad, and Leslie Mann, Kate Upton and Chicago Fire‘s Taylor Kinney also star. Minaj makes her screen–starring debut, playing the larger-than-life assistant to Diaz’s lawyer character. The assistant is opinionated and sharp and brutally honest, and we know Minaj can handle that. The film shoots in New York in May.
NEW YORK, NY – Ed Gordon Media announced today the syndication of “Conversations with Ed Gordon,” a quarterly, one-hour special with award-winning journalist and renowned interviewer, Ed Gordon, serving as host and executive producer. The specials will be aired nationally, including on all ten NBC owned and operated affiliates. The first special begins airing April 28, 2013. Airdates, times and markets can be found on www.edgordon.net/conversations.htm.
Gordon, known for in-depth and exclusive interviews, will do it again with a stellar line-up of guests for the first special. Comedian Kevin Hart, one of today’s hottest entertainers, talks with Gordon on location in Los Angeles about his record-breaking concert tour and hit television show. Hart also confronts recent criticism surrounding a controversial “color” joke.
Kevin Hart on why he doesn’t address media/social network criticism:
“They want to make something out of nothing. So if you give ammunition, which is a reply, an excuse or a constant apology, you’re setting yourself up for more comments.”
On wanting to be on the list of the greatest comedians of all-time:
“As long as my name is in there, I don’t care if it’s dead last, as long as I am in there. That means people understood my work ethic and understood that I love to do what I am doing now…making people laugh and that’s it.”