Tag: Funny or Die Presents The Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival

Dave Chappelle Returns to Stand-Up, With Stories to Tell

Dave Chapelle (Andrew Oh for The New York Times)

In 2005, Dave Chappelle was merely the hottest comedian in America. Then he left his job and became a far more singular cultural figure: A renegade to some, a lunatic to others, but most of all, an enigma.  Now he is making a kind of comeback — Mr. Chappelle headlines the Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival, a new 15-city tour presented by the Funny or Die Web site that begins Friday in Austin, Tex. — and what makes it particularly exciting is how he’s using his hard-earned mystique to make more daring and personal art.

Mr. Chappelle didn’t just walk away from a $50 million contract and the acclaimed “Chappelle’s Show,” whose second season on Comedy Central stacks up well against the finest years of “SCTV,” “Saturday Night Live” and Monty Python. He did so dramatically, fleeing to Africa and explaining his exit in moral terms: “I want to make sure I’m dancing and not shuffling,” he told Time magazine. Since then, he has been a remote star in an era when comedians have never been more accessible.

Mr. Chappelle hasn’t done any interviews (aside from a radio appearance in 2011) or appeared on podcasts or talk shows. He doesn’t even have a Web site. He joined Twitter last year, then quit after 11 tweets.  But Mr. Chappelle has tiptoed back into the public eye over the last year. While he has stayed away from movies and television, he still drops in pretty often on comedy clubs and occasionally theaters, usually in surprise appearances that generate more rumors of a comeback. Beyond the Oddball Festival, Chris Rock has said Mr. Chappelle may join him on his stand-up tour next year.

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Dave Chappelle Headlines New ‘Oddball’ Comedy Tour Launching This Summer

Comedian Dave Chappelle attends the DVD signing of 'Dave Chappelle's Block Party' on June 13, 2006 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Chad Buchanan/Getty Images)
Comedian Dave Chappelle attends the DVD signing of ‘Dave Chappelle’s Block Party’ on June 13, 2006 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Chad Buchanan/Getty Images)

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.

Tickets go on sale Friday, June 21. 

article by Lilly Workneh via thegrio.com