Dave Chappelle is back with a surprise new Netflix special called 8:46. The blockbuster comic dropped the near-30 minute special for free on YouTube’s comedy channel late Thursday evening — and for good reason.
“Normally I wouldn’t show you something so unrefined, I hope you understand,” Chappelle wrote in the caption, and included a link to the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit aimed at fighting racial inequality and mass incarceration.
Recorded on June 6th in Yellow Springs, Ohio amidst his invite-only, socially-distanced gigs, the brisk half-hour marks the first time Chappelle has hit the stage in 87 days. Not surprisingly, he never misses a beat, coming out hot as a true MVP.
If the title didn’t clue you in — 8:46 is the length of time Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee against George Floyd’s neck, murdering him — the special touches upon a number of essential, hot topics.
In addition to Floyd’s passing, Chappelle reflects on losing Kobe Bryant, goes off on conservative garbage like Laura Ingraham and Candace Owens, and even throws in a much-needed barb about Ja Rule. It’s unreal.
“I got to tell you,” Chappelle reflects upon the situation in a moment of true self-awareness. “This is like the first concert in North America since all this shit happened, so, like it or not, it’s history. It’s going to be in the books.”
It’s certainly a career moment for Chappelle. As New York Times writer and CNN contributor Wajahat Ali wrote this morning: “Dave Chappelle’s latest isn’t a comedy special. It’s a sermon. You can hear his pain on behalf of George Floyd and the pain endured by Black Americans, and he wants his country to feel it.”
Watch 8:46 below.