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Reviewed by Jamey Codding
ny list of the funniest shows currently on television has to include an early entry from “Chappelle’s Show.” Starring veteran standup comic Dave Chappelle, this new Comedy Central hit features some of the edgiest humor around, much of it racially motivated. But that’s okay, you see, because Chappelle, a black man, goes out of his way to humiliate, stereotype and offend just about every race imaginable in his 30-minute sketch comedy. The bad news is, if you’ve never seen the show, you already missed out on its brilliant debut season. The good news, though, is that you can catch those first 12 episodes on this DVD set of “Chappelle’s Show: Season One.”
These sketches are freaking hilarious. Absolutely funny, funny stuff. Some of my personal favorites include the blind white supremacist who has no idea that he’s actually black, the “Trading Spouses” bit, the “(I Wanna) Pee on You” video by R. Kelly, and the “Mad Real World” skit, which depicts how MTV’s “Real World” would play out if roles were reversed and one white guy lived in a house with six crazy black people for an entire season. That really just scratches the surface, though, because there’s simply too much memorable material on this two-disc set to list here. Sure, the costumes and makeup aren’t always award-winning, but so what? You’ll be laughing too hard to really care about that stuff anyway.
And unlike many TV compilations, there’s actually more to these DVDs than the dozen original episodes, with audio commentary from Chappelle and series co-creator Neal Brennan, who discuss five of their favorite episodes, a half hour of uncensored bloopers and deleted scenes, and hysterical unaired footage of “Ask a Black Dude with Paul Mooney,” an impromptu Q&A session between people on the street and comedian Paul Mooney. Unfortunately, the bloopers reel doesn’t live up to its potential, but at least they made the effort, which is more than can be said for many of these DVD sets.
The truth is, “Chappelle’s Show” is one of those programs that is just too funny to explain – words don’t do it justice. If you were a fan of “In Living Color” or you just enjoy outrageous comedy and you haven’t given this show a chance yet, you’re really missing out. Luckily, with this “Chappelle’s Show: Season One” DVD set, you have a chance to make up for that mistake.