|Chappelle's Show: Season Two (2004)
Starring: Dave Chappelle, Charlie Murphy and more
Chances are you’ve heard someone somewhere recite a line from “Chappelle’s Show.” After just two years, this Comedy Central mega-hit is the most quoted show on television and, if imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, it may not be much of a stretch to also crown “Chappelle’s Show” the most popular program on TV. But while season-one highlights like Tron, Tyrone Biggums, “The Mad Real World” and R. Kelly’s “(I Wanna) Pee on You” video made the show instantly successful, the 13 season-two episodes featured on this three-disc set sent the series’ popularity soaring.
Veteran standup comedian Dave Chappelle and series co-creator Neal Brennan deliver nonstop laughs from the opening sequence of episode one, a commercial for Samuel L. Jackson’s new beer, to the closing credits of the season’s final show. Along the way, there’s “The Racial Draft,” “The Niggar Family,” “When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong,” “Making da Band,” Lil’ Jon, a black President Bush, Kneehigh Park and, of course, the legendary Rick James “True Hollywood Stories” skit, featuring Charlie Murphy, Eddie Murphy’s older brother. If you haven’t seen these episodes, trying to describe them here will do little good because words alone can’t convey how ceaselessly funny it is to see representatives from the Black and White delegations fighting for Eminem’s draft rights, to hear Chappelle (as rapper Lil’ Jon) scream “What?!” at an airline employee five times, or to see Chappelle (as the late Rick James) grind his muddy boots all over Eddie Murphy’s new white couch. Other favorites include Prince’s “True Hollywood Stories” (“Shoot the J!”), the bit with John Mayer in which Chappelle tests the myth that white people can’t dance, and Wayne Brady yelling “I’m Wayne Brady, bitch!” before shooting Chappelle in the leg and driving off in his Lexus SUV. Priceless.
Disc three of the set is loaded with several outstanding bonus features, including more than an hour of bloopers and deleted scenes as well as some of Chappelle’s unaired stand-up clips from the show. Best of all, though, are the two unaired Charlie Murphy stories -- one about little bro Eddie and another about an unnamed former associate -- and the Rick James extended interview, in which the Super Freak bears an uncanny resemblance to the mumbling and incoherent Ozzie Osbourne. There’s also audio commentary on select episodes from Chappelle and Brennan, who provide the kind of inside info that fans will love.
Rumors about the third season of “Chappelle’s Show” being cancelled because the comedian was in an insane asylum in Africa fighting a drug problem have been grossly exaggerated. In an interview with Time, Chappelle, admitting that he wasn’t happy with the way the new episodes were unfolding, told a reporter that the show’s first two seasons “had a real spirit to them. I want to make sure whatever I do has spirit.” Amen to that. After watching “Chappelle’s Show” reach some impressive heights in just two years, an inadequate third season would be tough to accept. Judging by what we’ve seen from him thus far, it seems likely that Chappelle will eventually sort through his issues and come back smarter, sharper and funnier than ever. But if, by some stroke of unfortunate luck, we never see another season of “Chappelle’s Show,” season two was one hell of a way to go out.