23rd Apr2015

‘Chappelle’s Show: The Series Collection’ DVD Review

by Paul Metcalf


When YouTube was created I’m sure the plan wasn’t for people to watch bite sized amounts of comedy picking up the best skits from television shows from all over the world, but this is one way that I tend to watch the funniest comedians, and it was the first time I’ve really seen any of Dave Chappelle’s work.  With the release of Chappelle’s Show: The Series Collection this week, this is my chance to see his comedy as it was meant to be seen on television.

One thing that is obvious from the first season of the show is that Chappelle’s Show: The Series Collection coming from Comedy Central was a move from a more liberal HBO to a stricter form of television.  Though slightly more tamer of a channel this isn’t to say that Chappelle would not push the limits of what he could get away with.  In the box set the two seasons of the show are included as well as the lost episodes, all uncensored.

With Dave Chappelle and his humour at times it is best to go in with some knowledge of what to expect.  He tends to look at race comedy and work on stereotypes that we all know and can find comedy.  The problem with this of course is that some people may actually point out the racist nature of the comedy.  Sure, it can be argued that there is obvious racism there, but this is the point…if you don’t understand what Chappelle is doing then really you need to re-evaluate why you are watching it in the first place, and what the message of the comedy is.

In showing racism and making all races a victim of it, the show isn’t actually perpetuating it in an insulting way but instead making you realise that these forms of racism exist.  Why do you think it is racist to point at somebody and make a stereotypical comment? Simply because we know that it is wrong, and it is used as a weapon in society to spread hate.  If comedy can drive that point in with laughter, is that not a bad thing?  I’m impressed with the way that the show managed to work with race and hold up a mirror to society.  That is the power of comedy and Chappelle is using that to highlight it in an actual smart way.

Moving away from the race issues some of the best moments of Chappelle’s Show: The Series Collection is the characters, be it Tyrone Biggums, Lil’ Jon, or most notably Rick James.  The comedy skit between the Rick James character and Charlie Murphy are some of the highlights of the show, especially with the interviews with the real Rick James which helps reinforce just how funny it is.  They also work to highlight the fact that the Chappelle’s Show wasn’t just about Chappelle himself but also Charlie Murphy, Donnell Rawlings, Paul Mooney and the other people who played a part.

One important thing to point out with Chappelle’s Show: The Series Collection is that there is a warning on the back of the box which states some of the musical performances have been removed, but this doesn’t ruin the fun too much.  There is still plenty of music in there, but I’m sure there are people who will want to know that some are missing before they actually put out money for this release.

For the most part Chappelle’s Show: The Series Collection is a good collection and is funny, spanning six DVDs that include the “Lost” episodes, plenty of bloopers, deleted scenes and commentary tracks this is the perfect buy for fans of the show.  Genuinely funny, there are moments that do push the issue of race on the show a little too far, but comedy should always push limits.  If you have a sense of humour, Chappelle’s Show: The Series Collection is well worth a watch.

**** 4/5

Chappelle’s Show: The Series Collection is out on DVD in the UK now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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