Monday, July 25, 2005

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down


I saw the very first episode of Chappelle's Show tonight because the 5-day Ashes test match ended a day early.

It's a fact that for the success of an African American comedian they must break through boundaries and appeal to the white male middle class. Chappelle's Show isn't subversive with it's comedy but explicit. That's the secret.

In this way Dave Chappelle has another contemporary in Ali G (unlike Chris Rock who also likes to re-iterate the message he's trying to bring across, "Ain't talking about rich, I'm talking about wealth!"). Both comedians break down stereotypes by portraying them to an extent that is so over the top that it is funny. Why is it funny? Well, naturally, there's an element of truth to all comedy and humour.

In the same way that they are confronting prejudices through humour, aren't they are also confronting the races that they are sending up? But on this occasion by making them questioning their image and pretensions.