17 August 2005

Things with More Appeal.2

It's time for our second installment of "Things with More Appeal," LTNA's semi-regular posting of cool shit that we like enough to mention here, and which is infinitely more worthy of your time than this blog. We hope you checked out last week's item, reader. But, if you haven't had a chance, you should just come over to our crib, and watch it with us. Let's have a little slumber party. We can spoon, and watch it over some mojitos and ice cream sundaes. Or just some Pabst, whatevs. Maybe during the viewing we can get a little carried away, pause the movie and put on some JoDeCi, then play a nice game of "Just the Tip," the way you like. God, we are so turned on right now.

(Wiping saliva from side of mouth...)

Anywho, this week's Thing is a bit of an anomaly, as he has made it his point to be unavailable, lately. It is Dave Chappelle (though, clearly he is much more than a "thing"), who is easily one of our favorite, favorite comedians (we refuse to rank, but our repetition of the word "favorite" should give you an idea of the sincerity of our assertion), perhaps more famous for his disappearance from television than his appearance on television. However, despite the end of the truly brilliant Chappelle's Show, LTNA feels this has no negative effect on the relevancy (and more importantly, hilarity) of this particular comedian. We are certain there are many people who disagree, some of whom have names that rhyme with "pug nerzog."

Specifically, we are recommending the DVD of his last comedy special, For What It's Worth, which was just released. Obv, we at LTNA pre-ordered this and have it already, as we've been quoting/ referencing this special since it's premiere on Showtime months ago. But more importantly, the release date of this DVD came right on the heels of the semi-official word that Chappelle's TV series is over. After lamenting this, we came to a bit of an epiphany: Ending the series now is, perhaps, the most brilliant move in the history of TV series.

Allow us to explain. Yes, it sucks that just when every drunk-idiot frat boy from Orange County became savvy about the genius of Chappelle, shouting "I'm Rick James, bitch!" over spilled cups of Jungle Juice every ten seconds, we learn that there will never be another overused catch-phrase from DC, again.

No, wait-- that doesn't suck at all. Chappelle was wise enough to end the show on his own terms, and none of us were forced to endure an unfortunate decline in the quality of his show. (Incidentally, this is the reason Jerry Seinfeld cited for ending his show at the peak of its success, to much protest; but, we all know that show stayed on far beyond its prime, the Larry David years.) Chappelle has returned to his roots, doing unannounced stand-up around L.A. and NY, and he has solidified himself as a living legend, even if he didn't realize he was doing it. Chappelle, we think, was never about Chappelle's Show as the cultural icon it became; he has even said that he always did the show as if no one was watching it. That's probably what made it great. But, when his identity became inseparable from the show and the sketches/characters contained therein, he had to question what his intentions really were. We are grateful to have had the two seasons (plus the half-season to be released on DVD), but we're even more in awe of Chappelle's willingness to listen to himself, and not his agents, managers or even Comedy Central, let alone a check for $50 fucking million. He's gone back to basics, and we think that he's just as appealing as ever. Scratch that-- more appealing than ever.

So yeah, check out his new DVD. And if you're lucky/ connected, check him out live at a comedy show. We've seen him live, and it's almost as good as playing "Just the Tip" with you, sweetheart. Almost.

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