Dave Chapelle mirthlessly refers to himself as the GOAT in the final installment of his Netflix trilogy, The Closer. Much blood-stained water has flowed under this particular bridge, with his virtue-signalling critics lining up to bash the living shit out of him.
To them, he’s committed the Great Heresy of modern times.
For the record, I don’t give a fuck what Helen Lewis (Atlantic), Saeed Jones (GQ), Dani Di Placido (Forbes), Eric Deggans (NPR), or Brian Logan (The Guardian) have say about Chapelle. Nor does he, and the look on Chapelle’s face when he drops the mic is defiant: He’ll be back to trigger them again, promise.
As an unapologetic fan, I only know the Chapelle of the post-Chappelle’s Show era. That is, as a standup without peer. He is hands-down the most intelligent, socially-aware comedian alive today. I don’t care if you disagree. More to the point, nor does he.
But for all his jokes, the thing that’s hurt him the most, and what steers The Closer closer to mea culpa than a successful comedic repudiation of his critics, is that being labelled ‘transphobic’ hurt him. All he did was assume trans folk could take a joke, like the rest of us have to.
With every minority competing for victimhood, the trans community are winning. For example, they’re winning their demands for dysphoric children too young to drink or vote be allowed legal authority to surgically removed their sex organs against the will of their biological parents.
I hope we all agree — that’s fucked up. You can desex a child, but you can’t joke about it???
For a comedian not to explore this would be, in my humble opinion, remiss. In The Closer, Chapelle pointedly transgresses the entire official taboo list as if he’s mentally ticking them off — yet his running ‘space Jew’ gag (for example) results in no front-page denunciation for antisemitism?
Proves his point absolutely.
The Closer is about a joke Chapelle no longer wants to tell. But the crowd are hungry for it. The moue of displeasure on two morbidly obese persons near the front is almost a comedy act in itself. Witness their fat fingers poised, ready to spit their poisonour disdain onto whatever platform they troll.
I mean, why even come?
Many professional critics also fell for the trap, taking what Helen Lewis called ‘unequal offence‘ at the trans shockwaves resulting. It’s hard to find anybody writing about anything else. Eric Deggans summarised The Closer as “like watching somebody use a chain saw as a letter opener“. Sometimes you need a chainsaw. And who is Eric Deggans?
I’m falling into my own trap, giving a shit what critics (amateur or professional) think, but could somebody please point to an ‘approved’ comedian who doesn’t offend anybody?
I expect the next thing we’ll hear is some dickless idiot ranting about ‘appropriation’ so that only trans comedians will be permitted to tell trans jokes. That is, until some other subset of this increasingly atomised thing called humanity gets offended.
Good luck with that.
The Closer was not a great comedy special, but it was a great opportunity to rebut the critics. Something nobody else can do, given the swarming SJW’s who instantly dox and cancel those who buck the New Orthodoxy.
As the man himself might say — nice try, bitches. Long live the GOAT. But to be fair, I’ll google ‘trans comedia’ and give it a try. The fact I’ve never heard of one doesn’t mean they’re not funny.
Let’s see (as a “cishet” white male) how offended I can get if I really try.