Few would have imagined that when young comedian Dave Chappelle first popped up with a small role in 1993’s Robin Hood: Men in Tights that the actor would go on to be one of the biggest voices in comedy. Following that role, he landed a number of other roles in films like Con Air and Blue Streak, continuing to showcase his unique comedic voice. He finally entered cult status in 1998 when he starred in Half Baked, co-written with is frequent collaborator Neal Brennan. The same year saw him land his first major comedy special on HBO, and his star began to take off.
His first hour long special, Killing Them Softly, would air in 2000, and Chappelle and Brennan would go on to create Chappelle’s Show a few years later. The sketch comedy series started out as a cult hit, before the second season saw it become a massive success thanks to the lampooning of figures like Rick James and Prince. Chappelle became a household name and landed a second comedy special, but the fame began to get to him. He famously left the spotlight soon after, and has only made a handful of TV and comedic appearances since then.
Now, after 13 years since his last comedy special, Netflix will be airing Dave Chappelle later this month. Comprised of two nights of comedy from Austin and Los Angeles, the first trailer from Netflix has just dropped for the upcoming mega-special. Though light on jokes, likely in an effort not to spoil things, it gives a hint at what you can expect. From jokes about O.J. Simpson to riffs on ISIS, Chappelle hasn’t shied away from taking controversial subjects and skewering them with absurdist jokes.
Of course, Chappelle is no stranger to controversy. His various live events over the past few years have seen the comedian make a number of questionable comments about many subjects, mainly those surrounding the presidential election. Expect his thoughts on recent events to factor heavily into the special. That said, Chappelle has long been known for using his stand-up to talk about his personal life. His early specials dealt with his upbringing and burgeoning fame, so expect the new one to tackle his turbulent life from the past decade.
The last time we saw Chappelle on TV, it was when he hosted SNL. Memorably, he spoofed the infamous scene from The Walking Dead where Negan decides who to kill. Not only was it a riot, but it was even better to watch creator Robert Kirkman react to it. Meanwhile, Chappelle is strengthening his connections to the AMC show as he’s set to appear on Normans Reedus’ road trip show. It’s been quite a long time, but for fans of Chappelle, it looks like he’s finally back.
Dave Chappelle debuts on Netflix March 21st.