“This is not funny at all,” Dave Chappelle says at one point in his new special, which is both true and not.
The comedian’s 8:46, a 27-minute Netflix comedy special he shared for free on YouTube on Thursday night, is more of a conversation than a comedy special, touching as it does on the deaths of George Floyd and Kobe Bryant, as well as his issues with liberal and conservative media. “Normally I wouldn’t show you something so unrefined, I hope you understand,” Chappelle wrote in the caption of the video, where he directed viewers to the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit aimed at fighting racial inequality and mass incarceration.
The special was filmed before a socially distanced crowd of roughly 100 people on June 6 at an outdoor pavilion in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Its title is a reference to the amount of time Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck before he died—but it also has an eerie connection to Chappelle’s own life.
“I can’t get that number out of my head because it was my time of birth on my birth certificate,” Chappelle said. “I was born at 8:46 in the morning and they killed [Floyd] in eight minutes and 46 seconds.”
You can watch the full special below.
If you don’t have time to watch it all right now, at least take in this minute below, in which Chappelle directly confronts the hateful words of right-wing pundit Candace Owens, who previously said Floyd was “not a good person” and that it “sickens” her that he’s being “held up as a martyr.” Chappelle, calling her “the most articulate idiot I’ve ever seen in my fuckin’ life,” offered a passionate retort.
“We didn’t choose him! You did,” he shouts. “They killed him and that wasn’t right, so he’s the guy. We’re not desperate for heroes in the Black community. [Anyone] that survives this nightmare is my goddamned hero!”
Looking for ways to advocate for Black lives? Check out this list of resources by our sister site Lifehacker for ways to get involved.
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