Doing three hours of stand-up is one thing. But for a comic to be funny for that entire time... well, that's another thing entirely. While Dave Chappelle offered some truly gut-busting moments of hilarity during his marathon session at Comedy Works last night, there were also some bizarre instances, such when he teased that this could be the night that he cracked and pulled a "Kramer."
Later he also joked that he didn't have any material, that he was winging it like a jazz musician. Fittingly, at times his delivery came off like a punchy, yet angular Thelonious Monk passage, while others his schtick went on and on, like a long-winded late-�60s John Coltrane solo. Still, when he was on, man, he was all over it.
Until around 1 a.m. or so, that is. That's when he started to lose his stride. Whipping out his phone, he called up Erika Badu, and when he reached her voice mail, he put his cell phone up to the microphone and let the crowd hear her message. That, of course, inspired people in the crowd to start yelling out names for him to call -- Oprah, Mos Def, Charlie Murphy.
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Pshaw! Like Chappelle's got everybody's digits on speed dial or something. You gotta give the guy his props, though, for being on stage that long. At that point he was two hours into his third set of the evening. In the same token, however, even Coltrane had the good sense to go out on a high note. -- Jon Solomon