30 August, 2013

Dave Chappelle in Hartford, CT

Dave Chappelle didn't have a meltdown. He gave a group of loud, self-entitled people exactly what they should get: nothing.
     I've waited a long time to scratch seeing Dave Chappelle do stand-up comedy off my bucket list. It's 3 am after the Oddball comedy festival, and having only half-scratched his name off, I'm trying to look at this thing logically. For one thing, people don't seem to understand what the art process is. I'm not pontificating, but as someone who attempts to create art, seeing someone obstructed while displaying their work really strikes a chord.
    You don't need to be booing a comedian to be heckling. The mere act of interrupting, whether it be to shout words of encouragement or love or yelling actual negative thoughts is a distraction. It's a blockade keeping a performer from performing. Yes, people paid to hear Dave. But the same people grumbling that they were taken for their money are the same people that shouted their nonsense during a show, completely oblivious to the fact that while they wanted to profess their love to the guy, they were keeping him from doing what it is he's up there to do. It's hypocritical and it's selfish.
     Chappelle, like all comedians, has an act that's been worked on and crafted through diligent trial and error. That is the process and that is the art--end of story. Shouts from the audience doesn't enter in this equation at all. No one in the history of speech has ever thought, 'wow it'd be great if everyone talked over me.' Shouting while a comedian is doing his/her act is the equivalent of pulling a singer's mic cable out of a speaker or standing in front of a painting while people are analyzing it. There's no reason that Dave Chappelle should have to raise two fingers to quiet down a group of adults so he can do his act, especially after repeatedly asking them to keep quiet.
     The reaction from the audience during and after the show is what's childish: a bunch of babies crying because they didn't get to play with a new toy. Dave was on stage for around forty minutes doing crowd work while waiting until the audience actually got quiet enough for him to do his act, but he never got the chance. And again, he asked repeatedly. He only got out one bit(and by the look of it, and the evening at large, he still has his chops; the timing is on point). One bit before they started getting loud again. And then they had the nerve to walk out on the show. Well? You want to talk and shout excessively and keep someone from doing something you paid to see them do? Good, silly goose. That's what you get, stupid: nothing. I don't mind that I paid what I paid and was denied his act. Maybe it'll teach those self-righteous asses to keep their traps shut and realize that they're not constantly the centers of attention. Heckling and shouting is not a part of comedy; it's a Bat Signal for douches.
     Like everyone there, I was excited to see him after years of his being out of the public eye. But if I paid to see Dave Chappelle or Joe Rogan or Bill Burr do stand-up, I'm paying to sit in my chair and hear an act. That's my end of the bargain. The moment I open my mouth, I'm breaching my side of the contract and as far as I'm concerned, Dave was professional enough to wait for the people as long as he did.