• U.S.

Groundbreaking Comedy

2 minute read
Joel Stein

Programs are coming out on DVD so fast you can already buy the first season of Chappelle’s Show, which is still running in repeats on Comedy Central. The only added value (the commentary does not count) is that the shows are uncensored, presumably for anyone who can’t figure out what curses are being bleeped and which body parts are being pixilated. Dave Chappelle’s sketch comedy is full of razor-sharp, if sometimes cursorily executed, takes on race that are so gutsy Chappelle can’t stop saying, after almost every one, that his show is going to be canceled. Chappelle’s first season, though uneven, is actually better than the first season of the classic ’80s multiracial sketch show In Living Color (out April 6 on DVD), partly because that was before J. Lo had signed on to be a Fly Girl. And both shows are a whole lot better than the mercifully short-lived The Richard Pryor Show (recently released on DVD), a 1977 NBC sketch comedy so pointless, slow and compromised by the network that it made even Pryor, one of the greatest comics of all time, look bad. At this rate, a Shasta McNasty DVD will be in stores by July.

–By Joel Stein

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