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photo from flickr user macwagen

Dave Chappelle is a renowned comedian, screenwriter, television/film producer, and actor who pushes the envelope with his controversial, racy satirical sketches. The Dave Chappelle Show first premiered on January 22, 2003 becoming the funniest show on TV. The second and last season premiered on January 21, 2004. Chappelle’s Show became an overnight sensation when season one was released on DVD it outsold every DVD in the history of TV. Season 3 was in the process of contract negotiations when Dave Chappelle abruptly left and went to South Africa for two weeks. The show never commenced after his return. (Murphy & Ruben, 2008)

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Via Oprah Interview: After an incident when Dave was filming a pixie skit in Black Face and a white person on set laughed in a condescending manner Dave describes his sentiments about the situation. He states, “I know the difference of people laughing with me and people laughing at me”. Dave began thinking about the message he was sending to millions of viewers. He states, “I don’t want black people to be disappointed in me for putting that [message] out there. … It’s a complete moral dilemma.”

Dave Chappelle’s material focuses on race, class and popular culture. He takes on the role of the extreme stereotypes of different races with a particular focus on black and white depictions using Standard English (SE) and African American Vernacular English (AAVE). His attitudes towards these varieties along with the folk and sociolinguistic views of these varieties will be discussed through our analysis that you will have a chance to explore on our site. As you go through the site consider what views you may have towards AAVE. Furthermore putting this in an educational context as a current or future teacher, how would you educate your students about language attitudes to different varieties?

We will present to you the following sketches:

Season 1

Big Al and Reparations


Season 2

When keeping it real goes wrong

Black Bush

(Disclaimer: The dialogues analyzed in this project contain derogatory and vulgar terms. Please be warned that these dialogues may be viewed as offensive.)