Coffee Collection Review of Dave Chappelle’s Equanimity
I’ve been procrastinating on writing this review. In fact, after the special ended I said to myself “there’s no way I’m going to review this.” The problem is, I already committed to writing the review before I watched it. To quote Hamlet “Ay, there’s the rub”.
The reason why I’m so conflicted about writing this review is because I’ve done stand up and I know how difficult of a feat it is. I’ve also been a fan of comedy since I was a kid watching the likes of Jerry Clower, Bill Cosby, Broderick Rice, Martin Lawrence, Rodney Dangerfield, Johnny Carson and so on and so forth. I’ve seen all different types of comedy from the dark stuff of San Kinison, the physical comedy of Arnez J, Jim Carey and Robin Williams. The point I’m making is, I know stand up comedy in and out. But what I witnessed from Dave Chappelle’s Equanimity was NOT standup.
Dave Chappelle has surpassed the ranks of every stand up comedian. I’m not saying that he’s better than every comedian (although he is), I’m just saying he’s playing a different game. Dave Chappelle is a public speaker, a thought provoker and a brilliant mind who happens to be funny! I firmly believe that when Dave walks on stage his primary objective is not to be funny. His objective is to provoke thought, and start conversations around meaningful topics without taking himself too serious. When you’re reading this review keep that in mind.
I’ll be reviewing this special based on the subject matter, the cohesiveness of the content and finally the heists (I’ll explain later). I’ll also be using my traditional five cup rating system. 5 being a classic like Carlito’s Way and 1 being worst than KaZaam.
Dave touched on all the subject matter you’d expect him to cover: race, sexual orientation and politics. Now, these are pretty taboo subjects but the way Dave approaches them is what makes the difference. Dave talks about these subjects with a very unique perspective leaving the audience saying “hmm, I never thought about it like that”. Also, Dave dives deep into the darkest corners of these subjects. He walks right passed the “do not enter” sign and sets up camp there for the entire special. Dave has a way of taking his audience to the most uncomfortable part of the world but somehow makes you feel comfortable.
Dave has become known for how well he weaves all of his content together. Even when it appears that Dave is all over the place or just being silly, he shows you that every step has a purpose. His previous two specials gave us the delight of the 4 times he met OJ and the greatest callback and greatest rape joke of all time. (If that line offended you don’t watch this special) This special delivers in line with the others and maybe even to a greater degree. Even Dave’s boasting and bragging about how good he is at comedy over delivers.
Lastly, I want to talk about the heists. The true mark of a comedian for me is how well and how often they pull of heists during their set. A heist is defined as when a comedian goes into places that no one is allowed to go to and bring back a jewel for everyone to enjoy. Comedians tightrope through land mines to talk about all of societies unmentionables while making you laugh and hopefully teaching you something in the process. Dave is the king of the heists. In this special he pulls of heists about transgenders, gay people, white people, black people and even Emmit Till. I understand that none of this is funny in a blog post, but trust me when I say Dave was insightful, careful without being cautions and unbelievably funny!
I’ll give this special 5 cups out of 5 ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️. This is truly a classic piece of work that will live well beyond Dave’s career!