Dave Chappelle Will Headline Netflix’s Inaugural Comedy Festival

Jaelani Turner-Williams Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with…
dave chappelle rock and roll hall of fame
Photo Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Just two months after releasing ‘The Closer,’ Dave Chappelle rejoins Netflix as headliner of its 11-day stand-up comedy special.

This year has been a wild ride for Dave Chappelle. Just one year after hosting outdoor comedy shows in Yellow Springs, Ohio, in September, the comedian announced plans to open a restaurant and comedy club exclusive to the small town. Also launching the podcast The Midnight Miracle — co-hosted with rappers Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey — Chappelle’s efforts in paving new creative lanes in comedy were largely celebrated until recently.

With mixed responses to his jokes regarding transgender people on recent Netflix special The Closer which premiered on October 5th, Netflix announced that Chappelle would be featured in their inaugural comedy mega-fest Netflix Is A Joke: The Festival. Taking place from April 28th to May 8th, the festival will be comprised of 130 fellow comics, including Larry David, Kevin Hart, Ali Wong and more.

The festival announcement comes at the tail-end of Chappelle’s 11-city film tour for the Untitled documentary about his comedy shows in Yellow Springs, which generated buzz from on-stage appearances by Usher, Justin Bieber, Erykah Badu and Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony at various tour stops.

Following the Untitled documentary tour, Chappelle paid a visit to his D.C. alma mater Duke Ellington School of the Arts where, according to The Washington Post, the school decided postponed naming their theater after the comedian. While speaking with students of Duke Ellington School of the Arts in November, Los Angeles Times reported that Chappelle was met with backlash even being called “childish” during a tense discussion with nearly 600 students.

Still, the controversy hasn’t prevented Netflix from lauding Chappelle as the streaming service decided to keep The Closer on their platform despite an organized walkout. As Chappelle will headline a Netflix Is A Joke: The Festival stop at The Hollywood Bowl, presales for the festival will be available starting December 7th and tickets for all events will go on sale December 10th.

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