Dave Chappelle Releases Surprise Netflix Special ‘What’s In A Name?’

zo Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers…
Dave Chappelle performs onstage during the Dave Chappelle theatre dedication ceremony at Duke Ellington School of the Arts on June 20, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Photo by Shannon Finney via Getty Images.

What’s In a Name? is the seventh feature-length Dave Chappelle special for Netflix since 2017.

Approaching a year since his incendiary and protest-sparking stand-up special, The Closer, Dave Chappelle has added another entry to his ever-expanding Netflix catalog.

Released on Thursday, July 7th, What’s in a Name? was recorded on June 20th at the dedication ceremony for a theater at Washington D.C.’s prestigious Duke Ellington School for The Arts, where students objected to a proposal to name the theater after the comedian, who is an alumnus of the school. During the mostly sobering and nostalgic speech, Chappelle recounts his teenage years at Duke Ellington and some of the events that proved to be influential during and well beyond his tenure as a student, namedropping fellow attendees and former teachers along the way. In the final 10 minutes of the set, Chappelle addresses the response to The Closer, which sparked the uproar at the school over the theater dedication, referring to the special as “a masterpiece” and challenging both his peers and the school’s student body to top it.

What’s in a Name? is the seventh feature-length Dave Chappelle special for Netflix. It follows 2021’s The Closer, which was met with vocal dissent from LGBTQ+ activists and Netflix employees, who took issue with the comedian’s comments on Trans women and claiming to be a “TERF” (trans-exclusionary radical feminist.)

Watch Dave Chappelle recount his teenage years and almost duck the controversy in What’s in a Name on Netflix today.

 

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