Watch Dave Chappelle Discuss Stand-Up Comedy's Importance In His Mark Twain Prize Acceptance Speech
“I don’t think there’s an opinion that exists in this country that is not represented in a comedy club by somebody. Each and every one of you has a champion in the room,” the comedian said during his speech.
Dave Chappelle was honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor back in October last year, but the event recently aired in its entirety on PBS and is also now available to watch online. In a clip taken from the honoring, Chappelle uses part of his acceptance speech to speak on the importance of stand-up comedy.
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“Stand-up comedy is an incredibly American genre. I don’t think any other country could produce this many comedians,” Chappelle said. “And unbeknownst to many people in this audience, I don’t think there’s an opinion that exists in this country that is not represented in a comedy club by somebody. Each and every one of you has a champion in the room.”
“There’s something so true about this genre when done correctly, that I will fight anybody that gets in a true practitioner of this artform’s way, because I know you’re wrong,” Chappelle continued elsewhere during his speech. “This is the truth and you are obstructing it. I’m not talking about the content, I’m talking about the artform.”
During the rest of his speech, Chappelle took the time to acknowledge everyone from fellow comedian Tony Woods to mentor Stan Lathan, the latter of which has produced Chappelle’s five comedy specials on Netflix. While thanking Lathan, Chappelle also hinted at the possibility of making more comedy specials, saying: “I wouldn’t want to do another special with anybody else but you. So eat your motherf**king vegetables and live as long as you can because we doing a few more of these b**ches.”
In related news, Chappelle’s latest comedy special, Sticks and Stones, has been nominated for the Grammy’s Best Comedy Album award this year. If he wins, this will mark the third year in a row he has received the honor.