Dave Chappelle Releases Netflix Special Dedicated To George Floyd, Filmed At Socially Distanced Ohio Event
– Dave Chappelle
performs June 6, 2020, at Wirrig Pavilion in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
Dave Chappelle has returned to the stage to put on intimate, socially-distanced shows at an outdoor venue near his hometown of Yellow Springs, Ohio, including an event that was filmed for his new Netflix special dedicated to George Floyd.
The 27-minute special “8:46” – which is named after the amount of time the Minneapolis police officer who killed Floyd knelt on his neck – was released Thursday night on Netflix’s YouTube channel Netflix Is A Joke and has already been viewed more than 19.6 million times.
“I can’t get that number out of my head because it was my time of birth on my birth certificate,” the comedian explains.
“When I watched that tape, I understood this man knew he was going to die. I can’t tell you, as a man, watching another man, go through something like that, what it makes you feel like.”
The performance was filmed June 6 in front of about 100 attendees at Wirrig Pavilion in Yellow Springs, Ohio, which is located about 30 minutes outside of Dayton.
Before the show begins, fans are shown having their temperature checked and then directed to socially-distanced seats that were spaced apart. Chappelle acknowledges the surreal nature of doing a show during the pandemic, addressing the audience who are wearing face masks branded with the Chapelle logo by saying, “This is weird and less than ideal circumstances to do a show. The only way to figure out if this shit will work is to do the goddamn show. So thank you all for coming.”
After giving a shout out to the young people who have had the “courage to do amazing work protesting,” Chapelle adds the crowd, “Are you guys having a good time or is this weird? This is actually the first concert in North America since all this shit happened. Like it or not, it’s history. It’s going to be in the books. At least we tried. It’s not the first show, but the other shows were in drive ins and if people liked the … jokes, they’d honk the horns. That doesn’t sound like any fun at all.”
Along with the tragic death of Floyd and the subsequent protests against police brutality and systemic racism, Chappelle discussed the high profile deaths in recent years of Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Philando Castile. He also called out right-wing pundits Candace Owens and Laura Ingraham, shared his thoughts on the 2013 Christopher Dorner shootings and manhunt and talked about his own family’s history, including his great-grandfather who was once a slave and was invited to the White House during Woodrow Wilson’s presidency following a lynching.
The description on the YouTube page for the special includes a note from Dave saying, “Normally I wouldn’t show you something so unrefined, I hope you understand.” The video also directs fans to visit support.eji.org/Chappelle to find out more about supporting the Equal Justice Initiative.
Chappelle has performed three socially distanced shows at Wirrig Pavilion, most recently on June 12, according to Cleveland.com. An Eventbrite listing for Friday’s show, dubbed “Dave Chappelle & Friends: A Talk with Punchlines … an intimate, socially distanced affair” noted that the invite-only show required fans to purchase tickets within two hours of receiving the invite. After that, tickets would be available to the general public. Tickets for the June 12 show, priced at $150, were only sold in pairs. The 18+ event required face masks to be worn at all times and for guests to stay six feet away from others, along with requiring guests to pass an infrared temperature screening and use hand sanitizer prior to entry. Fans had to agree to place their cellphones in a locked pouch. No alcohol was served, although food was available from a local food truck vendor. A COVID-19 warning on the Eventbrite page noted that while the event had implemented enhanced health and safety measures “an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present.”
Chapelle’s guest performers at the shows have included Michelle Wolf and Cincinnati native Gabe Kea, according to Cleveland.com. The site noted that representatives for Chappelle received approval to host the shows under the guidelines of “Responsible Restart Ohio.”