Chappelle brings laughs, dispels myth

Dave Chappelle greets the crowd as he opens his show at Assembly Hall Sunday night. Assembly Hall

Assembly Hall

Dave Chappelle greets the crowd as he opens his show at Assembly Hall Sunday night. Assembly Hall

By Sharon Steed

Thousands packed Assembly Hall last night to see Dave Chappelle, America’s favorite new comedian. People of all ages and races were in attendance at the highly publicized show.

Chappelle’s Show is one of the most watched shows on television. The comedy sketch show features man-on-the-street pieces and pop-culture parodies.

The tour he is on now is focused on colleges. Friday night, he appeared at Michigan State’s Jack Breslin Arena and Saturday he was at Southern Illinois University. His next stops include Norfolk University, the University of Central Florida and the University of Missouri at Columbia. Some worried that the show would not be the same because it was focused on college students, but that myth was dispelled.

“People said the show was supposed to be tamer than his other stand-ups, but it wasn’t,” Markea Haywood, junior in ACES, said.

Greer Barnes, who has made guest spots on the show, opened for Chappelle. The New York native commented on everything from marijuana to the cornfields surrounding Champaign.

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When Chappelle stepped onto the stage, he received a standing ovation. He talked about hot topics in youth culture and general society: race, television, relationships and sex. Most in the audience were avid fans and enjoyed the show, but some were not as enthusiastic about Chappelle until coming to see him live.

“I watch his show occasionally, but I was just never really a big fan of his,” Alicia Wheeler, junior in ACES, said. Wheeler said her boyfriend, Will White, convinced her to come. She had only seen a few shows and was not hooked like White was, but coming to the show changed her mind about Chappelle.

“I wasn’t expecting him to be as funny as he was,” she said. “I’m really glad I decided to come. I’ll probably watch his show now.”

Unlike Wheeler, White is a huge Chappelle fan. He planned on coming since he first heard about the show during the summer.

“He is just hilarious,” he said. “He’s even funnier in person.”

Chappelle has appeared in such movies as The Nutty Professor, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and Con-Air. He scored his first starring role in the cult hit Half-Baked in which he played a janitor, according to the Comedy Central Web site. More recently, Chappelle appeared in Undercover Brother alongside actor and fellow comic Eddie Griffin and Denise Richards.