Chappelle's Stand-Up Specials Are Coming Soon

by Courtney Lindley

Back in November, something magical happened. Netflix announced three new, original Dave Chappelle comedy specials. But, just to toy with our emotions, they didn’t give away any details or dates. We've had to wait until now to find out when Chappelle's comedy specials premiere. Two of Chappelle's three — yes, three — comedy specials will premiere on Tuesday, March 21. That's this upcoming March. On the 21st. Of this year. It's all happening, you guys.

Netflix announced the dates with a somber and serious-looking Chappelle. He's in black-and-white, smoking a cigarette and looking far off into the distance, probably wondering what ever happened to Tyrone Biggums. Some audio plays. “I know I’ve been gone for a very long time,” he begins. Yes, yes you have. Even though Chappelle hosted SNL in November, he has been gone a very, very long time. He hasn't had a special since 2004's Dave Chappelle: For What It’s Worth. Netflix’s stand-ups will be the comedian’s first taped concert appearance in more than a decade. Twelve years to be precise, but who's counting? (Me. I am. I've been counting this whole time.)

Suffice it to say, these impending specials are a big deal. They've probably even sent Lil Jon into a tizzy. Has anyone heard from him to find out?What? OK!

Watch the preview below:

These two specials have been billed as never-before-seen specials from Chappelle’s “personal comedy vault." According to EW, "One of the specials, The Age of Spin, was filmed at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Palladium in March 2016, while the other, Deep in the Heart of Texas, took place in April 2015 during Austin City Limits Live at Austin’s Moody Theater." They're both directed by Stan Lathan (who also directed Dave Chappelle: For What It's Worth).

At the pinnacle of Chappelle’s comedy career, there was no one else who seemed to parody race relations with such intended profundity and riotous outcome. Chappelle could impersonate Rick James and spark a nation to coin a new phrase as easily as he could open up a dialogue about microaggressions. The delicate balance was achieved both in the unprecedented Chappelle Show and in his stand-up. It's been missed ever since.

In 2005, after Chappelle decided to take some time off from comedy, he told TIME,

"I'm interested in the kind of person I've got to become. I want to be well rounded and the industry is a place of extremes. I want to be well balanced. I've got to check my intentions, man."

With more than a decade of balancing and checking himself, Chappelle's hyper self-awareness will likely weave its way through the comedian's new intricate set-ups, his deft punchlines, and his ultimate final pay-offs. If his intentions are the same that they've always been, it will be worth the wait.