Dave Chappelle sizes himself up before performing at the Dubai Comedy Festival. Courtesy Dubai Comedy Festival
Dave Chappelle sizes himself up before performing at the Dubai Comedy Festival. Courtesy Dubai Comedy Festival

Review: Dave Chappelle’s masterclass of crass at The Dubai Comedy Festival



A Dave Chappelle show is akin to witnessing a stunt performance.

You watch the daredevil casually set up the obstacles, all the while certain it will end in tears, only for him to emerge heroically unscathed.

In his debut Middle Eastern gig, the first of two shows at the Dubai Comedy Festival on Thursday night, the 42-year-old certainly made it challenging for himself – and us – by fearlessly wading into controversial subject matter.

Nothing was spared: Bill Cosby, racism, sexism, parenthood and even the use of our two feet.

Just when you thought Chappelle pinned himself in a corner by being outrageously offensive, like Houdini, he somehow freed himself with a zinger more startlingly revelatory than a mere punch line.

We were clearly in the presence of master craftsman.

Wearing a rather awful looking beige suit, or as he described as his “ Forrest Gump suit”, Chappelle was deceptively casual on stage.

Often luring us with quick rapid fire jokes, most of which aimed at people strolling back to their seats from a toilet break, Chappelle would use the chuckles to build momentum until reaching a point to unleash sharp observations about important issues.

A seemingly harmless exchange with an Arab crowd member about his former experience living in the US, was a catalyst to delve in to the state of American race relations.

“In America there is always a racial hot seat and the people from the Middle East are now in it,” he states, only to add “and we African Americans and Mexicans would like to thank you for that.”

His riff on whether to label Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce Jenner) “a he or she” after the recent gender change could have easily descended in puerile material. However, while Chappelle was certainly crass, he used the topic to ask the audience the more probing question: “to what extent do I have to participate in your self-image?”

It is this blend of total irreverence and social commentary that made Chappelle’s show easily one of the best comic performances the region has witnessed yet.

Earlier in the evening, the support acts, Palestinian American comic Mohammed Amer and Chappelle Show collaborator Donnell Rawlings, did a fine job of warming up the stage.

The latter was in particularly hilarious form when recalling an earlier experience performing in Abu Dhabi.

“I was there for four days and I still didn’t know how to pronounce the place,” he recalled. “I would call my friends and say ‘hey, I am having a great time in Aba Cadaba.”

Dave Chappelle performs tonight, Friday, October 23 on the Dubai Comedy Festival Main Stage (Skydive Dubai) for ages 18 and up. Tickets cost from Dh295 to Dh1,200. Doors open at 6pm; show starts at 8pm. For booking details, visit www.dubaicomedyfest.ae

ssaeed@thenational.ae

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League, last-16 second leg
Paris Saint-Germain (1) v Borussia Dortmund (2)
Kick-off: Midnight, Thursday, March 12
Stadium: Parc des Princes
Live: On beIN Sports HD

Bareilly Ki Barfi
Directed by: Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari
Starring: Kriti Sanon, Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkummar Rao
Three and a half stars

Earth under attack: Cosmic impacts throughout history

4.5 billion years ago: Mars-sized object smashes into the newly-formed Earth, creating debris that coalesces to form the Moon

- 66 million years ago: 10km-wide asteroid crashes into the Gulf of Mexico, wiping out over 70 per cent of living species – including the dinosaurs.

50,000 years ago: 50m-wide iron meteor crashes in Arizona with the violence of 10 megatonne hydrogen bomb, creating the famous 1.2km-wide Barringer Crater

1490: Meteor storm over Shansi Province, north-east China when large stones “fell like rain”, reportedly leading to thousands of deaths.  

1908: 100-metre meteor from the Taurid Complex explodes near the Tunguska river in Siberia with the force of 1,000 Hiroshima-type bombs, devastating 2,000 square kilometres of forest.

1998: Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 breaks apart and crashes into Jupiter in series of impacts that would have annihilated life on Earth.

-2013: 10,000-tonne meteor burns up over the southern Urals region of Russia, releasing a pressure blast and flash that left over 1600 people injured.

A cryptocurrency primer for beginners

Cryptocurrency Investing for Dummies+– by Kiana Danial 

There are several primers for investing in cryptocurrencies available online, including e-books written by people whose credentials fall apart on the second page of your preferred search engine. 

Ms Danial is a finance coach and former currency analyst who writes for Nasdaq. Her broad-strokes primer+(2019) breaks down investing in cryptocurrency into baby steps, while explaining the terms and technologies involved.

Although cryptocurrencies are a fast evolving world, this book offers a good insight into the game as well as providing some basic tips, strategies and warning signs.

Begin your cryptocurrency journey here. 

Available at Magrudy’s , Dh104 

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylturbo

Transmission: seven-speed DSG automatic

Power: 242bhp

Torque: 370Nm

Price: Dh136,814

The British in India: Three Centuries of Ambition and Experience

by David Gilmour

Allen Lane

'Midnights'

Artist: Taylor Swift

Label: Republic Records

Rating: 4/5

BLACK ADAM

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Sarah Shahi, Viola Davis, Pierce Brosnan

Rating: 3/5