Dave Chappelle
For What It’s Worth
Live At The Fillmore
Sony Home Entertainment
60 minutes
Absolute Parental Advisory

You can probably get a buck twenty-five for the stand-up comedy DVD For What It’s Worth.

This 2004 Showtime performance is nowhere near the kind of stand-up performance you have come to expect from Dave Chappelle after his stellar Killing Them Softly and his first concert also filmed in San Francisco. Chappelle’s approach to comedy in the past has always been that of a genial comedian who hits you with biting social and racial commentary.

This time you get the genial and not quite caustic observations but the two never seem to gel at the same time. Worse, a lot of the material is simply offensive. For example? The pros and cons of a fifteen year-old getting a golden shower.

It is very interesting for those who have followed the ruckus around this funny man quitting the Chappelle Show to hear the sprinkling of jokes here and there related to the cost of being a celebrity and so on.

Although some people questioned his sanity (and tagged on a lot of fairly racist garbage about drugs and so on), listening to him tell stories about being recognized at Disney World, working 20 hours a day and having 20 minutes left for his kids validates his decision.

Unfortunately, the show itself is most certainly a letdown. The material is sort of there but there is either a lack of energy or the impression perhaps some of the material was not as fine-tuned as it should have been.

Case in point is an echo of a Carlin joke about the founding fathers saying all men were created equal while they kept some slaves though he does make the original observation that US currency looks like baseball cards with slave owners on it.

It is amazing how often you can feel the audience squirm with discomfort, especially when Chappelle does atypical basically X-rated material. Although his take on what does 15 year-old mean when it is okay to send a Black kid to jail for life but a white kid is treated like an innocent, pure victim is biting, the way he gets to his point will turn off even a veteran fan of comedy.

If you like Chappelle, pass on this one, otherwise your appreciation of this usually very funny man will nose-dive faster than Michael Jackson’s looks.


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