Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Dave Chappell Show: Chicken Skit

Dave Chappelle had a show that was kind of like a one-man comedy show. In this skit of the show it talks about how racism can be so shocking sometimes that the victim doesn’t even get mad. Instead, they become so shocked that the racist act, joke, or whatever it was, was done and/or said. He talks about his experience to Mississippi and how he entered a diner. He sat at the counter and looked over the menu. He begins to tell the man behind the counter what he would like to order but the man cuts him and said chicken. Chappelle is so shocked that the man was right but he wanted to know how the man knew what he wanted to order. He said the man just gave him the look that said, “Now, come on.” But he goes on to say the man states everyone in the whole diner knew what he wanted as soon as he walked through the door. Now just to clarify, based on the accent Chappelle does, the man behind the counter is supposed to be white. Chappelle says the man goes on to say, “It ain’t no secret down here that blacks and chickens are quite fond of one another.” So, in other words, black people eat chicken more than anything else. Chappelle states how the man’s comment made him upset, not angry but just upset. He says that after all these years he thought he liked chicken because it was good but now he is finding out that he likes it because he is “genetically pre-disposed to liking chicken.” What Chappelle is saying here is based on his ancestry, since they supposedly ate a lot of chicken it is just a well known fact that he does the same because he too is black like his ancestors. Chappelle goes on to say in this skit how he is afraid to chicken in public now for the fear of white people watching him and making comments saying “Look at him. He loves it.” “Just like it says in the encyclopedia. Look at how happy he looks.” Basically, people thinks chicken makes black people happy.

I chose this skit because it shows a stereotype of black people plus I love Dave Chappelle’s Show. The skits in his shows demonstrate a lot of the stereotypes which exist in the country involving a variety of races. The main thing that stuck out to me about this skit was the comment the white man behind the counter made about black people and chicken. Like in the film we watched in class, Ethnic Notions, food makes black people happy. In the film, black people were supposed to LOVE watermelons to death. Based off the film, when black people were seen eating watermelons they were the happiest bunch of people. Also, it seemed more like a treat for them instead of just some food. This same idea of chicken applies to black people. In sense, black people were the creators of fried chicken, baked chicken, and barbequed/grilled chicken from when they had to make dinners for their slave masters. But this doesn’t mean that black people think about chicken all the time and it makes out day when we get some. Stereotypes are crazy and provides people with empty ideas of how people really are.

I find Dave Chappelle’s show to be very entertaining. Chappelle takes stereotypes for all races and makes a joke out of them. I believe that in this intense world we live in today, laughing is a good way to relax and forget about all of your problems as well as the problems of the world. Even still, I honestly hate the fact stereotypes exist and people feed so much into them. I like to say that I do not feed into them but the truth is I know I do. But I am glad that minority comedians exist to help lighten the situation and the stress of them.

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