Dave Chappelle is used to the spotlight for his brand of politically incorrect humor, with a wide array of edgy jokes and skits that made him a superstar in the mid 2000s.
Now that he’s back, he’s facing a barrage of criticism from humorless journalists over “transphobia.”
Unable to navigate today’s politically correct minefield, Chappelle was slammed with negative reviews from Vulture, Jezebel, The Daily Dot, and Salon for joking about Caitlyn Jenner in his stand-up set performed on Monday.
The comedian’s first set opened with Trump’s recent proposal to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military. Chappelle said he didn’t even realize there were transgender people in the armed forces.
“Sounds like a secret weapon to me,” said Chappelle, according to Vulture’s Jesse David Fox, who watched the show. “If I was in ISIS in the trenches fighting against the United States and all of a sudden I see a man with a beard and big D-cups titties just rushing my foxhole and shit, I’d be horrified.”
Chappelle, who has made jokes about trans issues in the past, reportedly regaled the audience with a new story about receiving a letter from someone who complained about the topic. “A weird thing happened to me in this moment – it honestly made me feel bad that I made someone else feel bad,” he said. Chappelle used it as a launching point to make a new joke about Caitlyn Jenner.
“‘I read in the paper that Caitlyn Jenner was contemplating posing nude in an upcoming issue of Sports Illustrated,” said Chappelle. “And I knew it was politically incorrect to say, so I figured I’d just say it for everybody—yuck. Fuck, man, I just want to read some stats, like why are you cramming man-pussy in the middle of the sports page like that?’”
The comedian jokingly concluded that the only reason anyone cared about transgender women’s feelings was that most transgender people in the United States, to his understanding, were white men. “The only reason all of us are talking about transgenders is because white men want to do it,” he joked.
According to The New York Times, whose reviewer also attended the set, Chappelle reportedly asked why it was easier for Bruce Jenner to change his name and gender than for Cassius Clay to change his name to Muhammad Ali.
Dave Chappelle kicked off a torrent of anger when he released his Netflix special this spring, which included many jokes about transgender people — among every other topic, including race, politics, and violence. Transgender issues and the offense taken to jokes surrounding them are the outrage du jour among social justice activists.