In a surprise announcement, Dave Chappelle reveals he will have not one, but two stand-up comedy specials, Equanimity and The Bird Revelation, dropping on Netflix to ring in the New Year. Netflix may have missed out on being the first streaming service to take home the big prize at the Emmys after a loss to Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and their first foray into blockbuster filmmaking has been met with hilariously negative reviews, but one consistently bright spot for the company has been its ability to deliver specials from the biggest names in stand-up comedy.
In 2017 the service delivered an embarrassment of riches for stand-up fans, with new specials from Jerry Seinfeld, Jen Kirkman, Norm Macdonald, Tracy Morgan, Patton Oswalt, Maria Bamford, Jim Gaffigan, and more. And that’s in addition to two specials from Chappelle, Deep in the Heart of Texas and The Age of Spin. It would seem that after taking some time off following his departure from The Chappelle Show, the comedian is working harder than ever before. And considering what kind of a year 2017 has been, Chappelle is certainly not lacking for new material.
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At least that’s the gist you get from the quick snippet of The Bird Revelation shown at the end of the trailer for Equanimity above. “2017” has basically become a punch line on its own, and Chappelle seems to be drawing on that sentiment by saying “Wow, it is really bad out here isn’t it?” The second special appears to be have been shot in a much smaller Los Angeles venue just last month, sees Chappelle perched on a stool in front of what feels like a more intimate setting, and is a far cry from the Washington, D.C. arena seen in Equanimity.
It’s pretty incredible that the first special was shot in September and the second in November, meaning Chappelle (presumably) had developed enough new material in just about two months time to fill an additional special. Though it’s just a brief clip, it seems as though The Bird Revelation may be topically and tonally different from Equanimity. The first is filled with more autobiographical humor, underlined by the comedian’s jokes about his tendency to make his fans wait for new projects from him. But, as the promo highlights, it was Chappelle who just couldn’t wait.
Chances are, Chappelle fans won’t be disappointed to get their third and fourth special from him on the same night. It will be interesting, though, to see how different the material is and just what he choses to talk about in the second special. If anything else, it will underline just how fast the news (good and bad, but mostly bad) came this year and how comedians like Chappelle are responding in kind.
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Equanimity and The Bird Revelation will be available December 31 on Netflix.