Pre-show ticket warnings be darned. Chappelle’s show in Boston would not be foiled! It did take an extra-long time to get into Agganis Arena, though, with two long lines that snaked from either side of the only two ways into the building, forced through a security gauntlet. Fans could keep their phones, just not use them (I did see security approach one young man during the show for apparently taking a cameraphone pic, leading him away for a few minutes, but the fan returned to his seat later). The stage itself, pretty ordinary, a stool with bottled water. A DJ did have a stand near the back of the stage, playing a mix of club dance tracks while fans continued to file in slowly but surely, until the show finally began at 8:07 p.m. (showtime advertised at 7:30 p.m).
Opener Joe DeRosa bit the bullet, coming out swinging. DeRosa talked about man drinks vs. girly drinks, birthday presents (funny premise: “How come they always tell you what they almost got you?”), on being adopted, and later finding out at age 12 that he’s half-Egyptian. Lots of frank sexual talk and profanities. DeRosa kept falling back on sex, with his theories on why gay men have it easier than straight men, and why older women are where it’s at. For a guy the crowd didn’t really want to see, he got a great response with much applause at the end of his 27-minute set.
Everyone, of course, wanted to see Chappelle. Chappelle showed he had done a little homework on Boston and recalled his previous trips here, talking about the city’s history and recounting a time he and his friends got into a fight (well, sort of) with a crystal meth addict.
Quotes and more after the jump.
Quotes and notes from Chappelle’s set:
“I used to be scared to come to Boston, because the police used to wear them Nazi boots!”
“I said, make sure black people can’t find me. Put me in a hockey arena!”
On Mel Gibson and whether he’ll make a comeback? “He made an action movie about Jesus — he’s set for life!”
On his 33rd birthday, which is today — last night he got several birthday shouts and well-wishes from the audience: “I’m playing my hometown. My wife and kids and everybody is going to be there.” He chided the crowd after noting that he’s never cheated on his wife, claiming that it’s tough when you’re as famous as he is to not cheat. ”Thanks for the smattering of applause on that,” he said. But he said he’d never cheat because he has been cheated upon, once seeing his girlfriend in the act with another man. “The only thing worse than that was fighting the naked man!”
The Boston Tea Party: “That is the gayest s— I’ve ever heard!”
On Crispus Attucks: “That n—– needs a statue!”
Chappelle noted that all that starts rough in American history is doomed to end rough, too. “You can’t build a country on slavery and genocide and expect a smooth ride,” he said, before noting that the invasion of Iraq made sense, if only you look at it differently — that you talk to the tough countries and invade the weak ones.
When he lit up a cig, “Thank you for applauding my bad habits!”
Chappelle also delved more into not cheating vs. cheating, with riffs on his masturbation habits, and a lengthy take on the TV show, “Cheaters.”
Afterward, he gazed across the arena, taking it all in, with more than 6,000 fans cheering for him. “I feel like Dane Cook in this motherf—er!” That got a rise out of the crowd. “I’m not going to hate on him!” Chappelle said, though he did do a really quick impersonation of Cook’s physical humor, and said he’d been watching Tourgasm on HBO, laughing at how only white people would go Go-Kart racing as an activity. “Hey, it’s not like I can’t get a job,” Chappelle said. “HBO be calling…’I heard you had a bad break-up, Dave.’”
Chappelle said Hollywood has it out for black people in movies. Why would he ever want to be in Soul Plane? he asked. Planet of the Apes? Obviously about black people, he said, giving several funny examples. “I have an uncle named Cornelius!”
An example of crowd work. When a front-row fan said he was an education major, Chappelle said: “They don’t pay teachers enough. You’re going to have to deal drugs to the students just to make ends meet!” When a couple couldn’t find their seats, Chappelle started talking them through it, all while mocking the man’s camo outfit. When another woman got up to go to the bathroom, Chappelle started in on a story about a time he overheard another man’s loud antics in a men’s room stall.
He said he let his kids watch his TV show, but he doesn’t know how he’ll explain Half-Baked to them. And he vowed not to make Half-Baked 2. “If you see a sequel to that, rest assured I have run out of money, motherf—ers!”