Dave Chappelle Returns: Controversy, Comedy, and ‘The Dreamer’ Revealed!

Netflix has stirred up anticipation with a preview of Dave Chappelle's upcoming comedy special, "The Dreamer," set to release on New Year's Eve.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Dave Chappelle Returns: Controversy, Comedy, and ‘The Dreamer’ Revealed!
© Getty Images Entertainment/Tim Nwachukwu

Netflix has stirred up anticipation with a preview of Dave Chappelle's upcoming comedy special, "The Dreamer," set to release on New Year's Eve.

Narrated by the iconic voice of Morgan Freeman, the preview invites viewers to contemplate not just idle dreams, but those aspirations held deep within one's heart.

Freeman's narration poignantly asks, “What happens to a dream deferred? Lucky for Dave, he doesn’t know”.

The preview includes snippets of Chappelle and Freeman viewing the special, along with captivating stage performances by Chappelle.

Filmed at the historic Lincoln Theatre in Washington DC, "The Dreamer" is poised to be a reflective and possibly controversial addition to Chappelle's repertoire.

Navigating Past Controversies

This new special follows Chappelle's 2021 Netflix special "The Closer," which ignited a firestorm over jokes that some LGBTQ+ advocates and artists deemed transphobic.

The backlash was significant enough to prompt a walkout by Netflix employees, challenging the company's support for the special. Reflecting on the situation, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos admitted to Variety in October 2021 that his handling of the employee concerns was flawed.

Sarandos confessed he “screwed up” in his approach, recognizing the need for “a lot more humanity” in his response.
In "The Dreamer," Chappelle doesn't shy away from addressing controversial moments.

The special will reportedly cover the May 2022 incident in Los Angeles where Chappelle was attacked on stage, as well as the infamous “slap” incident at the Oscars that year. These inclusions suggest that Chappelle is continuing his trend of blending comedy with commentary on current events and personal experiences.

As December 31 approaches, audiences are bracing for a special that promises not only humor but also a candid exploration of the comedian's journey. Whether "The Dreamer" will navigate the intricacies of its predecessor's controversies with a new perspective remains to be seen.

Netflix, meanwhile, prepares to usher in the new year with what could be one of the most talked-about specials in recent memory.

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