Des Moines had the rare privilege to host a screening of Dave Chappelle's new documentary. Dave and "friends" are only going to 11 cities for the screenings and we were fortunate enough to be one of the cities.
If you weren't there, here are some details of what we were treated to. The show started with Dave's DJ Trauma on the 1s and 2s. He got a good vibe going then master of ceremonies Jeffrey Ross came out. He is the guy renowned for his Comedy Central roasts. He did a hilarious set (even funnier than Sunday night's Jim Gaffigan show at Wells Fargo Arena). He even did a speed roast of willing audience members. The weirdest part was when one guy who volunteered kept trying to grab the mic and kept following him across the stage. Eventually, security booted the guy. Roasts are a risky comedy trick in our ultra PC times of now. It's very, very easy to offend when you're roasting someone. At time, the roast got uncomfortable when one volunteer seemed to not want to be on stage, but stated that she was only up there answering a question he had posed to the audience. She was berated with the word "fat" and asked "when she is due."
Following Jeffrey Ross' set, Earthquake came out and did an absolutely hilarious set with his trademark "these ain't jokes." He, also, wondered out loud how he found himself in Iowa.
The 2 1/2 hour Chappelle documentary started after that. Dave did 60 comedy shows in a cornfield near his Yellow Springs, Ohio home. The comedic star power he flew in for these shows was unreal. Everyone. Chris Rock, Jon Stewart, Trevor Noah, Sarah Silverman, Jo Koy, Chelsea Handler and much more. It was all documented. Watching the comic relief that Dave provided during our nation's most trying times brought me back to 2020 when all we could do was hold on to hope and how every moment of joy was magnified. It was lovely.
Following the documentary screening, Dave came out and did a long set. In other cities, I believe his set was shorter because of the star power he brought. In Des Moines after awhile, he brought out rapper Freddie Gibbs. Dave seemed to have been sipping on a lot of tequila, even requesting his bodyguard bring some out for him and, perhaps, smoking a bit (he may or may not have smoked a non-tobacco substance on-stage at Wells Fargo Arena). A lot of the comedy he relayed to the audience was rehashed from pervious specials. He did say that he enjoyed being in Des Moines and recounted a story of going to a strip club here (the audience believed it to be Bistro) where he got into a confrontation with security and ended up satisfyingly throwing a $100 bill at them.
He did address the "Closer" controvery and admitted to going too far, but did say that no one has treated him harshly to his face, it's all been on social media. He requested that the next time we see a transgender person, we buy them a drink or cup of coffee and say it's from Dave Chappelle.
Following Freddie Gibbs quick set, Dave did some terrible karaoke with the audience. If you're a Dave Chapelle fan, you've seen these performances before. He sang "Do For Love," "Creep," and closed with "Big Poppa" from Notorious B. I. G.
For fans of Dave Chappelle, it was an awesome night, we got to spend five hours with the G. O. A. T.