Dave Chapelle’s special 8:46 isn’t what casual fans have grown to expect from one of the greatest comics of my generation. If anyone goes in expecting his typical brand of humor, then avoid watching it altogether. Chapelle’s special is meant to serve as a wake-up call to those who are paying attention to current events or don’t understand what is happening. It’s hard even to classify it as a comedy special, as some have done. 8:46 is more of a spoken word journey into the genesis of how we got to this point in the world. Now there are moments in the special which are funny as hell, but for the most part, it seems like this was cleansing of his soul, which was meant to enrich others. 8:46 is poignant, powerful, and a level of unintended brilliance that was nothing short of inspiring. Maybe that was the point? Maybe it wasn’t? Perhaps this was just seeing Dave Chapelle stripped of his fame and as a concerned African American father.
The setting of the special appears to be on his property. The camera manages to showcase to what lengths they went to promote social distancing while still having this show. The commentary in the special is blistering and with good reason. Multiple times during the set, he makes it clear he isn’t about to apologize for anything stated. The pace is blistering, which was likely due to the emotion he poured out while on stage. The truth hurts. Reality isn’t often what we think it is. 8:46 is equal parts shocking and educational. 8:46 will be forever regarded as Dave Chapelle’s best work. If you haven’t seen it, watch it below.