Chappelle's Show

TV review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Chappelle's Show TV Poster Image
Edgy, brilliant comedy that's best for adults.
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Racism, sexism, alcoholism, affluenza, ignorance -- no stone is left unturned in the name of comedy. The intent is to mock society's foibles, but some of the messages may be too subtle for younger viewers to catch.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Dave Chappelle himself is an intelligent and brilliant comic with a knack for biting cultural commentary. The characters on the show are all exaggerated for humor as a means to express Chappelle's critiques. But these same characters can easily be misconstrued by casual viewers to represent negative stereotypes about everyone from African Americans to women.

Violence

Chappelle's biting commentary cuts like a serrated knife, and some sketches feature faux murders and gun shots.

Sex

Some sketches feature scantily clad women (often as strippers and prostitutes). Plenty of sex talk to go around. Skits have mocked sexual fetishes, and one character talks a lot about swapping sexual favors for drugs.

Language

No holds barred. "Damn," "d--k," "bitch," etc., plus rampant bleeping that barely masks words like "motherf--ker." Plenty of derogatory racial terms as well (the N-word makes frequent appearances), though they're often used to draw laughs.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Considering one bit features a funny how-to on scoring drugs, vices aren't off-limits. One of Chappelle's recurring characters is a crackhead.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, above all else, this wildly popular sketch comedy series is uproariously funny. Adults will laugh themselves silly at Chappelle's edgy satire and knowing social commentary, but it's the kind of humor that pushes the proverbial envelope to the absolute. It's only for the fearless, and despite the fact that many teens love the show, it's really not appropriate for most kids.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bypoetsnger April 9, 2008
Adult Written bydylanis21 April 9, 2008

i laughed a lot!!

i love this show!! chappelle is soooo funny!!! but i wouldn't say it's okay for people under 13.but if your 13 or older.watch!!!
Teen, 15 years old Written bylinglingrocks218 April 9, 2008

it's not TV-MA

It's not TV-MA, it's TV-14, i't almost TV-MA, but it barely gets by witha TV-14. i think it can be viewed by 13+.
Teen, 13 years old Written by9001 December 15, 2009

16+

I haven't seen a full episode of this show, but my friends showed me a clip about him talking about sesame street and it was hilarious. He used the f-word... Continue reading

What's the story?

In sketch comedy show CHAPPELLE'S SHOW, anyone is fair game: white supremacists, anti-drug programs, even PBS. The result is that you never know quite what to expect, with bits whizzing from a parody of the popular MTV show Cribs to a fiercely funny stab at Chappelle's own identity crisis (at one point, he was MIA from his own show, fleeing production for a retreat in South Africa). Recurring characters include cheerful crackhead Tyrone Biggums, clueless rapper Lil Jon, feisty Rick James, and more. Stand-out moments have included Chappelle's turn as a blind Ku Klux Klan member who doesn't realize he's black and a guest appearance by Wayne Brady (Whose Line Is It Anyway?) in which the normally squeaky-clean entertainer goes on a pimping, shooting rampage.

Is it any good?

Chappelle's genius is that he's able to mine the current, the political, the seamy, the gross and -- best of all -- the taboo for humor. In doing so, he makes viewers think, even when they're busy holding their sides from laughing too much. It all makes for exhilarating, thought-provoking TV -- except, of course, when kids are in the room. As appealing as Chappelle is to teenagers, his comedy is of the edgiest, adults-only sort.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the issues that Chappelle chooses to satirize. What is the state of race relations in this country? What are the stereotypes the show chooses to skewer based on? Does the show reinforce or dispel those stereotypes? How? Could another comedian do the same skits and get the same response? Why do issues that are, on the face of it, not very funny, play for such great laughs?

  • What do you think about Chappelle's decision to quit doing his show?

TV details

For kids who love comedy

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