Chappelle's Show

Edgy, brilliant comedy that's best for adults.

What parents need to know

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

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.


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


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.


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.

Not applicable
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.

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.

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.

Families can talk 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

Cast:Charles Q. Murphy, Dave Chappelle, Paul Mooney
Network:Comedy Central
TV rating:TV-MA
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Chappelle's Show was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 15 years old Written bylinglingrocks218 April 9, 2008
age 0+

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+.
Adult Written bypoetsnger April 9, 2008
Teen, 13 years old Written by9001 December 15, 2009
age 15+


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 and it's derivitives a couple of times, and it was completely uncensored. People under the age of 16 shouldn't watch shows with language like that if it's uncensored.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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