UPDATE: Dave Chappelle sold out his first show on Friday, then the second 10:30 p.m. show which was added, and the third show on Saturday at 9:30 p.m.. So, of course, the comedian has added a fourth show on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 11:59 p.m. Tickets on sale now at at LiveNation.com for $55.
For hardcore comedy fans, Friday the 13th just became a very lucky day. That’s because Dave Chappelle, one of the most provocative, controversial, volatile – and brilliant – comedians of the 21st century, has just announced a surprise rare appearance Dec. 13 at the Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater.
Chappelle’s star began to rise in 1998 when he co-wrote and starred alongside his good friend Jim Breuer in the cult stoner classic film “Half Baked.” He then recorded his first HBO comedy special, “Dave Chappelle: Killin’ Them Softly,” in 2000, which was well-received. But things really took off for him with his “Chappelle’s Show” in 2003 on Comedy Central, which broke comedic ground in its brief, two-year existence, and also featured musical guests.
But then the unthinkable happened: Chappelle – dubbed “the comic genius of America” by Esquire - abruptly left his wildly popular series in 2005 as production was about to begin on its third season, saying he was unhappy with both its creative direction and working 20-hour days. Amid rumors of some sort of breakdown, the enigmatic performer took a trip to South Africa to clear his head and escape his fame. Upon his return, he began leading a more reclusive life in his hometown of Yellow Springs, Ohio.
“Chappelle’s Show” was notorious for addressing racial stereotypes, with a sketch that coined the catch-phrase “I’m Rick James, bitch!” becoming so popular that Chappelle’s fans would shout it during his live shows, interfering with his ability to do stand-up and spurring him to say, “The show is ruining my life.” Despite its limited number of episodes, “Chappelle’s Show” still airs in syndication today on several networks.
To illustrate the show’s lasting impact: Musician Prince was so impressed by Chappelle’s impersonation of him that he used its footage as the cover art for his new single Breakfast Can Wait.
In 2013, Chappelle began making impromptu appearances at comedy venues across the country, and headlined the Funny or Die Tour, which began in August, along with comic musical act Flight of the Conchords.
Tickets for Chappelle’s Fillmore Miami Beach show – his first-ever at the venue – go on sale at 5 p.m. today at LiveNation.com, and are $55.