Dave Chappelle 8:46

Dave Chappelle Pans Staten Island In His 8:46 Presentation About George Floyd Murder

Dave Chappelle is funny. And, when I say funny, I mean funny.

He’s been around a while. Had a brief hiatus spending time in Africa. Came back just as strong.

His secret? I don’t know but whatever it is, he’s among the best comedians I’ve seen.

His stand-up routines are sidesplitting. His short skits, incredible.

My personal favorite? When Charlie Murphy chilled with Prince. Insane!

I can’t watch Dave Chappelle when I’m eating, because I don’t like spitting food everywhere.

Or, choking to death.

So, when YouTube suggested a new Dave Chappelle presentation, I clicked on it. As did over 23 million others.

But this was no comedy routine. In fact, nobody should have been laughing the entire time.

I know it’s hard not to laugh when Dave Chappelle opens his mouth. But this was different.

What he talked about was serious. Deadly serious, in fact.

It was entitled 8:46 – Dave Chappelle, and it was uploaded June 12, 2020. Just days ago.

The seats were all grouped six feet apart. Clearly, it’s modern times.

The stage background was a giant stone fireplace, some wood, and a ton of variously-sized LED candles flickering weirdly.

Dave Chappelle sat on a plain unpainted wooden stool.

Dave Chappelle 8:46

Dave Chappelle 8:46

From all appearances, Dave Chappelle had to go to great lengths to NOT be funny. But he succeeded. Wildly.

The topic was George Floyd’s murder. A topic that is serious, any way you look at it.

Of course, Dave Chappelle deserves the platform. After all, he’s made most of us laugh and laugh, and for that, he deserves to be heard.

8:46 was the amount of time the officer, Derek Chauvin, had his knee on George Floyd’s neck. It was also, Chappelle explained, the time of his own birth.

Some Americans were furious when Colin Kaepernick took a knee before an NFL game during the National Anthem.

But we should all be furious this officer took a knee on another man’s neck. How could he?

This was the focus of this talk. 8:46 could not rightly be called a comedy routine, as it was not funny.

Of course, Dave got some laughs, just because he’s Dave Chappelle, and his retelling of any story will elicit laughter.

Dave Chappelle had this to say about Staten Island:

“Eric Garner, New York. First guy that told police, “I can’t breathe.” Eric Garner was selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island. when my kid was born, my first kid, my wife lived on Staten Island. It’s an awful place. She knows it. Everyone who’s ever been there knows it.”

“Yuck, to Staten Island. And my Black ass was there, and I have a lot of fans there and friends there, but it’s a very terrible place. Fuck everybody in Staten Island expect the Wu Tang Clan. Got murdered by one police officer while five of his fellow officers watched him do it.”

“Not one of them said, ‘Frank, Frank take it easy.’ None of that s**t. Because, they were being recorded…because they were afraid if I correct my fellow officer on this camera it’s going to open us up for some kind of liability. And the guy killed the person they were what do you call it apprehending? The guy was selling loose cigarettes. There goes Eric Garner.”

Dave Chappelle spoke about others that were murdered at the hands of police. Black people.

I don’t know if this is what the audience was expecting, but Chappelle is a living person, and not just here for our entertainment. And so, he deserves our ear.

Was he too harsh on Staten Island? I think so.

Staten Island is not the place he thinks it is. Sadly, one terrible event colored his perception forever, biased him strongly against us all.

But there are almost a half million people here. While people. Black people. Hispanic people. It’s a city, so there’s people of every background.

And, there’s a lot of love. Get stuck somewhere and people of all colors will stop and ask if you need help. You need not be the same race as them, either.

Staten Island is not Alabama north or 1980s Howard Beach. It’s just not true.


In the 80s, Island kids of all races and religions break-danced together. In the 90s, we raved together. After 9-11, in the 2000s, we huddled together and tried our best to heal.

What happened to Eric Garner was the exception, rather than the rule. It does not typify Staten Island; rather, it was the result of the actions of one berserk police officer, himself out of control.

And, the Sergeant on duty at the scene was a Black woman! She didn’t request Eric Garner receive medical attention, either!

It’s not just about Black people dying at the hands of police. It’s about policing, and what needs to change.

And, to address Mr. Chappelle directly: Why do you repeat the lie that Eric Garner was selling cigarettes? At the time of his arrest, both witnesses and Mr. Garner himself claimed he was only breaking up a fight.

Face it, the cops on Bay Street knew Mr. Garner well and probably considered him a nuisance. He had sold cigarettes in the past. He was a big guy. He hung out by Tompkinsville Park. He hung out in front of the deli and DeJoy’s Car Service most days.

The police didn’t have the patience to deal with him yet again, and knee jerk reactions led to him being treated in a patterned way, irrespective of how different the circumstances were the day of his untimely death in the street.

Maybe it’s not easy relating to a street guy who sells cigarettes one at a time when you make over a hundred thousand dollars a year with overtime. It’s a class thing. In any case, patience was surely in short supply that day.


Eric Garner hails from my home town of Port Richmond. People who knew him said he was a generous and friendly guy. Get that: Generous! Selling cigarettes one at a time, he didn’t have much to give, but he was ready to help others when he could.

On the day he lost his life, Eric Garner was angry. Angry that he was being accused of doing something that he wasn’t actually doing. He may have sold loosies. That’s an undisputed fact.

But on the day of his passing, Mr. Garner vehemently denied this was what he was doing. For someone who had been arrested so many times, it’s hard to imagine that he didn’t know the game, and would actively fight arrest when caught.

Maybe he was selling loosies hoursĀ  before. Or, in days past. But at the moment he was taken into custody, we can be fairly sure he was not.

He fought being treated as an object. Being singled out for doing wrong when he was actually doing right. He wasn’t just an easy collar, ever ready to be hauled in.

Dave Chappelle’s wife may have been from Staten Island, and he may know the Wu, but he definitely doesn’t know Staten Island.

But if his limo ever gets stuck out here, I think we’d have the heart to forgive him and lend a helping hand.

Racism is real. Police brutality is real. Staten Island a “yuck” place? Not real.

Sorry, Dave.

13 Comments

  • Avatar F**K Dave Chapele says:

    F**K Dave Chapele. He is using coded language to put down italians and irish. I find it offensive when he uses that ‘white voice’. How is that not racist? Oh I forgot only white ppl can be racist right? The italians and irish had their own struggles. To lump them in with this mythical white ppl meme is racism. irish ppl came here on converted slaveships during a famine. Both nationalities were treated like garbage. I am so sick of the insensitivity. He is not funny. If I did a black voice I’d be racist. But his white voice is a-ok. HYPOCRITE!!!! Its still a stereotype and causes hate. Fact. Staten Island is not YUCK. I see what he’s doing there and I think you should to.

    • Avatar Kami Schultz says:

      Give the man a break. This was still funny considering the topics. I can’t understand why the comments are so negative. It seems like many white ppl on here feels like he’s accusing them for all the wrongs in the world. That’s not it. He’s just trying to spread awareness.

  • Avatar Dave Chappelle was ONCE a very funny man. says:

    Dave Chappelle was ONCE a very funny man.

  • Avatar I also see what your doing there Dave. says:

    Boycott this M***RF****R. He is the racist.

    Yes he was funny but no I am not drinking his cool aid.

    I still will laugh. But I am not paying a dollar to see him. No premium content. Just old youtube routines.

    This guy actually supports looting and rioting. YOUR DISGUSTING.

  • Avatar Kenny says:

    Mr. Chappelle: I have one word for you: YUCK.

    I marched for Eric Garner. But I won’t support you.

    Go back to telling jokes. It’s what you’re good at.

    You alienated me and my entire family. My brother took your DVD and threw it in the trash after smashing it with a hammer.

    Also we’re 1/4 black and proud. I didn’t really think you were a racist. I’m shocked and saddened. You were one of my heros. No more.

  • Avatar Shannon L. says:

    Yeah…no. Sorry I’m not putting race first. My family is:
    -Italian
    -Sicilian
    -Irish
    -Dutch
    -Black
    -Puerto Rican
    -Jewish
    -Russian
    -German

    We’re not going to start looking at people’s skin color. Dave Chappelle, you’re a smart man. Do you know on my island, the place you hate, we are past all this? I’m so happy you’re never coming here. Please please don’t.

    • Kandy Krusher Kandy Krusher says:

      I think what BLM is trying to say is that racism still exists. I don’t think they are winning over anyone though.

      Their approach is too cold.

      If someone has a black grandson, a black son-in-law, a Hispanic niece, are themself part Puerto Rican, what gives anyone the right to say anything?

  • Avatar Henny (real name first name sarts with j ends in e last ends in O ends in a) says:

    I watched the included video. Is he at war with white people? I take offence to him saying what he said. His value as entertainment went to 0.

    From Dave: Normally I wouldn’t show you something so unrefined, I hope you understand.

    Unrefined? How about hateful? Another liar spreading falsehoods. Police brutality is an issue. Police hating on blacks is not. There are black cops for ******sake!

    And buddy, my family has only been here since 1926. Enjoy being a F****** RACIST! P*G

    https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/dave_chappelle_846

    • Kandy Krusher Kandy Krusher says:

      But he’s also not a clown standing there so you can laugh. He’s a person. I think we forget that will all entertainers.

  • Avatar Proud being black says:

    smh silly racist, you embarrass myself

    you fanning the flames my brother

    stop acting so lost

    I thought you found yourself,

    found unity in Africa?

    Checked out that link commenter

    bunch of white folks feeling guilty

    Dave stop it just stop

    USA for Africa

  • Avatar choosing anonymity says:

    Incredible. Dave Chappelle brought tears to my eyes. I know as a cisgender white woman I can never really understand. But I pledge to spend my life trying. 5 stars this was performance art at its best.

    • Kandy Krusher Kandy Krusher says:

      If he didn’t say something about what’s happening in the United States today, it would have been awkward. I admire him for his honesty.

      I think it’s more complicated that he’s saying. There’s a lot of grey area. Life’s not just black and white and neither are people.

      We have to keep in mind he’s a comedian. I wonder if he could have said all that differently. It was a little funny but not much.

      If comedy was still OK, he should have went all the way and made people laugh and cry. I feel he may have had his message listened to more.

  • Avatar [deleted] says:

    Skip & Shannon discuss the difficulties of opening a racial dialogue in America

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5O-rA5psc4

    ‘Who did the cooing? Who took care of the kids?’

    This dude thinks every white was upper crust. HAHAHA Most whites were poor. Still are. Oh and none of my ancestors were slave owners. They were laborers. I’m the second generation to attend college.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for racial equality. The slavery was a sin. But don’t come knocking on my door telling me I did that. I have zero ancestors that were even on this continent.

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