My Disappointment From the Chappelle/Stewart Show
Of course I went to the show that included two of the most iconic figures in comedy of this generation. I even missed a Dolphins game to see it. And if you know me, you know how much that means. And by “missed” I mean I watched the beginning of the game until they locked my phone up and then as SOON as I walked out I watched on the train until I got home and finished watching. I’m 83% convinced that we won because of my loyalty but I digress.
The show was great. Peter’s description of it captured the night pretty well (go read that here), except I was more impressed by Chappelle. How one can be so relaxed, yet bring so much energy is beyond me. I was blown away. I was pleasantly surprised by Jon Stewart. I had never seen his stand-up before. Man he was good! I hadn’t even heard of the opener and he crushed with his charm and timing. I imagined myself up there performing as they all did their thing.
We recorded this week’s episodes a few hours before the show. We spoke about our anticipation. I thought the coolest thing would be if both came out at the end and did some off-the-cuff stuff for us all. And they did! The part I saw was amazing! Unfortunately Swedie and I had to go early to relieve the sitter. However, in this amazing surprise was where my disappointment came in. After a night of killing it and being on what I think is the right side of everything, Jon Stewart had to go sexist on us. It let me down. This dude was supposed to be above this. His set was funny and woke/conscious. He couldn’t be “another one” of “those dudes”.
Mo Amer was going around taking questions from the audience. The first few he fielded were pretty interesting. The crowd was intrigued and really in the moment. Then a woman came up and prepared to pose a question. Jon Stewart interrupted her to suggest that she wanted to perform a sexual act on Chappelle. In his defense, the joke could have been more about everyone directing their attention and fandom to Chappelle and he was playing the “what am I, chopped liver"?” angle. But it came off as crass and sexist. If the joke had to be told, why not say it to a guy? I was immediately disappointed. I felt a bit of energy get sucked out of the place.
I could see if his act had been the neanderthal misogynist, but it wasn’t. This wasn’t even the “act” part. This was them BEING THEMSELVES. To me that meant the real him saw this woman and immediately objectified her. I’m aware that this happens, but damn. Not you, Jon. Not in Stockholm.
Of course it didn’t ruin my view of Jon Stewart. He’s amazing. The show was amazing and I would go again and see the same act for the same money this weekend if I could. Actually, next weekend since the Dolphins don’t play on that Sunday, but you get where I’m coming from.
This was just a snapshot of where we’re at. We’ve made a lot of progress but we still have a long way to go. I was disappointed that it happened and he probably won’t even think twice about it. He was off-the-cuff. Just shooting from the hip. I’d get looked at as being sensitive, or that woman (and the next woman, for that matter) would be dismissed as having no sense of humor by bringing it up. But it happened… and we all felt it… and we all moved on. That moment left a little bit to be desired. Until next time…