Jason Zinoman of The New York Times writes about Dave Chappelle and his slow, hidden comeback today:
Seeing Mr. Chappelle here revealed him as struggling with some of the issues that led him to leave the spotlight. It’s also an exhilarating reminder of what we’ve been missing: the laid-back delivery pivoting into explosive bursts of energy; the sideways insight and deadpan gravitas; how every joke seems as if he came up with it on the spot. If there are comics with more onstage charisma than Dave Chappelle, I haven’t seen them.
Seeing Chappelle re-emerge from afar has been rather exciting. I didn’t mourn the loss of Chappelle’s Show (which I loved, but remained near-perfect with its sudden conclusion — I never bothered to watch the incomplete third season) but I have always missed his voice in our culture. I’m glad he’s returning, in his own way.