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Dave Chappelle isn’t the biggest fan of the teleprompter… and that worked out just fine when he decided to go off-script and riff against racism in America at the Netflix Def Comedy Jam reunion special, Def Comedy Jam 25.
“We’re not here to offend our audiences, but we’re not here to protect your feelings either,” the legendary comic began, reading off the teleprompter as he stood beside D.L. Hughley.
“Sometimes, when you’re expressing the thoughts of the minority, you run the risk of being rejected by the majority,” proclaimed Hughley, also staying on script, “but that rejection should not be the reason to stop – it should be an inspiration for you to continue.”
“What Def Comedy Jam was always willing to do was take the heat, the criticism, and the hate,” said Chappelle as he continued to read from the prewritten material. “Because that’s basically just being black in America.” And then came some upbeat, overly energetic music and Chappelle adding, “That’s just a weird line.”
To the audience members that included Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer, and Tracy Morgan, Chappelle asked, “If we told them what being black in America is, would they believe us? … F— no, they wouldn’t. There’s a f—ing white supremacist starter kit at Target. ‘Let me get some tiki torches, some khaki pants, and a f—ed up haircut, I’ve got something going on next week.'”
Watch the clip above.
HBO first premiered Def Comedy Jam in 1992. The series spanned five seasons and helped launch the careers of Chappelle, Leslie Jones, Jamie Foxx, Chris Tucker, Martin Lawrence, and more. You can watch the entire reunion special on Netflix now.