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Dave Chappelle mocks trans and disabled people in new special: ‘I love punching down’

It follows 2021's The Closer

By Alastair James

Dave Chappelle
Dave Chappelle (Image: Netflix)

The controversial comedian Dave Chappelle has returned with another Netflix special where he states, “I love punching down” as he continued to mock trans people.

Dave Chappelle: The Dreamer was released on Netflix on 31 December and sees the comedian address his past controversy around trans people.

In his 2021 special, The Closer Chappelle claimed “I’m team TERF [trans-exclusionary radical feminist].” He later defended his comments saying “I am not bending to anybody’s demands.”

Chappelle began The Dreamer by reminiscing on an occasion when he met comedian and actor Jim Carrey. At the time Carrey was playing comedian Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon, a role for which Carrey stayed in character during filming.

“What a loser”

Chappelle recalled being disappointed that “I had to pretend this n**** was Andy Kaufman all afternoon. And he was clearly Jim Carrey.” He wraps this part up with the line: “I say all that to say, that’s how trans people make me feel.”

Chappelle then warned the audience that if they’d come expecting trans jokes “you’ve come to the wrong show.” He added: “I’m not f***ing with those people anymore. It wasn’t worth the trouble.” Instead, Chappelle said he’d be “doing all handicapped jokes,” adding that “they’re not as organised as the gays. And I love punching down.” He then followed this up with a crude impersonation of a disabled person.

Later Chappelle said he’d been “trying to repair my relationship with the transgender community cause I don’t want them to think that I don’t like them.” He added that he’d written a play “Cause I know that gays love plays.”

Chappelle continued: “It’s a very sad play, but it’s moving. It’s about a Black transgender woman whose pronoun is, sadly, n*****. It’s a tear-jerker. At the end of the play, she dies of loneliness cause white liberals don’t know how to speak to her. It’s sad.”

Elsewhere in The Dreamer Chappelle joked that he hoped if he ever landed in jail it would be in California. He said he’d tell the court he identified as a woman so he could go to a woman’s jail. He then said he’d intimidate the other detainees and make them perform sexual acts on him. Chappelle also repeated his crude impersonation from earlier.

Chappelle also discussed an incident where a man attacked the comedian on stage at the Hollywood Bowl in 2022. It followed his 2021 Netflix special The Closer where he also made jokes considered to be transphobic. At the time he joked the attacker was a “trans man” but in The Dreamer said the man was bisexual.

He told the audience the man was “triggered” by his past LGBTQ-related remarks and that he (Chappelle) “could have been raped.” Chappelle also said the man had “a knife that identified as a gun” referring to the replica handgun the man had that contained a knife blade.

One X user wrote Chappelle’s attempt at humour regarding women’s prisons “says more about him than it does about trans people.”

Someone else pointed out the absurdity of people fearing that others will identify as trans solely to get access to women’s facilities and yet laughing at Chappelle’s comments.

“What a loser” one person concluded of Chappelle.