Chappelle's Show: Season 2 review by Mike Long

As the first season of Chapelle's Show yielded the best-selling TV-show DVD release of all time, it's safe to assume that Paramount Home Entertainment was eager to promote the release of the Chapelle's Show: Season 2 DVD. However, I doubt they expected to be dealing with the recent news of the show's third season being postponed (cancelled?) and the reports of Dave Chapelle checking into a mental hospital. Well, as they say, "Any publicity is good publicity", and besides, Paramount has nothing at all to worry about, as this DVD set contains some of the funniest things ever shown on TV and it's sure to be a huge seller.

Before discussing the overall quality of the second season of Chapelle's Show, I'll list the sketches from each episode. This will be a public service, as a complete listing is not included with the DVD packaging. Please note, I'm naming the segment and not using any official names from the show. (Items marked with an "*" are ones which I consider to be an instant classic.)

Episode 1 -- "Samuel Jackson Beer" *, "Sex Education", "Things Look Cooler in Slow Motion", "Racial Draft" *

Episode 2 -- "WacArnold's", "Negrodamus", "Black Gallagher", "The N####r Family" *,

Episode 3 -- "Musical Tastes amongst the Races (with John Mayer) *, "Ribs" *, "Dave at 18, 24, & 30" *,

Episode 4 -- "The Love Contract", "Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories: Rick James" *

Episode 5 -- "Law & Order", "Tyrone Biggums for Red Balls" *, "Negrodamus", "Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories: Prince" *

Episode 6 -- "A Moment in the life of Lil' Jon: Airport", "What if the Internet was a Real Place?", "Lil' Jon: The Theresa Roddy Interview", "When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong: Bar Fight" *, Musical Guest: Anthony Hamilton

Episode 7 -- "A Moment in the life of Lil' Jon: ER", "Marijuana PSA", "Mooney on Movies", "2004 World Series of Dice" *, "When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong: Board Room", Musical Guest: Common and Kanye West

Episode 8 -- "I Know Black People", "When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong: Wrong Number" *, Musical Guest: Erykah Badu

Episode 9 -- "What am I Thinking About Right Now?" *, "Oprah's Baby-Daddy", "Jury Duty Selection" *, Musical Guest: Wyclef Jean

Episode 10 -- "Making the Band", "Realistic Beer Commercial", "Kneehigh Park", Musical Guest: Snoop Dogg

Episode 11 -- Unaired Segments -- "Nelson Mandela's Boot Camp", "Def Comedy Poetry Slam", "Gay America" *, "The Time Haters" *, "Holler Dating Service", Musical Guest: Kanye West and Mos Def

Episode 12 -- "Dave Quits" *, "Fear Factor: Tyrone Biggums" *, "Calling Big Boi/Meeting Nick Cannon" *, "Dave and Wayne Brady Out on the Town" *

Episode 13 -- "First Black Man to Use White Toilet", "Lil' Jon calls Lil' Jon", "Black President Bush" *, Musical Guest: Big Boi

Apparently, there were a lot of viewers like myself who didn't really watch the show during the first season, but discovered it via DVD, and were very impressed. Thus, when the second season aired on Comedy Central, the ratings and response was tremendous. While the first season of Chappelle's Show was good, the second season took everything to a new level. It's safe to assume that due to the success of the show, Chappelle and co-writer Neal Brennan were given more freedom to take the show even further in terms of insanity and edginess. Whatever the case, Season 2 has yielded some incredibly funny moments.

Anyone who's seen Season 2 of Chappelle's Show already knows how good it is. Looking at the list above, you can see the abundance of sketches above marked as "instant classics". The "Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories" segments got the most attention from this season, as the "I'm Rick James, bitch!" line was heard nationwide. And while that segment is certainly funny, the "Prince" story is better, as it becomes much more surrealistic. The "Tyrone Biggums" character appeared in Season 1, but he brought the house down in Episode 12 of Season 2, as he appeared on "Fear Factor" and raised the bar for gross. Also on Episode 12 is the now classic moment in which Wayne Brady terrorizes Dave. This not only re-invented the much-maligned Brady, but also brought us one of the funniest lines ever said on TV. I could go on and on listing the great moments from Season 2. Another nice thing about Season 2 are the constant cameos of familiar faces from the world of movies and music.

But, as they say, "Nobody's perfect", and Season 2 of Chappelle's Show does include some flops. As far as I'm concerned, there isn't anything funny in the segments involving Paul Mooney. If you've seen any of (the real) Lil' Jon's videos, then you know that Chappelle's impression is funny, but it goes on way too long. It's clear that a lot of work went into the "Kneehigh Park", but that was incredibly unfunny. But these failures are few and far between in this successful season. Hopefully, Chappelle's Show will indeed return for a third season, but if not Dave Chappelle and co. can live with the knowledge that they went out on a very high-note.

The Chapelle's Show: Season 2 DVD set arrives courtesy of Paramount Home Entertainment. All 13 episodes from Season 2 are included here, spread across 2 discs, with a third disc being included for extra features. The shows are presented in their original 4:3 aspect ratio. The episodes look good as the image is sharp and clear for the most part, although some scenes do show some grain. The color are goods, but there are some moments where intricate patterns, such as Dave's suit during the "Racial Draft" create some video noise. Overall, the image rivals digital broadcast quality. The shows carry a Dolby stereo audio track, which results in clear dialogue with no distortion. The tracks are well-balanced, as the audience noise and music never drowns out the dialogue. The shows are presented uncensored, so the profanity isn't "bleeped" out and there is some nudity.

The Chapelle's Show: Season 2 set contains several extra features. Chappelle and co-creator/co-writer/director Neal Brennan provide audio commentary on episodes 1, 2, 3, 4 (all on Disc 1), and 12 (found on Disc 2). These talks are very informal and often funny, as the duo note particulars about each episode, but also give us funny asides about what went wrong during a sketch or something funny that Dave did on the set. The remainder of the extras can be found on Disc 3. "Dave's Extra Stand Up" features 17 minutes of Chappelle doing his introductions in front of the live audience. Some of this is funny, but most is merely Dave rambling from subject to subject. The DVD contains 71 minutes of "Bloopers & Deleted Scenes", which can be viewed with optional commentary. Once again, the material here is very hit or miss -- there are some funny ad-libs that didn't make the show, but otherwise it's nothing special. "The Rick James Extended Interview" (21 minutes) contains additional footage from the late singer making the comments which were seen in Episode 4. The DVD contains three segments featuring Charlie Murphy. "Charlie Murphy's Rick James Memories" (15 minutes), and two unaired "Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories", "I Want More" (19 minutes) and "That's My Brother" (10 minutes). Be warned, these segments are merely Murphy talking. It becomes quite clear that Murphy's stories are only truly funny when Dave Chappelle is acting them out.

9 out of 10 Jackasses

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