A second show at the Cellar was one of “those” shows that make life the wonderful thing it is. Just before I brought up the last act, I was apprised of the possibility that Dave Chappelle was coming in. I told the audience Godfrey was the last act. When Dave got there, Godfrey was signaled by the manager to seriously wrap it up. Godfrey was having a fine set, but when Chappelle is in the house the feeling is, let’s get him onstage ASAP. Godfrey comes off and a few people start to rise up.
“Wait, I know I told you Godfrey was the last act, but every now and again somebody comes in and we extend the show. Tonight we have a man you will recognize from his appearances on the Chappelle Show on Comedy Central, Dave Chappelle”.
The audience that had just seen a great 2:20 of standup goes absolutely apeshit. (Of course) Dave opens very businesslike, much sharper than I’ve seen him in years. He did a bit on the no feet killer that will soon be a classic and I’ll bet he’s not done with it yet. I won’t spoil it for you here but it had to do with what life would be like in jail for the guy. Pure Dave, pure funny. Then Chris Rock shows up and sneaks to the back of the room and Dave doesn’t know he’s there. I asked Chris if he wanted to go on and he said if he was coming off soon, he would just walk on. I wanted to intro Chris with a chicken wing in my hand. (you had to be there!) When it looks like Dave is gonna wrap it up after an hour or so, Chris walks on stage. Servers are scrambling around stopping folks from taking pics and video, they cannot believe what they are seeing. The two exchange lines and bits and backs and forths for another hour. Chris slipped in some of the material he’s been working on pretty seamlessly but Rock was a little awed at Dave and the shit he was coming up with. Dave would bang the mike on his thigh or the piano when Chris said something he particulary cared for. It was music. Jimi Hendrix trading licks with Stevie Wonder.
Rock: (to the crowd) You are some lucky motherfuckers.
The best part for me, it wasn’t a competition. (I don’t believe standup should be competitive , part of my overall disdain for festivals and the like) It was two brilliant comedians combining their talents which produced an amazing live experience that few ever witness. Only about 120 people did on this night, but in a year, 10,000 people will swear they were there the night Dave and Chris did their thing together.
Oh, and for some dessert, for the last 20 minutes the fellas were joined onstage by Marlon Wayans. He came with a entourage that barged their way into stage side seats. ( A few folks had left ) Marlon admitted being drunker than anybody in the room and said he was just there to hang out. The last time Dave was in town and doing a set at the Cellar, Chris and I watched him from the floaters. After a few minutes, Chris leaned over to me and said. Dave is P Funk! I’m Earth & Wind & Fire! Whatta night!