There was a period of time not that long ago when Dave Chappelle became an almost mythic figure in the entertainment world. He had done the impossible: not only had he walked away from a highly successful, not to mention highly profitable, television show, but he had seemingly vanished in to the thin air. Fans weren't sure if he'd ever take the stage again.
That's what made his original reappearances so exciting. The man that many thought might be gone for good was back. You'd hear stories about three-hour sets in the middle of the night in California. Before long people started shooting videos of him with their cell phones. He almost, if you believe the rumors and a link to Improv Houston that no long works, played Houston last year. Chappelle was back, even if he was staying mostly out of the spotlight.
But that all ended yesterday with the announcement of a major comedy tour that will bring Dave Chappelle back to the masses, including Houston.
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Sponsored by Funny Or Die, The Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival will hit 13 cities starting in August, headlined by Dave Chappelle and Flight of Concords, along with performances by Al Madrigal, Demetri Martin, Hannibal Buress and more. The Houston date is listed as August 24th and takes place out at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.
While comedy is no stranger to arenas and other large venues, one wonders how a tour this big will function. Imagine the type of hecklers you get at your average comedy club, multiply that by 20, and add in the festival atmosphere that allows people to drink for hours before the headliners hit the stage and you start to see the recipe for disaster coming together.
After all, it was only a year ago that Chappelle had issues with hecklers at a last minute show in Austin, and while he made it through the show the lasting impression of it was less about the comedy and more about the crowd.
The good news, aside from the fact that Chappelle is hitting the road in the first place, is that Houston gets the second show of the tour, which means unless the first stop is an absolute disaster the odds are good Chappelle will actually make it to town. Whether or not he's funny is a different matter altogether, but either way the show will be something to talk about.