david-chappelle-gq-magazine-june-2014-01

Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Questlove + More Explain Their Night At The Comedy Cellar

(AllHipHop News) February 27th, 2013 was a regular day to the majority of America, but for a select few at New York City’s famous Comedy Cellar, it was the first night the comedic stars aligned. During a surprise stand up performance from Dave Chappelle, he was joined on stage by Kevin Hart, Questlove, Bill Bellamy, Chris Rock and Marlon Wayans to share stories and jokes. Those men recently spoke with GQ about how the one in a life time surprise event.

Every one of the men involved admitted that Dave’s appearance came at a complete surprise, but they all found a way to make it to 117 Macdougal St.  However, it was Questlove who had to use a bit of deception and possibly breaking the speed limit to make it to the event:

I lied to my date and said I’d been called into the studio. I can always blame it on D’Angelo, because he’s like the musical booty call. He’ll call and say, “Hey, what are you doing? I want to lay a track down. Come on over.” So once I call my date a car service, I get myself a cab. I tell my driver to “do 100! We’ve got fifteen minutes to get to the Comedy Cellar!” And I was not the only one pulling up to the curb and running inside like their life depended on it. The entire black comedy world was breaking their necks to get in.

During the interview Rock and Chappelle both alluded to the competitive nature of comedy, with Chappelle likening it to “being in the Karate Kid tournament every night.” Hart on the other hand revealed how even in the competitive realm of comedy, talent humbles you:

Me and Chris [Rock] were joking about how Dave was just so much better than us—the thought process behind his jokes. How he makes it look effortless. We were all doing the same thing—running material we were working on. We were pretty much all in the gym—basketball players getting our jump shots. And Dave’s way of doing it was just levels above. He’s in a different realm. He’s out of this world, man. Ridiculous.

Once on stage all of the comedians began speaking highly of the other. That previously mentioned competitive energy was not prominent, but a remark Rock remembers telling Hart clearly showed that it was far from being non-existent that night:

You’re not going to sit there and let other people be funnier than you. I mean, I like Kevin, but come on. I’m not conceding. Please. Kevin starred in Soul Plane. So, you tell him that you love him, but you got to remind him of Soul Plane.

On July 18th, Dave Chappelle begins a five-date stand-up engagement at Radio City Music Hall. To hear him tell it, the night at the Comedy Cellar was a once-in-a-lifetime experience:

I’ve known these guys for years and have always respected their talent, but on that night I got to experience it up close. That’s why it was special. But it made me laugh that Ahmir told his date he needed to go to the studio. Why didn’t he just bring her to the show?

Check out the full article here.

blog comments powered by Disqus