When it comes to the question of who owned 2017, you could bring up a number of people: LaVar Ball, Kendrick Lamar, Donald Glover. And while there are amazing arguments for all of these people, you have to bring Dave Chappelle's name into that mix. At 44 years of age, he's considered by his peers and many fans of stand-up comedy as either the greatest stand-up comedian alive or the greatest stand-up comedian of all time. And 2017 as an important year for Dave in those regards.
By the end of 2017, Dave Chappelle would have released four(!) stand-up specials on Netflix, including two new ones dropping on New Year's Eve: Equanimity and recently-announced The Bird Revelation. That's after dropping two specials earlier this year that reaffirmed his status as comedy's king. But those are far from Chappelle's 2017 highlights. Netflix has gifted us a batch of photos from Chappelle's 2017 to help you understand how impactful his 2017 was, so here's The Year In Dave, in pictures.
Back in February of 2017, Chappelle was given the keys to the city of Columbia, South Carolina in celebration of his achievements in the world of comedy. It's an important city for Chappelle to have received the keys to, as the Chappelle Memorial A.M.E. Church (which was named after his great-grandfather, African Methodist Episcopal Bishop William D. Chappelle) is in Columbia. It was at this church that Chappelle accepted this inspiring honor.
While we were trying to figure out why Chappelle was rubbing his belly so much during one of his early 2017 Netflix specials, The Age of Spin, Chappelle was working the road. Here's a shot of him at The Peppermint Club in Los Angeles.
In June, it was announced that Dave Chappelle would be knocking out a residency at the historic Radio City Music Hall during August. To add to the awesomeness of that announcement, Chappelle not only called on Childish Gambino to perform during one of the nights, he also got Chris Rock, Yasiin Bey, Lauryn Hill, and Solange (among many others) to perform on select dates of what turned into a sold-out 16-date residency at Radio City that month. Here are some candid shots from both backstage and on stage from this historic event.
It's also important to note that the series ended on August 24, 2017, which meant that Chappelle celebrated his 30th(!) anniversary in stand-up comedy on his 44th birthday with the conclusion of a 16-date sold-out residency at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. That's major.
In September of 2017, Chappelle won his first Emmy Award for his now-classic Saturday Night Live monologue from November of 2016. That same month, he not only was awarded the key to Washington, D.C. (where he grew up), but he recorded his upcoming stand-up special Equanimity at the at the historic Warner Theater in Washington D.C..
And while many assumed that Equanimity would be the third and final special in Chappelle's Netflix contract, it was announced that he recorded The Bird Revelation in front of a packed house at The Belly Room at the world famous The Comedy Store in Los Angeles in November of 2017.
In the days before Chappelle's two new Netflix specials hit the streaming giant, it's hard to tell what the future holds for Chappelle. We weren't expecting a fourth special from him at all, especially in 2017; who knows how far the Netflix/Chappelle union will go on. We hope it continues into 2018, and that Chappelle's 2017 is only the beginning of Dave's continued glow-up. Whatever the case may be, Chappelle's not only the king of stand-up today, but he's no doubt one of the kings of 2017.