Dave Chappelle Smokes On Stage While Receiving Award, Defends Freedom Of Speech: I’m Not Afraid Of Other People’s Freedom Of Expression
Say what you want about Dave Chappelle (and many did after his Netflix special Sticks & Stones), but he’s still getting recognized for his work.
The comedian was honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington D.C. earlier this month.
Others who have received the prestigious award in the past include Whoopi Goldberg, Eddie Murphy, David Letterman, and Will Ferrell. Richard Pryor was the first to ever receive the award.
Tiffany Haddish was one of the people who saluted Chappelle as she called him a “mentor” and her “big brother.”
Murphy, who won the award in 2015, also said Chappelle is
“so much smarter than everyone.”
Meanwhile, Chappelle smoked while on stage while he defended free speech. He joked,
“What are they going to do? Kick me out before I get the prize?”
“It’s not that serious. The First Amendment is first for a reason. The Second is just in case the First doesn’t work out.”
Chappelle said while accepting the honor,
“I love my art form because I understand every practitioner of it, whether I agree with them or not, I know where they’re coming from. They want to be heard, they got something to say, there’s something they notice. They just want to be understood. I love this genre, it saved my life.”
He told reporters before taking home the award,
“Personally, I am not afraid of other people’s freedom of expression. I don’t use it as a weapon. It just makes me feel better. And I am sorry if I hurt anybody, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, yada yada yada. Everything I am supposed to say.”
“I worked very hard in my life. The fact that anybody would recognize that outside of me and my family, is amazing to me. And I am very grateful, especially given my past experience.”
The ceremony airs on PBS Jan. 7 at 9 p.m. ET.
How do you feel about Dave Chappelle getting the award? Tell us in the comments!