Last night, Netflix dropped a new set from Dave Chapelle and reactions are overwhelmingly positive. This set isn’t his usual brand of comedy, however. Instead, audiences are hailing 8:46 as a sermon for the current moment and are praising Chappelle’s raw and personal response to the death of George Floyd.
The title 8:46 marks the length of time officer Derek Chauvin held his knee to Floyd’s neck. It’s also the comedian’s exact time of birth, according to his birth certificate, and it’s a tribute to Kobe Bryant: “He died the day I won a Grammy,” Chapelle said. “They had both of his fucking jersey numbers hanging up. 8, 24. Well, that’s my birthday. Crying like a baby.”
Chappelle has remained relatively quiet around the issue of police brutality and Floyd’s murder specifically. As celebrities, including comedians, voice their support for the protests have taken hold across the US, Chapelle’s silence has been interpreted by some as indifference. In the special, Chappelle asks, “why would people care what their favorite comedian thinks after they saw a police officer for eight minutes and 46 seconds?”
He also uses the opportunity to skewer hypocrisy in the entertainment industry. He noted, for example, how the right-wing media told LeBron James to “shut up and dribble” when he spoke out about racism, yet when white athletes like Drew Brees took a political stance against kneeling during the anthem, their message was amplified.
Watch the entire special below and keep scrolling for reactions.