Dave Chappelle was the voice of America after the 2016 election when he hosted Saturday Night Live, and he's returned to our screens in the midst of the Black Lives Matter revolution to lament the ways racism has embedded itself into our society, but also share his trust in the activists taking to the streets to make permanent change — with a side of absolutely eviscerating conservative commentator Candace Owens. His surprise new Netflix special, available on YouTube, follows his three other specials on the platform.
8:46 was filmed just one week ago, with the world still in the throes of the coronavirus pandemic, but a crowd of masked fans still gathered (from a distance) to hear the comic speak out on George Floyd's death. It's not comedy, per se, but honesty. Moments of levity are interjected between powerful emotions, particularly when Chappelle highlights the inconceivable and inexcusable amount of time Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck — eight minutes and 46 seconds — resulting in his death. It's also the time of day Chappelle was born: 8:46 a.m. But the comedian says this movement isn't about him.
"Answer me: Do you want to see a celebrity right now?" he asks in the video. "Do we give a fuck what Ja Rule thinks? Does it matter about celebrity? No. This is the streets talking for themselves."
However, he does use his platform to call out other celebrities, particularly Owens, who hosts The Candace Owens Show on PragerU's YouTube channel.
“I seen Candace Owens try to convince white America, ‘Don’t worry about it. [George Floyd]’s a criminal anyway,'" he says. "I don’t give a fuck what this n— did. I don’t care what this n— did. I don’t care if he personally kicked Candace Owens in her stanky pussy. I don’t know if it stanks, but I imagine it does. If I ever find out, I’ll let you know for sure. I’ll tell like Azealia Banks. I’ll tell.”
The special echos Chappelle's previous comments on Black Lives Matter, a fact that in itself shows how necessary it is that this uprising sticks.
"Why do we have to say that Black lives matter?" he asked on SNL in November 2016, adding, "I guess it’s kind of catchy because everyone else is biting it. Even the police is biting it: Blue lives matter. What, was you born a police? That is not a blue life. That’s a blue suit. If you don’t like it, take that blue suit off, find a new job, ’cause I’m going to tell you right now, if I could quit being Black today, I’d be out of the game."
Watch 8:46 below.