Closed as old news – NV Jan. 9, 2020
The great American writer Mark Twain once said, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”
I can’t think of any comedian who has embodied this more than Dave Chapelle, this year’s winner of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
Chappelle was awarded the prize in October, but his acceptance speech, which doubled as a comedic set, just aired on PBS on Jan. 7.
What a treat to be made privy to Chappelle’s brief acceptance speech, which demonstrated just how and why he came to earn such an award: He was poignant, hilarious, and of course, politically incorrect.
Chappelle shows courage that Twain would unabashedly applaud. Rather than accept the award sheepishly, Chappelle took the opportunity on stage to defend his genre, and to explain how important stand-up comedy is to America as an art form.
“There’s something so true about this genre, when done correctly, that I will fight anybody that gets in a true practitioner of this art form’s way,” Chappelle said. “Cause I know you’re wrong. This is the truth, and you are obstructing it. I’m not talking about the content; I’m talking about the art form.”