That’s one reaaaaaaaaaaaaaal cryptic anecdote at the end of Dave Chappelle’s new Netflix special The Bird Revelation. Basically, he recounts a story from the classic book Pimp, by Iceberg Slim—and then ends the special by saying that the deeper meaning behind that story was why he suddenly quit his show in the mid-2000’s and went to Africa.
I’ll tell the gist of the anecdote after the jump, because it has a twist ending.
And so the story features a pimp whose prostitute is about to leave him. He devises a scheme to fake the death of a john—to pretend that the prostitute had accidentally killed the john, and is in danger of going to jail for murder. Then the pimp steps in like a White Knight in shining armor and says, “I’ll clean up this murder for you, and get you off the hook.” And she is now extremely grateful & willing to stay with him and work 10x as hard—even though she was completely played by the pimp and this false situation he created.
Chappelle says 1) that this anecdote is a metaphor for modern capitalism at its most basic level, and 2) it has a deeper meaning which explains why he left Hollywood and the United States.
And it felt so cryptic at the end of that story & that show that it honestly took me several minutes of just like “silence” and thought to ponder what he was trying to say. It felt like the story Tommy Lee Jones told at the end of No Country For Old Men.
Then the meaning sort of “hit” me and I got really creeped out (no, it’s not about the clone rumor, though I can totally bet some hardcore Clone-Conspiracy theorists are going to read it that way) & I kind of regretted I had seen this on New Year’s Eve because now it sort of set the “tone” of the day for me…
…and now literally as I type this I’m suddenly told that Pamela Anderson is dating Julian Assange. I don’t know why this is further creeping me out to this extent (and feels strangely compatible with Chappelle’s Iceberg Slim story), but…
Anyway, both The Bird Revelation and another standup special, Equanimity, dropped today—New Year’s Eve—on Netflix; I devoured both by noon.
More to read about on Butterfly Language:
The One With Dave Chappelle’s Clone
2 Real Man
What If They Solved A Conspiracy But Nobody Cared?