Smartphones have revolutionized the world, but is that a good thing? Veteran comedian Dave Chappelle thinks otherwise.
The thiry-year pro who is best known for his Comedy Central program Chappelle’s Show, various stand-up specials including Netflix and Def Comedy Jam projects and a plethora of films, spoke to Sway about the disconnect he’s noticed in audiences’ behaviour over the years and doesn’t think it’s going to get any better.
“Jesus Christ I mean the world is a totally different place and as the phones get bigger, we all get dumber,” said Chappelle. “I haven’t read a book in years, yet I consume itty-bitty h’orderves of information all day, every day. Every few minutes I know what Trump’s doing – I fucking hate this world like this, it’s just too much information.”
The comedy legend feels audiences cannot fully appreciate the art in front of them, since they’re usually too involved with their devices. This stops them from being able to pay attention (which is why he’s implemented a policy for his shows where fans have their smartphones locked away for the duration of the show). However, he feels a genre like stand-up comedy doesn’t work well with technology as it’s a form of entertainment that requires undivided attention; a callback to entertainment’s heyday.
“I think that everybody is so disconnected or buried in their phones that one of the reasons comedy is [the] top genre is because of how we engage the audience,” he said. “It’s a very confrontational art form, you know, it’s all up in your face. You gotta listen, you gotta look, you know, you have an actual rapport – it feels nice to be in a comedy club and feel something.”
The full interview can be viewed below (it’s broken up into two parts) and throughout, Chappelle is joined by fellow comedian and comrade Donnell Rawlings where they discuss everything from Chappelle’s walking away from Comedy Central and his feelings toward Key & Peele to new comedians and his favourite MCs.