As Dave Chappelle gets ready for his upcoming Netflix specials on March 21 (Viewing party in Atlanta); he took a minute to speak with The New York Times to let them know what he’s been up to. If you can recall last year when singer Prince passed; Dave was relatively speechless when asked about it by TMZ. Now in his talk with New York Times he was able to express how he felt on the passing of one of the biggest stars he’s parodied and got to know.
NYT: You famously parodied Prince on your TV show. How did you react when you learned of his passing?
It’s a hard thing to talk about. I looked up to him like everybody did. I didn’t know him that well, but the times that we hung out were fun and very memorable and often funny. He was very generous with his advice, and he was very generous with his access. He let me see some of his process. He fostered a community among artists. He used to have these parties where we would go over to his house, and there would be all these musicians that I admired, and they’d just do these jam sessions in the basement. Everybody at the party was playing something. I think when he died there was the icon dying, but then there was this pillar in the community of people dying.
Shortly following his reflection on Prince’s passing, Dave then got a moment to speak about the controversy surrounding Bill Cosby. Though he didn’t dismiss Cosby’s alleged victims, he did admit taking it really hard.
NYT: As someone who idolized Bill Cosby as a child, it’s surprising you dedicate so much time in both specials to the rape allegations against him.
The Bill Cosby thing was tough for me. I’m not saying that to detract from his alleged victims at all. But he was a hero of mine.
NYT: Is there a mourning process involved?
So many bad things happened to our heroes: Muhammad Ali had Parkinson’s; Richard Pryor had M.S.; Prince died too young. And Bill just looked like one of the guys who was going to get to the finish line and just die of old age. And this happened. Jesus Christ. It’s awful.
Chappelle makes his return with Netflix on March 21st. (Viewing party in Atlanta)
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