The primary goal of those truly astute comedians who center their acts around observations on on race and racism is to extract some degree of deeper understanding from their audiences. For them, there is no greater offense than crowd ambivalence. The disappointment in audiences’ failings is the reason Dave Chappelle divorced a fifty million dollar contract and fled to Africa to save his sanity. It’s the reason Chris Rock’s early stand-up routines were philosophically based in a contemptuous rage for the world and many of the people sitting before him. And it’s the same reason Das Racist (composed of three well-educated men of color) allow themselves to fall into lackadaisical stage performances at shows where, it’s important to add, the audience is typically composed of white, college-aged males who are all too eager to repeatedly chant the chorus to “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” but not consider why the song is so devastatingly funny. If Das Racist concerts were frequented in the majority by folks of color, it’s certain you would see an entirely different display of the trio’s very substantial rap skills rather than the lampooning they derive from the attendant status quo.
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