Dave Chappelle

#1647 Dave Chappelle | The Joe Rogan Experience

Check out The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast Page

Key Takeaways

  • “No matter what happens to you, you gotta keep going, and bitterness is quite cumbersome” Dave Chappelle
  • “If you look at life through the framework of money you’ll miss most of the picture” Dave Chappelle
  • Attacking people on the internet has become a recreational activity
    • You always have the choice to not read comments or news articles attacking you
    • Dave looks at this like food: be careful about what you put in your mind
  • “If anything bad ever happens, comedians are who we want to be with” Dave Chappelle
    • “There’s some subtext of comedy that everything’s going to be ok” Dave Chappelle
  • “As I get older, I’m overwhelmed by how human we all are. It really makes me like people more and forgive people more” Dave Chappelle
  • “Being able to do what you enjoy doing, that’s the real success of life” Joe Rogan
    • Now Joe’s interests all support each other
    • The interesting conversations in the podcast feed into his comedy
    • Taking care of his body helps his mind and mood, leading to better conversations
  • When you fight a great fighter, even if you lose the match, you learn something valuable
    • Greatness is also being able to bounce back and learn from your losses
  • “Anytime I can be a witness to greatness, I should see it” Dave Chappelle
  • Children don’t only increase the amount of love in your life, they increase your capacity to love

Intro

  • Dave Chappelle is a comedian, actor, writer, and producer. He is the recipient of multiple honors, among which the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, and several Grammy Awards
  • Host: Joe Rogan (@joerogan)
  • In this chat, Dave and Joe cover a wide range of topics, including comedy, how the internet is changing the world, Elon Musk, and a lot more

Beating the System

  • Dave Chappelle is the first artist to beat “the system”
    • First, he was demoted by it
    • When Dave walked away from the Dave Chapelle Show he thought his career was over
    • Recently he received millions of dollars and the rights to his show from Comedy Central
  • Dave says he was never angry or bitter about it
    • “No matter what happens to you, you gotta keep going, and bitterness is quite cumbersome” Dave Chappelle
    • Holding grudges never helps, you gotta be able to let it go
  • “If you look at life through the framework of money you’ll miss most of the picture” Dave Chappelle
  • After walking away from the Dave Chapelle Show, he started enjoying doing comedy a lot more
    • He could actually see the places he traveled to, meet people there, etc…
    • “I know I don’t get to stay here forever, my time is limited and precious, and I don’t take any of these things for granted” Dave Chappelle

First-Hand Experiences and Cultivating Memories

  • Dave embraced the philosophy that his memories are some of the most valuable things he has
    • No one can take them away from you
    • Remembering something is neurologically very similar to experiencing it
  • You can then pursue experiences that you want to keep in your memory
  • We think of interesting experiences as recreational, but they are really valuable, especially for comedians
    • Experiencing things first-hand allows you to learn things for yourself, not from books or other people

How The Internet is Changing the Game

  • Fans supporting Dave through social media were critical to helping him deal with Comedy Central
  • The internet introduced a lot more accountability
    • “Nobody can fuck up anymore” Dave Chappelle
    • There’s a website where waitresses talk about how celebrities tipped them
  • If you talk to enough people, you’ll inevitably have disagreements and someone can paint you as a bad person
    • That’s why Dave doesn’t do interviews
  • Attacking people on the internet has become a recreational activity
    • You always have the choice to not read comments or news articles attacking you
    • Dave looks at this like food: be careful about what you put in your mind
    • In the same way, Joe thinks people shouldn’t listen to his podcast if it outrages them
  • There are many problems in the world to get upset about, but they are complicated, require research, etc…
  • Gandhi was even accused of racism for some of his writing as a lawyer in South Africa
    • The accusers missed the context, that the South African legal system was racist
    • Gandhi’s legacy was fighting against white supremacy

Geography as a Lifehack

  • Joe is really enjoying living in Austin
    • The vibe is more relaxed, and people are way nicer than in L.A.
  • When a city is too big, people lose their values, they start seeing others as annoying
    • In L.A. everyone is trying to be famous, social status is the primary currency
  • That’s the same reason why Dave moved to Ohio
    • “I didn’t know how to untether the rest of my life from those interests and geography to me was the quickest life hack” Dave Chappelle

Fighting, Mental Strenght, and Knocking People Out

  • In fighting, to some extent, you can train tenacity and mental strength
    • But some people are born ferocious
  • Joe used to try to always knock his opponents out
    • Knocking people out is shocking and never feels good
    • After he knocked his opponent unconscious for half an hour, Joe lost his enthusiasm for fighting
  • “Beating somebody up that you’re not angry at is wild to think about” Dave Chappelle

Human Fragility, Emotional Pain

  • Seeing so much violence and fighting de-sensitized Joe from seeing injuries
  • Humans are very fragile, easy to hurt
    • Not just physically, also emotionally
  • It’d be interesting to see how much people are emotionally wounded from online interactions
    • Online you don’t get any cues that you’d normally get from an interaction
    • You don’t see the other person cry if you hurt them, you don’t feel their pain
  • Comedians tend to have a high awareness of how they make other people feel
    • Sometimes they appear callous for going after people
    • Dave sees that as a small sacrifice to bring joy to the rest of the world
    • “Comedy without victims can be boring” Joe Rogan

Doing What You Like, Cultivating Multiple Interests

  • Joe always cultivated multiple interests at a time
    • When he started doing comedy, he was also into fighting
  • He had the courage to follow his interests even if people thought he was crazy
    • He didn’t even get paid when he started doing MMA commentary
    • Many people thought he was wasting time when he started the podcast
  • “Being able to do what you enjoy doing, that’s the real success of life” Joe Rogan
    • Joe didn’t enjoy doing Fear Factor much
    • But it gave him enough money that he could relax and just do what he enjoyed 
  • Now his interests all support each other
    • The interesting conversations in the podcast feed into his comedy
    • Taking care of his body helps his mind and mood, leading to better conversations

The Power of Comedy

  • Dave’s really grateful for what comedy did in his life
    • “If anything bad ever happens, comedians are who we want to be with” Dave Chappelle
    • Comedians especially need to be around other comedians
  • “There’s some subtext of comedy that everything’s going to be ok” Dave Chappelle

How Comedy is Changing

  • It is easier and faster to get famous today thanks to the internet
  • Dave thinks that the refinement and grind process that comedians of his generations had to go through was really valuable
  • COVID created the conditions for innovation in comedy
    • Andrew Schulz created a new format for his funny online videos
    • Punchlines one after the other, complemented with images and visuals

Hope for Humanity

  • Even though there are many problems today, the world is getting better and safer
    • Human beings have always done better than the previous generations
    • Steven Pinker’s work analyzes these trends in detail
  • There’s less violence than ever before, we just see more of it because of the internet
    • The positive trends  are likely to continue

Greatness, and Learning from Losses

  • “Anytime I can be a witness to greatness, I should see it” Dave Chappelle
    • That’s why Dave went to watch fights with Mayweather, Pacquiao, and other great fighters
  • When you fight a great fighter, even if you lose the match, you learn something valuable
    • Greatness is also being able to bounce back and learn from your losses
    • But there are some defeats that you’re never able to bounce back from
      • Meldrick Taylor never came back from his defeat with Julio Chavez

No One Can Be Woke Enough

  • Despite all the progress Elon Musk is creating for humanity, he is continuously attacked
    • Most recently for sharing his perspectives on COVID
  • People want others to have their exact same ideology
    • If you deviate in any way from their view, they will attack you
    • An article accused Elon Musk of being cheap after having donated $150M
  • It’s good to be a warrior for a good cause, but you should pick your tactic wisely
    • “You’re not going to nag people into behaving” Dave Chappelle
    • Even if you’re right, if you just nag, no one will want to hear you

Thoughts on Politics

  • “In the perfect world, the best idea wins” Dave Chappelle
    • In the current situation, people don’t even agree on what’s the truth
  • The language we use is too binary
    • Either you’re a democrat or a republican
  • Dave’s “Kindness Conspiracy”
    • If we foster kindness and trust among our people, it will matter less what politicians say because we can rely on our society’s cohesiveness
    • If we keep politicizing every issue, things will become increasingly difficult
  • We’re too quick to discard other people just because they’re in a different camp

Drug Addiction

  • Dave started getting in shape after some articles alluded that he really smoked crack
    • Him being so skinny fostered that view
  • If you want to screw up your life, smoking crack is the thing
  • Dr. Carl Heart, a Columbia professor, and psychologist found in his research that our views on drugs are really distorted
    • He talks about often doing hard drugs like heroin and getting benefits from them
  • “This is the most clever drug addict I’ve ever heard of:  “I’m not sick, I’m documenting sickness” Dave Chappelle
  • “I’ve known so many wonderful people whom I’ll never know in the same way again, because of drugs” Dave Chappelle

Doing Good, Difference Between Celebrity and Fame

  • In the past, celebrities used to be expected to always be happy, now things are changing
    • “As I get older, I’m overwhelmed by how human we all are. It really makes me like people more and forgive people more” Dave Chappelle
  • Today Dave wants to create something meaningful with his life
    • There are so many ways you can be of help to other people
    • “Investing celebrity to get more celebrity is a treadmill I don’t feel interested in running on” Dave Chappelle
  • Difference between celebrity and fame
    • Celebrity is the role you play
      • Your life is about your public image
    • Fame is a circumstance you have, is not who you are

On Having Kids

  • Not wanting to have kids is a very popular idea today
    • “If you think you’re a good person, please have a kid, put all your good ideas in that kid so that the world will be better” Dave Chappelle
  • Children don’t only increase the amount of love in your life, they increase your capacity to love
    • Many people talk about Joe before he had his children and after it as two different people
    • He became a lot nicer after having kids

Additional Notes

  • With success comes a lot of scrutiny, anxiety, pressure
    • Joe’s impressed by Dave’s ability to handle his success
    • He never became an asshole
  • It’s impossible not to like Kevin Hart
    • “It’s like hanging out with a self-help book, he just makes you feel good” Dave Chappelle
    • He’s a great example of how good people can do well in society
      • Usually, success is associated with ruthlessness
  • “Half the people on Earth live on a dollar a day, and at least half of them are happy, I know 20 billionaires and all of them are miserable” Dave Chappelle’s friend
    • Money can give you a certain amount of freedom
    • But it also comes with so much pressure and scrutiny
  • Dave started recording episodes for a new podcast with Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey (Mos Def)
  • Dave is also planning to open a small (120 seats) comedy club for comedians to experiment
    • He was inspired by the alternative comedy scene in the 1990s
    • The crowd in that scene wanted comedians to take a chance, not necessarily to land perfect jokes
  • Eddie Murphy talked about being embarrassed by his old shows
    • Whatever he said back then, he did because it worked
    • That’s where society was at that time
    • Comedy is a good indicator of the context of a society at a given time
  • “Most people live a life of silent desperation” Henry David Thoreau
Joe Rogan Experience : , ,
Notes By Giorgio Parlato

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