Critics might not have been able to agree on Dave Chappelle’s controversial Netflix special Sticks & Stones, but the audience has spoken.
The comeback series has been bashed as ‘hate speech’ while other viewers have hailed it as one of the best comedy performances of all time.
His latest hour-long set has received a ridiculously rare 0 per cent Rotten Tomatoes rating from five professional critics, placing it alongside box office car crashes like Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 and Simon Sez.
However, the incredibly low rating soon rose to 17 per cent and then 29 per cent on the film rating site on Tuesday, the very same day Rotten Tomatoes revealed Chappelle’s comedy special had received a polarising 99 per cent audience score.
The audience rating is a collective score from at least 3,750 casual reviewers who rushed to the rating site to praise the comedian for covering controversial topics which most comics tend to side step in a bid to avoid modern ‘cancel culture’.
It’s clear from the astronomical contrast between critics and regular viewers that arguably shows a huge cultural divide between the public and the media elites who were previously expected to speak on our behalf.
Fans also loved how Chappelle lambasted both sides of America’s political divide, taking a ‘hysterical’ jibe at the state of the country’s current affairs.
One reviewer wrote:
Dave Chappelle at his finest, brutal, brilliant and above all hilarious.
Nothing is sacred in this, and in that he treats everyone as equal. Simply fantastic.
Rapper Nas also jumped into to praise the comic, writing, ‘No diss to the other greats but… bro the Greatest Today,’ alongside a promo photo from Chappelle’s special.
Fellow rapper T.I. added:
Legend of epic proportions!!
Damn wtf these soft ass politically correct, cant’ take a joke ass critics say… Bro is the BEST I’ve ever seen… FEARLESS!!!
For those who love him and who hate him, everyone can agree the special is vulgar, offensive and extremely graphic, which is exactly why so many people find it hilarious.
During the special, he makes jibes at his fellow comedians Louis CK and Kevin Hart who have both been ‘cancelled’ because of previous scandals – CK for masturbating in front of female comics and Hart for making homophobic jokes on Twitter.
Dave Chappelle’s Sticks & Stones is available to stream on Netflix now – you can make your own mind up.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.