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Chappelle fans shouldn't miss this DVD

Dave Chappelle
By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

Dave Chappelle and a mock-umentary are featured in this week's DVD column.

Inside the Actor's Studio: Dave Chappelle

Chappelle's Show Season One: Uncensored

Paramount Home Entertainment has recently re-released one of the highest selling television series on DVD: season one of "Chappelle's Show," and Shout Factory has issued a stand-alone disc in its "Inside the Actor's Studio" collection that features the Chappelle interview on that television show in February 2006.

In a recent column, I admitted my ambivalence with the often-fawning interview style of "Studio's" James Lipton. The show's success does not rest with Lipton and his pile of blue question cards, but rather the interest of the interview subject with participating in the process.

Chappelle was clearly interested in the interview and was a funny guest who spoke seriously on a number of subjects.

Chappelle's public image as a hip comic with a street attitude clashes somewhat with a guy who is a fan of the series, but it turns out Chappelle wanted to use the show as his forum to discuss not only his career, but his decision to walk away from his highly successful show in 2005.

It might be difficult for someone to initially understand why a performer would turn down a $50 million payday, but Chappelle explained without sensationalism why it was important for his own mental health to walk away from his acclaimed show.

Generally, Lipton does a good job guiding Chappelle through the conversation, although Chappelle clearly needs little guidance. I do admit fast-forwarding through Lipton dancing on stage and the little improv Lipton initiated is also a bit hard to take.

Chappelle also opted to go much more in depth with this interview than other performers as it runs for nearly two hours.

Chappelle fans that miss seeing the show will not want to miss watching this DVD.

The re-release of "Chappelle's Show" offers nothing new that I could discover from the first release. At his best, Chappelle is one of the funniest comics performing today, but at times on his show he gives in to some pretty low scatological humor.

Included in this set are some of his best sketches including the training film for copy shop employees and how to torture their clients, and the amazingly edgy look at the nation's most vehement Klan member who is blind and doesn't realize that he is black.

For more information on "Inside the Actor's Studio: Dave Chappelle," log onto For "Chappelle's Show Season One: Uncensored," go to

The Festival

I frequently watch IFC and caught parts of "The Festival," and it looked quite intriguing: a comic mock-umentary on a film festival in a small ski tourist town.

Since I had the privilege of attending the Sundance Film festival in 2004 and saw much of the madness that typifies that festival pretentious people who care only about being seen, attending parties and getting goodie bags rather than actually viewing films I was eager to watch "The Festival" in its entirety.

I must admit some deep disappointment. What played out fine in little chunks while channel surfing proved to be tedious as a whole. Nicolas Wright stars as fledging director Rufus Marquez who has made the trip to Sutton, Vt., with the sole print of his feature "The Unreasonable Truth of Butterflies." He hopes to find a distributor for the art house film, but instead discovers that everything that could go wrong does.

The problem with the comedy is that Rufus is a jerk in fact almost every character in the film is unappealing. No one really is sympathetic enough to care about.

It's a shame. Someone needs to send up the excesses of Sundance. It's a target well worth hitting.

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