Dave Chappelle to Dayton audience: ‘You guys are the secret of my success’

Dave Chappelle made one thing clear during his performance Wednesday night at the Schuster Center. 
He does not want to be confronted about anything he said at the show if you see him at Tom's Market or Kroger.

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And many of the things Chappelle, an internationally know comic who makes his home in the Yellow Springs area, said during the show cannot be printed here because they were anything but PC.

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The laughter-filled benefit for WYSO 91.3 FM marked Chappelle's first major show in Dayton since 2004. Comedian Michelle Wolf opened the show and the rap duo Black Star with Mos Def and Talib Kweli closed the show.

Credit: Maury Phillips

Credit: Maury Phillips

“When I first moved to Ohio, people in show business thought I was crazy,” Chappelle said, adding that his friends get it when they visit him.

He repeated his familiar tagline, “Why not Ohio?” — and celebrated the hometown crowd.

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“You guys are the secret of my success,” he said.

He later added, “I want to make you proud, but if I don’t... womp, womp, womp.”

During a set that lasted about 90 minutes, Chappelle joked with the sign language interpreters and riffed about a series of topics that included the Me Too movement, hierarchies within the LGBT community, school shootings, a woman jumping out of a dumpster in the Oregon District, buying a gun at Kmart, using pennies to buy his way into a school dance, the Michael Jackson sexual abuse allegations and being shamed for not participating in the “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary.

“You guys are my neighbors and friends,” Chappelle said in a setup for a joke about R. Kelly. “I don’t know that (expletives) at all. I’ve never met him (R. Kelly). I don’t  know anything about him that you don’t.”

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Chappelle also joked about the death of Louis C.K.’s career and the Kevin Hart Oscar scandal.

“Kevin Hart is exactly four tweets shy of being perfect,” he said.

Chappelle had a few local jokes as well. During the show’s last leg, he likened being Dayton’s mayor to a prolonged death.

“I can think about a lot of jobs I’d like, but mayor of Dayton...” he said to laughter.

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Neenah Ellis, WYSO general manager, opened the show by voicing support for local residents impacted by the recent tornadoes.

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She also thanked Chappelle for his support of WYSO, a NPR affiliate transitioning into an independent radio station.

“Dave Chappelle knows the importance of local voices,” she said.

The station’s newly formed nonprofit organization took control of WYSO from Antioch College for $3.5 million on April 1 after a fundraising drive led by a donation from Charles Berry, an heir of the Berry family that founded the Yellow Pages.

The Yellow Springs-based nonprofit is still awaiting final approval from the Federal Communications Commission for the license transfer.

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