Dave Chappelle Is Back! Here Are 10 Ways the World Has Changed Since He Left

Dave Chappelle Is Back! Here Are 10 Ways the World Has Changed Since He Left

It's about time the comedian returned to the stage.

By Tamara Palmer

Dave Chappelle hasn't released a comedy special in more than 12 years, but he's making up for it by giving you a double feature for some Netflix and chilling. He's dropped not one but two self-financed films on Netflix: Dave Chappelle: The Age of Spin and Dave Chappelle: Deep in the Heart of Texas. And there are rumblings of a third special to come.

Dave has largely kept his storytelling skills sharp over the years via frequent (and sometimes secret) hours-long appearances at clubs around the country (especially in the San Francisco Bay Area), so we know he'll be on point in these specials. But let's not forget that a whole lot has happened in the world since he walked away from his hugely popular television show:

1. Pluto Got Kicked Out of the Planet Club

The International Astronomical Union told Pluto to pack its planetary bags and go in 2006; it's now considered a "dwarf planet" and doesn't meet the criteria that the organization introduced that year to define planets. Not even Negrodamus, the infamous Chappelle's Show mystic played by Paul Mooney, saw that coming.

2. Animals Have Gone Extinct

The last decade has not been kind to the Western black rhino, the Japanese river otter, or the Formosan clouded leopard, all of which have been declared extinct in the last decade. None of them were Racist Hollywood Animals, as were famously parodied on Chappelle's Show.

3. iPhones Were Born...

The first one was released in 2007. Can you believe they've only been around for 10 years?

4. ...As Were Instagram and Snapchat

Facebook started while Dave was still on TV, but very few people not named Zuckerberg or Winkelvoss were using it at the time. Social media was barely a thing back in the day; if it was, his post-show retreat to South Africa would have been seen in a much more real light. "The worst thing people can call someone is 'crazy,'" he told James Lipton on a memorable Inside The Actor's Studio. "It's dismissive."

5. There's an App for Couchsurfing (Also, There Are Apps)

With the advent of iPhones and social media also came the dawn of apps. A generation after Rick James disrespected Charlie Murphy's couch in a still oft-quoted Chappelle's Show sketch, you can find a couch anywhere in the world from the palm of your hand.

6. Saturday Morning Cartoons Went Away

Kids who grew up prior to 2014 knew and enjoyed the ritual of cartoons airing on network TV every Saturday morning, basically forcing little ones to become young adults before their time. Then again, Dave told MTV that he's only held one job (which is comedian), but that he started when he was just 14, so he knows something about growing up early.

7. A Tribe Called Quest Dropped an Album

Chappelle's Show was legendary not only for comedy but for its musical performances. One of his favorite groups, A Tribe Called Quest, sadly lost one of their key members when Phife Dawg passed away in 2016, but they still released a stunning surprise final album before the year was over. Their anthem "We The People" can be heard in the trailer for Dave's new specials.

8. Prince Left Us Too Soon

One of Dave's most memorable characters is his basketball-loving version of Prince, who was so beloved by the man himself that he used him for the cover art of his single "Breakfast Can Wait." Now that Prince has left us, Dave is one of the only people who can provide comfort for the enduring loss.

9. Cannabis Came Out of the Closet

Dave's been a public fan of the covert wacky tobacky since his stoner comedy Half Baked dropped in 1998, but eight states have voted to make cannabis legal to smoke without a doctor's note since he left television. His smoking onstage now is no biggie, so much so that he comes out in a cloud of smoke that's waiting behind a giant curtain of a silhouette of him puffing up.

10. We've Seen a Few Changes in Politics

But it all gives Dave's famously incisive wit more fodder for the stage, right? Get ready!

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