The recent recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for Humor and legendary comedian, Dave Chappelle, has made his long-awaited debut in Manila this past January 14. In town for a two-night comedy event at Solaire’s “The Theatre,” attendees were treated to an epic night of laughter.
The show began with DJ Trauma hyping up the crowd by playing a few songs and then introducing the opening acts. Michelle Wolf, known for being the featured performer of the 2018 White House Correspondents’ Dinner and her Netflix talk show “The Break with Michelle Wolf.” Her brand of observational humor got the crowd going. The second comic to come out was Mo Amer, known for his well-received Netflix special “Mo Amer: The Vagabond.” Mo’s storytelling captivated the crowd as he tells of his journeys around the world as a comic.
A note about the show’s use of “Yondr” pouches:
The show was billed as a “phone-free experience,” which means your phones are locked in pouches. I can see how this can be viewed as an inconvenience, but I think this implementation enhanced the show. The audience was responsive to the performers instead of being distracted by their phones.
The standing crowd was ecstatic when Chappelle finally took to the stage. Seeing Dave LIVE in the Philippines felt surreal, his performance is every bit as entertaining as you may have expected it to be. His crowd work was second-to-none, and his unfettered wit was on full display. It was amazing to hear his attempt at a Filipino accent as well as his iconic “White Guy” voice. His honesty as a comedian shines through as he effortlessly and hilariously weaves through complicated and controversial issues in a way that only he can pull off.
The crowd was definitely a “Dave Chappelle Crowd.” They got all the jokes and references, they know and appreciate his style. The crowd showed their support for Dave through genuine laughter, and we can only hope that he felt it enough to come back for a second special in the future.