“Good Times” icon Jimmie Walker has a few thoughts on Dave Chapelle’s new comedy special. He thinks the backlash Chapelle is facing for scorning cancel culture is part and parcel of the same phenomenon keeping comedy gold like “M*A*S*H” and “The Jeffersons” from hitting the airwaves today. And Walker, a lifelong stand-up comedian, knows a thing or two about humor.
Over the past few years and a handful of Netflix comedy specials, stand-up Hall of Famer Dave Chappelle has become one of the last bastions for “offensive” comedy in popular culture. He is beloved by many, and a combination of goodwill and stubbornness has gone a long way in keeping him from being wholly “canceled.”
Mostly, Chappelle is just funny. He’s funny like Jimmie Walker was on “Good Times,” like Alda on “M*A*S*H,” and O’Connor on “All in the Family.” The medium is different, but they all had a willingness to poke fun at any and everyone.
The way Jimmie Walker sees it, that type of approach isn’t flying today. He talked about how he views the future of comedy in the United States.
“I think we’re at a point that you can’t make jokes about certain things. It’s going to change the whole face of comedy. I’ve said it onstage but you’ll never see another ‘M*A*S*H,’ you’ll never see another ‘Jeffersons,’ you’ll never see another ‘All in the Family.’ Those days are over, ladies and gentlemen, so I guess we’ll have to change up,” said Walker, per Fox News.
Jimmie Walker’s comments are timely. There have been calls from groups within the LGBTQ+ community for Netflix to take Chappelle’s special, “The Closer,” down. Some have cited transphobic and homophobic jokes, calling them offensive and dangerous to the community.
Jimmie Walker Approves of What Dave Chappelle Is Doing for Comedy
Say what you will about Dave Chappelle; the man isn’t in it for the money. Well, he isn’t in it for the money alone. He famously walked away from his own Comedy Central show in the early 2000s, leaving tens of millions on the table.
He was greatly missed in his absence. So much so that Netflix offered him a $60 million deal for three comedy specials in 2017, per Business Insider. A few years and stand-up specials later, the comedian has delivered on the deal. Though not without his share of controversy. Jimmie Walker commended the man for doing what he’s done in the face of cancel culture.
“Chappelle is lucky he’s in a great position. I wish him the best of luck. He’s obviously very talented, he’s made a lot of money and that’s going to help him tremendously. That’ll help him get past the cancel culture,” Walker said. “I’m happy that he’s doing what he’s doing in terms of continuing on. That’s what I’ll say about that.”