Dave Chappelle was obviously insecure about his fame even before jetting to Africa in a bizarre meltdown that is still, for the most part, unexplained. The initial sketches for the purported third season play directly to his fame, his ginormous $50 million payout and the reaction from not only his fans but random people at the carwash, the barbershop and the IRS. Later, he plays to his desire for getting revenge on those who have wronged him in the past. Thus begins the first episode of the swan song for “Chappelle’s Show — The Lost Episodes,” a three-episode DVD collection of the sketches Chappelle and crew did prior to skipping town.
The first episode is definitely hit or miss but the second is the gem of the three, with an awesome play off former presidential candidate Howard Dean’s primal scream, race relations with pixies (yes, you read that right) that rivals the race draft and “I Know Black People” game from previous seasons and an interesting chat with the audience about race relations in general and its place in comedy.
While seeing television shows on DVD is always better than watching it live because of the lack of commercials, the three episodes are also uncensored, meaning you get to hear the sketches as they were meant to be, without all those nasty FCC standards and such. Plus the video quality is so much better in digital.
The cool thing about the previous installments of “Chappelle’s Show” was the vast amount of special features included on the DVD sets. For only a three-episode DVD, this is no different, with three alternate audio track commentaries by Charlie Murphy, Donnell Rawlings and co-creator of the show Neal Brennan, which, while not nearly as funny as Chappelle’s commentaries, are still amusing and one of the best aspects to the DVD.
Other special features include six never-before-seen sketches, a handful of deleted scenes from “The Lost Episodes,” a making of the don’t-call-it-a-third season featurette and some bloopers. But, again, by far the reason to check this DVD out is for the audio commentaries and to finalize your collection of one of the greatest, albeit short-lived, sketch comedy shows ever.
Other DVDs out now:
» Beastie Boys fans, listen up — the band’s first concert DVD is now out in one of the coolest discs you will see in a long time. At the Oct. 9, 2004, Madison Square Garden performance, the Beasties handed out 50 cameras to the audience. “Awesome: I … Shot That!” is the footage from those cameras from the eyes of 50 different perspectives, angles, views and more all spliced together to form one hell of a concert. The DVD includes some great special features such as full length alternate camera angles, you can listen to just the vocals on one audio track, special in film featurettes, Beastie Boys audio commentary, and much more. Price: $29.95. Rent or buy: Buy!
» Continuing a line of good-looking films from the 1930s, “Ask The Dust” succeeds in telling a tale of immigrant life in the midst of The Depression and of a passionate, troubled
romance threatened by ambition and the desire to break the mold of ethnicity. Not much on the DVD besides the film, so it’s a rental at best. Price: $29.99. Rent or buy: Rent.
» Also, “Tales From the Crypt: The Complete Fourth Season,” “The Prisoner: The Complete Series,” “Rawhide: The Complete First Season,” “Will Rogers Collection: Volume One,” “Secrets of the Koran,” “God or the Girl,” “Animaniacs: Volume 1,” “Pinky and the Brain: Volume 1,” “Ladybugs,” “Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story,” “The Shirley Temple Collection: Volume 4,” “Punky Brewster: The Complete Third Season” and “Covert One: The Hades Factor.”