Dave Chappelle looks set to return to Netflix later this month, with the streamer teasing a new release from the hot-button funnyman that’s coming on Dec. 31. A post to Netflix’s Facebook account on Wednesday didn’t include any other details, other than a snippet of Chappelle’s voice, an image that appeared to be a logo in the shape of a “C,” and the announcement that “Dave is back.”
To be sure, his return to the streamer isn’t too much of a surprise. At least one of his audiences already had an inkling that this was coming, following his standup routine at Minnesota’s Xcel Energy Center earlier this fall. Before he came out on stage, the familiar Netflix “tu-dum” sound was audible. Moreover, Netflix chairman Reed Hastings said back in 2022 that the company would keep ordering specials from Chappelle, whose 2021 special The Closer was so controversial that a civil rights group called for it to be taken down.
Chappelle has most recently been touring the country as part of this fall’s Dave Chappelle Live comedy tour.
As of this writing, despite the post on Netflix’s official Facebook page pointing to a Dec. 31 release, Chappelle’s upcoming special is not included on Netflix’s lineup of December releases (which it just unveiled this week). In the caption for that Facebook post, Netflix simply notes that: “Dave Chappelle’s latest comedy special will launch globally on Netflix, December 31st.”
As for his most recent Netflix special, it was his sixth following a string of projects that included: The Age Of Spin, Deep In The Heart Of Texas, Equanimity, The Bird Revelation, and Sticks & Stones. The Closer, which was released in October 2021, was arguably the most controversial and drew fire for what some critics called transphobic jokes. So much so, that David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, released an angry statement in response that blasted the streaming giant for airing Chappelle’s “lazy and hostile transphobia and homophobia.”
2021 was on track at that point, that statement continues, “to be the deadliest year on record for transgender people in the United States … Netflix should immediately pull The Closer from its platform and directly apologize to the transgender community.”