I just listened to the archive of Elvis Mitchell interviewing Dave Chappelle on The Treatment. I think this is the best interview of all the very good interviews I have heard Elvis conduct. Chappelle was surprisingly thoughtful and philosphical about what he does, and the whole thing was just a delight. Elvis’ big insight, which according to Chappelle “blew his mind”, was that much of the comedy on Chappelle’s Show and in his standup is concerned with preservation of dignity. I can definitely see that. I was very surprised to learn that there is no writing staff on the show, just Dave and his co-creator. They get suggestions from other people – including items sent in by the fans – but the two of them write everything. That’s pretty amazing. He said that it’s that way because much of the show is about presentation of a particular point of view, and you just can’t hire people to write from your point of view. It’s fascinating stuff.
For those impatient to get right to it, here is a direct link to the RealAudio archive of this show. I highly recommend listening to it.