Canadian university to offer course on controversial comedian Dave Chappelle
Canada is getting a one-of-a-kind university course on controversial comedian Dave Chappelle.
On a recent podcast episode of Jibber with Jaber, Concordia University professor Yassin “Narcy” Alsalman announced that he would be teaching the course this fall.
“I’m writing my syllabus right now,” he told host Ahmad Jaber. “It’s from what Dave gave me and the community around him gave me. I’m going to kind of celebrate that at the 50th anniversary of hip hop as a community.”
Instead of academic readings, the Canadian rapper says students will get to watch Chappelle’s Show, the sketch comedy series that ran from 2003 to 2006, and the comedian’s numerous Netflix specials.
He added that the course will include specific classes on key figures in hip hop like Erykah Badu, Black Star, and Soulquarians to explore the “responsibility of comedy and music” and the “consumption of Black performance.”
The professor even hinted at a possible appearance from the comedian himself.
“I’m going to celebrate Dave and the community around him, and the work that he’s done for us as a generation,” he said. “How many classes in university watch the Chappelle Show? I think that’s like the coolest sh*t ever.”
In the last couple of years, the American comedian has been embroiled in controversy.
Dave Chappelle has been criticized for making transphobic jokes in his Netflix specials The Closer and Sticks and Stones. He even managed to throw in another jab at transgender people after he was tackled on stage at an LA show by an armed attendee last year.
The celebrity also received backlash last year for a Saturday Night Live monologue that some called antisemitic.
Daily Hive has reached out to Concordia University and Alsalman asking if the course will address these controversies. They have yet to reply to our questions.
“I think a lot of [Chappelle’s] persona has been convoluted,” said Alsalman during the podcast. “He’s a comedian. Knowing him is not how people have painted him out to be. He’s made fun of Black people, he’s made fun of white people, he’s made fun of Muslims.”
Jaber chimed in saying that comedians “should have a free pass” to say whatever they want, but those in the trans community disagree, sharing how Chappelle’s words could incite real-world harm.
This isn’t the first time Alsalman has taught a course on big names in hip-hop culture. He has previously had classes covering rappers Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar.