It was recently announced that Dave Chappelle’s 8:46 special was the top video of 2020 on YouTube, and it was one of the many events where he was the main attraction. The 27-minute presentation was a mixture of reflection and comedy as he discussed police brutality, family, and figures such as Candace Owens.
While it has nearly 30 million views on the platform, Chappelle also drew in scores of viewers when he was on Saturday Night Live in November. He was also a guest on David Letterman’s Netflix series, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, reminding fans that he’s a comedian who’s engaged, observant, and outspoken when it comes to social issues.
Ever the artist and benefactor, behind the scenes, Chappelle is cooking up something else for the community.
Dave Chappelle to open a comedy club
This past year, Chappelle held a series of outdoor stand-up events in his Ohio hometown to provide entertainment during the pandemic. It’s where he filmed his 8:46 special in June and another event in August.
Though he recently cancelled plans to host more outings, he is moving forward with another project in the Dayton/Yellow Springs area.
Days before the Christmas holiday, Chappelle finalized the purchase of an old fire station in the town, according to Dayton Daily News. He intends to convert the building into a comedy club and went through an arduous process to purchase it.
Per the outlet, six parties expressed interest in buying the property and were required to submit proposals detailing how they would use the old fire house and bring “cultural vitality” to the region. Several bidders were frontrunners, but Chappelle came out on top.
One of the development board members expressed Chappelle’s vision was a good fit. “We think this will bring a new class of jobs to town,” said Corrie Van Ausdal. “We also considered that (Chappelle) is a minority business owner, he has a history of employing minorities and he is a person who has a clear commitment to amplifying voices of color.”
The non-profit organization overseeing the sale is optimistic about the future of the project and its effect on the town.
Chappelle lives in Ohio and has family ties to the area
When Letterman met with Chappelle for his series, it was in the Yellow Springs area. It’s where he resides with his wife and children. He’s spoken fondly of the town and his company has bought multiple properties in the region with plans to renovate them for various purposes, including a hair salon and apartment.
Though the comedian is from Washington, D.C., he spent part of his childhood in Ohio with his father. Chappelle’s dad was a professor at Antioch College where he taught music.
Once the fire house is converted into the comedy club, it will hold roughly 140 guests. The town is hoping that it will attract visitors to the area who will not only spend time at the club but spend money at surrounding businesses. Chappelle’s team will officially close on the property in 2021.
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