Certainly one of the best shows Comedy Central ever brought to the airwaves, "Chappelle's Show" stars none other than comedian Dave Chappelle, famed for his roles in such films as "Half Baked" and "Con Air". Instead of simply doing a talk show, Chappelle has mixed in some stand-up material with sketches that resemble a no-holds-barred version of "Mad TV", with the comedian playing many of the roles. The show's controversial material may not be for everyone's tastes, but I thought many of the first season's skits were hilarious and even some of the weaker ones got a few good chuckles.
After the wildly popular first season of the series, Chappelle and co-writer Neal Brennan certainly had a lot to live up to if they were going to top their first round. Although there are still some moments where the second season falters, its high points quickly became considered classics by the show's fans. Then, as everyone is now quite aware, Chappelle - unhappy with the direction the show was headed - walked away from the series during production of the third season, heading off to Africa for a spiritual retreat, leaving fans wondering if he'd ever return.
Chappelle didn't return to the airwaves , but his show still did: Comedy Central gathered the material that was filmed for the third season and aired it as "The Lost Episodes" (the two musicians who introduce the show stop the song when they realize Dave's not coming back.)
For those who have still yet to catch up to the brilliance that was the best of "Chappelle's Show" nearly two years after the show's troubled close, we get..."The Best of Chappelle's Show: Uncensored", a release which gives the top 25 skits of the series uncensored (although they're already uncensored on the full season sets, and what's really bizarre is the fact that the title of two of the skits are censored on the back cover) and while a "best of" isn't going to satisfy all fans, the 25 skits here are a good collection of the show's best bits.
Despite all the popularity of skits like "A Night With Wayne Brady", I'll take some of the lesser-known skits, like "Wu-Tang Financial", "Oprah Is Pregnant" (Dave in the "Chappelle's Show" office: Hey everyone! Got an announcement to make! Ding ding ding I quit!"), "Black Bush" ("I'm not trying to disrespect the U.N., even though they ain't got no army (long pause) go sell some medicine, bitches! Tryin' to get that oil..(coughs) ahoooo... (looks around).") and "New Tupac Song" (by far the highlight of the third season.) As much as everyone loves "Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories: Rick James", I'll take "Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories: Prince", which features a brilliant performance from Chappelle as the singer.
Skits included: "Clayton Bigsby: Blind White Supremacist"; "Tyrone's Anti-Drug Speech"; "Roots"; "Reparations"; "America United"; "Roca-Pads"; "Mad Real World"; "Wu-Tang Financial"; "Tyrone's Intervention"; "America Undercover: Player Haters Ball"; "R. Kelly: I'm Gonna Piss On You"; "Trading Spouses"; "Samuel Jackson Beer"; "Racial Draft"; "The Niggar Family"; "Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories: Prince"; "Lil' Jon at the Airport"; "Keeping It Real (Office)"; "Oprah is Pregnant"; "Dave in Jury Selection"; "Making The Band 2"; "A Night With Wayne Brady"; "Black Bush"; "New Tupac Song" and "Dave Meets Showbiz."
VIDEO: The skits are presented in full frame. The picture quality is generally very good, as sharpness and detail remained consistent and crisp throughout the episodes. The only issue seemed to be a little bit of shimmering in a few scenes here-and-there throughout the season. No compression artifacts or edge enhancement were seen and colors appeared vivid and well-saturated, with no smearing or other concerns.
SOUND: All skits are presented in 2.0 audio. When played back in Pro Logic II, some crowd noise from the studio audience was pulled to the surrounds, but other than that, this remained a dialogue-heavy soundtrack that seemed crisp and clean-sounding.
EXTRAS: A bonus episode from season two, as well as the "Rick James" skits and bloopers. This material has been included on the full season sets and it's too bad that nothing new is offered here. I wasn't expecting anything new given what happened, but including the commentaries that were offered for the skits on the full season sets would've been a nice touch.
Final Thoughts: If you have the full season sets, there is absolutely no need for you to pick up this title. If these happen to be the skits you liked or you haven't seen the show yet and want a sampling of some of the best moments, consider picking this one up on sale.