ENTERTAINMENT
03/30/2017 02:38 pm ET Updated Mar 30, 2017

The National Review Just Coined The Phrase 'Conservatives for Chappelle’

What a weird week it has been for comedian Dave Chappelle.
Dave Chappelle's recent comments have ostracized many in the left and found him new fans on the right.
Johnny Nunez via Getty Images
Dave Chappelle's recent comments have ostracized many in the left and found him new fans on the right.

The year is 2017. Donald Trump is president of the United States of America, xenophobic nationalism has gone global and the National Review has coined the phrase “Conservatives for Chappelle.”

Scary as it might seem, this is not the plot for the latest B-rate dystopian novel available at a bookstore near you. This is your life. 

The conservative National Review published an article Thursday with the aforementioned title in which author Michael Taube explains how Dave Chappelle came to have “his share of conservative fans.”

The National Review

It is just one article, but the piece feels like the climax of what has been an odd few days for Chappelle. Since Netflix released two of his specials last Tuesday ― his first since 2004’s “For What It’s Worth” ― the comedian has faced criticism for comments made in them about the LGBTQ community and sexual assault.

Of Bill Cosby, he joked, “He rapes, but he saves.” Of the “Q” in “LGBTQ,” he said, “It’s for gay dudes that don’t know they’re gay.” He laughed about missing Bruce Jenner and pronouns and transgender women “tricking” people into having sex with them.

The comments angered many left-leaning Americans, leading to headlines like “A Study on How Dave Chappelle Isn’t Nailing 2017,” “The World Changed, but Dave Chappelle Didn’t,” and “Dave Chappelle’s Disappointing Reliance on Easy Provocation.”

“Chappelle’s reputation rests heavily on the notion that he’s smarter and funnier than anyone else in the game. This … is not smart. It’s ignorant. It’s lazy. It’s cruel,” wrote Seth Simons in Paste. “If Chappelle indeed made $20 million for each of these specials, then he made $1.7 million to call someone a tranny.”

Meanwhile, conservative publications like the National Review have celebrated him. The website ChicksOnTheRight.com ran the headline, “Dave Chappelle Lays Down A Truth Bomb About Planned Parenthood.” Tweets like this happened:

The push on the right to claim Chappelle didn’t start last week. Before the election, the conservative New York Observer ran the headline “Dave Chappelle Defends Trump, Rips Clinton: ‘She’s Not Right and We All Know It.’” When TMZ later asked him about it, he angrily stated, “Jesus Christ, I’m not a Trump supporter!

It’s an odd turn of events for man who was once something of a hero to the left, or at least one of its voices. As recently as last November, he arrived at “Saturday Night Live” just days removed from the election and gave a stirring monologue about the then-president-elect. In March, he showed up at his village council meeting in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and called for a more progressive police force. 

Yet here we are. It is 2017, and Dave Chappelle, due to his trouble keeping up with the world around him, has ostracized himself from his base, and started to gain a new one entirely on his right. What a world. 

Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Mahershala Ali, Amy Poehler and a whole host of other stars are teaming up for Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU. Join us at 7 p.m. Eastern on Friday, March 31, on Facebook Live.

You can support the ACLU right away. Text POWER to 20222 to give $10 to the ACLU. The ACLU will call you to explain other actions you can take to help. Visit www.hmgf.org/t for terms. #StandForRights2017

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