Even though the ostensible purpose of comedy is to entertain through humor, it is also significant in its ability to provide a new lens through which to view sensitive topics. Dave Chappelle uses comedy to explore judgment and the labeling of those who are different from us. Judgment and labeling are cultural realities in America that, despite their overwhelming prominence in our society, are not often discussion in conversation and are instead most frequently considered a taboo subject for casual conversation. However, Dave Chappelle, like so many comedians, is able to discuss racial inequality, sex, drugs, and politics with his audience because he uses comedy as his vehicle for conveying his messages. Born David Khari Webber Chappelle in Washington, D.C. in 1973 to parents who were highly educated and would both go on to be University professors, Chappelle grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, a suburb of Washington D.C. five years after the 1968 riots that led to the collapse of Washington, D.C.’s inner city economy for decades to come. He also spent many summers in Yellow Springs, Ohio, which is a small suburb of Dayton, Ohio. It is important to acknowledge Chappelle’s background and upbringing because it is possible that it contributed to the development of not only his comedic style but also his appreciation for various racial and ethnic backgrounds. "Where have I been?" Dave Chappelle asked a San Francisco crowd in (2005). "It is a long story. It is a long, uninteresting story ...“ (Hartlaub). Perhaps it is. And perhaps it isn’t. One thing is for certain: the influential comedian Dave Chappelle is particularly well known for his lively, controversial, and sometimes bordering on the obscene stand-up comic acts. In 2006, Esqu... ... middle of paper ... ...ent, empathetic, and understanding when interacting with strangers in their daily lives. Instead of assuming that a homeless person is lazy, irritable, and unfit for society, similar to the traits attributed to Oscar, individuals that experience this performance can begin to realize and think about how others may have grown homeless and why that situation itself and the negative reactions associated with it may have given them a more tough demeanor than most individuals. Overall, Chapelle utilizes a very pertinent aspect of socialization and upbringing in order to highlight that our backgrounds and teachings, even from a young age, shape who we are as adults. His performance demands a need to practice more empathy and understanding in order to take an already difficult and often harsh world and make it make it more pleasant and less vitriolic between individuals.