Dave Chappelle "loves punching down" amid controversy over his trans jokes in new Netflix special 'The Dreamer'.
The 50-year-old comedian tackled a broad range of topics in his first full-length stand-up special in two years but spent the first 12 minutes taking aim at transgender people.
He opened with a story about visiting Jim Carrey while he was filming the 1999 film 'Man on the Moon’, where Carrey stayed in character as comedian Andy Kaufman between takes.
Chappelle explained that he spent the day pretending Carrey was Kaufman and was left feeling "very disappointed," adding: "That’s how trans people make me feel."
Speaking about his previous anti-trans material, he said: “If you guys came here to this show tonight thinking that I’m going to make fun of those people again, you’ve come to the wrong show. It wasn’t worth the trouble. I ain’t saying [anything] about them.
“Maybe three or four times tonight, but that’s it. I’m tired of talking about them. And you want to know why I’m tired of talking about them? Because these people acted like I needed them to be funny. Well, that’s ridiculous. I don’t need you.
“I got a whole new angle coming. You guys will never see this coming. I ain’t doing trans jokes no more."
He told the audience that he will be joking about “handicapped” people instead because “they’re not as organised as the gays. And I love punching down".
He went on: "To be honest with you, I’ve been trying to repair my relationship with the transgender community cause I don’t want them to think that I don’t like them.
“You know how I’ve been repairing it? I wrote a play. I did. Cause I know that gays love plays. It’s a very sad play, but it’s moving. It’s a tear-jerker."
He went on to explain that his main character, a Black transgender woman, self-identified with a slur and said: "It’s a tear-jerker. At the end of the play she dies of loneliness cause white liberals don’t know how to speak to her. It’s sad.
"God forbid I ever go to jail. But if I do, I hope it’s in California. Soon as the judge sentences me, I’ll be like, ‘Before you sentence me, I want the court to know I identify as a woman. Send me to a woman’s jail.’
“As soon I get in there, you know what I’mma be doing... Don’t make me explain myself. I’m a girl."
Chappelle caused controversy with his 2021 Netflix special 'The Closer', which featured comments about transgender people.
It led to Netflix employee walk-outs and protests in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.