Dave Chappelle's Surprise Netflix Special 'Sticks & Stones' Gets A First Teaser Trailer

Dave Chappelle.

Dave Chappelle.

Netflix

In 2017, comedian Dave Chappelle released an unprecedented four — yes, four — stand-up specials on Netflix. A mixture of unreleased (and dated) material, newer routines and rawer, more unrefined sets, these four specials marked something of a major comeback for the Chappelle's Show star in the mainstream.

Just over a year and a half later, the comic is back with a surprise Netflix special titled Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones, that's set to debut globally on Monday, August 26th. The streaming giant dropped the new hour's first teaser trailer without warning on Thursday, complete with a tongue-in-cheek narration provided by actor Morgan Freeman.

Much like Aziz Ansari's recent special Right Now, it seems that with Sticks & Stones, Netflix is banking on Chappelle's undeniable popularity and forgoing the need for any kind of major advertising roll out. After all, the special's August 26th premiere date is just a week and a half away, and while the streamer will most likely drop one or two short clips between now and then, they don't have to.

And they know this.

Besides, even with Chappelle's absence from Netflix since his massive slate of releases in 2017, he's been keeping busy with a brief joint tour featuring fellow comic and friend Jon Stewart, a short stint on Broadway and a forthcoming Mark Twain Prize in October. Just because the comedian hasn't put anything out on Netflix or anywhere else since a year and a half ago doesn't mean that he hasn't been doing anything new.

Though we should take a moment to consider the nature of the special's title, Sticks & Stones, and the likelihood that it's Chappelle's way of signaling to fans and critics alike what's been on his mind for the past year and a half. Per the special's official logline, it will be an "unflinching and boundary-pushing" hour of comedy in which Chappelle "gives his provocative perspective on the tidal wave of celebrity scandals, the opioid crisis, and more — in trademarked Chappelle fashion."

All of this is no doubt true, but there's also the fact that the comedian himself has often taken flack for some of his comments, intended to be funny or not, about various topics. As recently as his Broadway stint and as far off as his final batch of Netflix specials before Sticks & Stones, Chappelle has often faced criticism for his jokes about transgender people and the LGBTQ community, the allegations against Louis C.K., and more.

And with the new special's title's obvious reference to the children's rhyme "Sticks and stones may break my bones / But words will never harm me," it appears that Chappelle is acknowledging these criticisms and brushing them off like they're nothing. Whether he's actually able to perform said brushing in Sticks & Stones remains to be seen.

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In 2017, comedian Dave Chappelle released an unprecedented four — yes, four — stand-up specials on Netflix. A mixture of unreleased (and dated) material, newer routines and rawer, more unrefined sets, these four specials marked something of a major comeback for the Chappelle's Show star in the mainstream.

Just over a year and a half later, the comic is back with a surprise Netflix special titled Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones, that's set to debut globally on Monday, August 26th. The streaming giant dropped the new hour's first teaser trailer without warning on Thursday, complete with a tongue-in-cheek narration provided by actor Morgan Freeman.

Much like Aziz Ansari's recent special Right Now, it seems that with Sticks & Stones, Netflix is banking on Chappelle's undeniable popularity and forgoing the need for any kind of major advertising roll out. After all, the special's August 26th premiere date is just a week and a half away, and while the streamer will most likely drop one or two short clips between now and then, they don't have to.

And they know this.

Besides, even with Chappelle's absence from Netflix since his massive slate of releases in 2017, he's been keeping busy with a brief joint tour featuring fellow comic and friend Jon Stewart, a short stint on Broadway and a forthcoming Mark Twain Prize in October. Just because the comedian hasn't put anything out on Netflix or anywhere else since a year and a half ago doesn't mean that he hasn't been doing anything new.

Though we should take a moment to consider the nature of the special's title, Sticks & Stones, and the likelihood that it's Chappelle's way of signaling to fans and critics alike what's been on his mind for the past year and a half. Per the special's official logline, it will be an "unflinching and boundary-pushing" hour of comedy in which Chappelle "gives his provocative perspective on the tidal wave of celebrity scandals, the opioid crisis, and more — in trademarked Chappelle fashion."

All of this is no doubt true, but there's also the fact that the comedian himself has often taken flack for some of his comments, intended to be funny or not, about various topics. As recently as his Broadway stint and as far off as his final batch of Netflix specials before Sticks & Stones, Chappelle has often faced criticism for his jokes about transgender people and the LGBTQ community, the allegations against Louis C.K., and more.

And with the new special's title's obvious reference to the children's rhyme "Sticks and stones may break my bones / But words will never harm me," it appears that Chappelle is acknowledging these criticisms and brushing them off like they're nothing. Whether he's actually able to perform said brushing in Sticks & Stones remains to be seen.

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Freelance entertainment journalist covering the ever-expanding world of stand-up comedy. Author of the TOO MUCH COMEDY newsletter.