Are we one step closer to stand-up’s own Watch the Throne tour? After a surprise performance by Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock in New York City late Tuesday night, my answer is a cautiously optimistic “yes.” As Sean L. McCarthy at The Comic’s Comic reports, Chappelle surprised audience members when he followed the final act on the bill at the Comedy Cellar around midnight and riffed for about 45 minutes onstage. At the end of his set, Rock joined him onstage, and undoubtedly fulfilled the long-held dreams of many in the room.
For over an hour, the two discussed everything from this year’s Oscars to Jay-Z’s fall concerts in Brooklyn—Rock passed on being the opener, he said, because he had no material—and even tried getting their famous friends to come out and hang with them. Messages to Jay-Z, Lenny Kravitz, and Arsenio Hall in the wee small hours of the morning went unanswered. Though perhaps Marlon Wayans got the text—he also joined them briefly on stage before the night was over.
But the most exciting exchange pertained to the possibility of a real stand-up collaboration. “Dave’s like, let’s just do it Wednesday. Unannounced!” Rock said. But the elder of the two comedians said he’s filming a new movie this spring and would need to get his new material ready before he would commit to a tour. (He did say he could be ready by Halloween.) This is probably what’s best for us fans—Chappelle and Rock have appeared together at the Comedy Cellar before, but it would be great to see a full-on tour or concert as opposed to more occasional impromptu duets.
We’ll have to wait and see whether Chappelle and Rock can make it happen. But in the meantime, take McCarthy’s advice and contact “HBO, Showtime, or your own favorite TV station” and ask them to help make this dream into an uproarious reality.