The Chappelle Theory
December 17, 2005 2:25 PM   Subscribe

The Chappelle Theory. According to this anonymous theorist, a team of African-American celebrities called the "Dark Crusaders" threatened Chappelle with a package containing a picture of a man, of Al Sharpton's build, standing next to his sleeping children. Is this a joke or the work of a right nutter?
posted by farishta (60 comments total)
Best marketing campaign I've seen for the third season yet.
posted by Peter H at 2:38 PM on December 17, 2005

Uh...I'm going to go with nutter.
posted by graventy at 2:39 PM on December 17, 2005

a secret cabal of powerful African-American leaders from the business, political, and entertainment industries working together

Which would acount for why the black community as a whole is so prosperous.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:39 PM on December 17, 2005

Courier new font always indicates truth.
posted by oxala at 2:44 PM on December 17, 2005

Peter H wins.
posted by bardic at 2:45 PM on December 17, 2005

I won't ask for my three minutes back because there was a commercial break during the football game and I was looking for something to do.
posted by MillMan at 2:46 PM on December 17, 2005

PeterH, I think you're right as to the viral bit. The domain name is registered to this apparently Pepsi-blue-chip Web shop in Philly.
posted by killdevil at 2:51 PM on December 17, 2005

This is clearly a joke. Where did he get the photo of DC standing with a picture of a giant $50 million check? Did that ever happen?
posted by Edgewise at 2:57 PM on December 17, 2005

This is way too professional to be anything other than viral marketing.

Then again, Bill Cosby has been known to kill those who get too close to his Jell-O brand pudding pops.
posted by StephenV at 2:57 PM on December 17, 2005

Uh yeah, that's what I meant, viral marketing.
posted by Edgewise at 3:00 PM on December 17, 2005

Edgewise... the picture with the check bugged you, but the picture of the front page of the NYT with the huge photo of Chappelle above the fold didn't?
posted by brundlefly at 3:01 PM on December 17, 2005

I wouldn't be surprised if Chappelle himself was behind it. However, assuming that it's a joke, that leaves us with the unanswered questions as to why the events of this year really did occur.

I was hooked on it from day one. Never missed (ok, Tivo never missed) an episode. I've watched many of them twice (the Wayne Brady ep has to be my all-time fav). I would like to know the real reason for the implosion of the show.
posted by e40 at 3:05 PM on December 17, 2005

I don't know.... I'm a little skeptical about the validity of this.
If this is exposing the evilness of the Dark Crusaders, why does the website have a black background?
posted by my sock puppet account at 3:07 PM on December 17, 2005

'Dark Crusaders'? Gimme a frickin' break! No black business association would give themselves such a preposerous name, because 'dark' isn't part of their identity, wheras 'black' is.

The name of this supposed Black Mafia group would have to have 'Black' in it or some sort of euphemism, like 'Urban', 'Progressive' or 'Race'.

And why did they leave Magic Johnson out of the cabal? He and MJ are both players...

posted by vhsiv at 3:16 PM on December 17, 2005

yeah, 'dark crusaders' just sucks ass
posted by matteo at 3:19 PM on December 17, 2005

I'll say one thing – now that that thing has appeared on the blue, it's going to be a matter of hours before either Bill or Oprah's people have that site shut down.
posted by vhsiv at 3:23 PM on December 17, 2005

Richard Pryor was going to blow the whole thing wide open on the Larry King Show, and they had him killed.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:27 PM on December 17, 2005


*adjusts his cape*
posted by darkstar at 3:28 PM on December 17, 2005

Just wgat it. anyone wanna host a mirror can contact me, if it comes down.
posted by By The Grace of God at 3:29 PM on December 17, 2005

I don't know if it's a viral or what, but obviously it's not true. For one thing, Chappelle was an asset to the black community, IMO. So it wouldn't make any sense for the "Elders of Africa" to go after him. Among a host of absurdities already mentioned :P

anyhoo from what I understand Chappelle quit because he just felt too much pressure to be funny, too much pressure from being a Caleb (people yelling "I'm rick james, bitch!" to his face all the time).

I think the "I plead the fif" sketch was one of the most biting commentaries and funniest sketches of all time. But I can see how that kind of pressure can get to you.

It's always better to go out on top then it is to slowly slide into oblivion.
posted by delmoi at 3:37 PM on December 17, 2005

For the record, can a part of a television program be sent to only one house? And not be discontinuous to the other millions watching?
posted by setanor at 3:37 PM on December 17, 2005

I was cautiously accepting until I got to the bit where the Dark Crusaders caused his local television affiliate to broadcast a special version of Oprah's show where she turns to the camera and lambasts Chappelle -- in the middle of her interview with Tom Cruise. So they knew Dave was going to be home, knew he was going to be watching the Oprah show that day? So only Dave Chappelle and the (presumably hundreds or thousands) of other people in his area of Ohio saw it, and nobody else said anything?

It's gotta be viral marketing, or just a fruitcake with some money to spend.
posted by RylandDotNet at 3:40 PM on December 17, 2005

I'm Rick James, bitch.
posted by tatnasty at 3:54 PM on December 17, 2005

I opened my eyes to find one of the three men — that appeared in my bathroom days before — perched on top of my stomach, wielding a Colt 45 handgun with an enormous silencer. The other two men were holding me down. It seemed like my wife had been drugged, as she laid motionless but breathing next to me.

Oprah Winfrey leaned forward and whispered in my ear "you better watch your step — we're representing interests more powerful than you can imagine. You do remember that Farrakhan killed Malcom, and that Cosby, Johnson and I have more money than God — we can keep this harassment up forever. Is this what you want your life to be like Dave?"

Oprah is clearly a menace who must be stopped. Last week I was watching an episode of her show when she stopped, looked at me, and said "Andrew, I know you have been touching yourself again. If this naughty behavior continues I will force you to kill your mother. Is that what you want? Is it Andrew?"
posted by aburd at 3:56 PM on December 17, 2005

Pepsi Black.
posted by dhartung at 3:56 PM on December 17, 2005

Bill Cosby is good for the black community, but Chappelle's Show isn't? Bitch please.
posted by j-urb at 3:58 PM on December 17, 2005

That's funny cuz I watched the same episode and she turned to me and said, "Spicy, Andrew is touching himself again. If he does it one more time, I want you to kill his mother". So, tell your mom she better watch it.
posted by spicynuts at 3:58 PM on December 17, 2005

It started sounding completely nuts here:

On Tuesday, while watching an episode of the Oprah Winfrey show, Chappelle recalled being completely stunned when Winfrey turned to the camera in the middle of interviewing Tom Cruise and said "Dave Chappelle, you should be ashamed of yourself for airing that Niggars sketch on your show this week, I'm going to make sure you never work in Hollywood again."

The image, allegedly taped by Winfrey, and transmitted to Chappelle's house under the direction of Robert L. Johnson who called in some favors with Chappelle's local affiliate station manager, terrified Chappelle.

...but I'm still reading it.
posted by interrobang at 4:02 PM on December 17, 2005

This is hilarious.

Sharpton's mink's made out of 100% rat ass. Hit me baby.
posted by kosem at 4:14 PM on December 17, 2005

Most important: Where does Mr. T stand on all this?
posted by hal9k at 4:22 PM on December 17, 2005

I so wish I could buy into this.
posted by snsranch at 4:30 PM on December 17, 2005

I heard that the Freemasons did this same thing to Bruce Vilanch.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 4:39 PM on December 17, 2005

Batman's been threatening Dave Chappelle?!

Oh, Dark Crusaders. I thought you said the caped--never mind.
posted by kosher_jenny at 4:51 PM on December 17, 2005

All I can say is: if it turns out to be true Al Sharpton is blackmailing DC into silence, they're going to find some bloody gloves at my house.
posted by scarabic at 4:53 PM on December 17, 2005

posted by poorlydrawnplato at 5:23 PM on December 17, 2005

All this hype for what, like 4 new episodes? Talk about good money after bad...
posted by wah at 5:25 PM on December 17, 2005

Ah, just what our generation needs. PC patrol from a pack of unfunny boomer has-beens.
posted by squirrel at 5:32 PM on December 17, 2005

It's got to be garbage. The owner of BET saying that CHAPELLE makes the black community look bad? As if he never actually turned on his own channel to see the stupid crap that passes for content.
posted by Farengast at 6:53 PM on December 17, 2005

Can't wait til Snopes parses this one out.
posted by moonbird at 8:03 PM on December 17, 2005

and yet, if it is viral marketing, look how it has succeeded, sucky as the joke may be
posted by ba3r at 9:49 PM on December 17, 2005

I like how DC turned to the almighty Wayne Brady for help against the mighty cabel of Winfrey/TheCoz/Farrakhan. Now that's funny.
posted by NorthernSky at 9:54 PM on December 17, 2005

and yet, if it is viral marketing, look how it has succeeded, sucky as the joke may be

Precisely. Depressing, isn't it?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:43 PM on December 17, 2005

It was almost believable until he talked about "illnesses ... plaguing key members of the crew." Clearly Bill Cosby has some sort of superflu left over from Leonard Part 6.

Stupid viral marketing. I hate it, but I'm part of it now.
posted by mortimer at 11:08 PM on December 17, 2005

From Dave Chapelle's IMDB Trivia Page:

"Is currently in the beginning of talks about a movie involving his family and historical events they are fictionally involved in. [2004]"

So if you're too lazy to read the entire consipracy, wait for the movie.
posted by wumpus at 12:33 AM on December 18, 2005

The Dark Crusaders...sounds like a graphic novel series.

So, next we'll see Dave with Oprah, Bill, Louis, Al, and everybody doing a "Black People Unite" USA for Africa-esque bit. Or not.
posted by deusdiabolus at 1:11 AM on December 18, 2005

This isn't viral marketing. I used to work at Comedy Central and though they're can be sly, I doubt they'd want to bait two comics (Chappelle & Cosby) into lawsuits. Besides it's so completely humorless that it's somewhat funny. Comedy Central likes to be a bit more obviously funny.

Nope, this is just a garden variety crackpot.
posted by deadfrog at 4:03 AM on December 18, 2005

I'm actually going to withdraw that last comment after a bit more research. looking at some code/links and it might well be viral marketing.
posted by deadfrog at 4:57 AM on December 18, 2005

Gotta love the misspelling in the meta-keywords tag:

meta name="keywords" content="dave chappelle, chappelle, conpiracy, comedy central, dave chappelle contract, dark seven"

A deliberate mistake to throw off the anti-conspiracy conspiracy theorists? You decide...
posted by rootz at 5:37 AM on December 18, 2005

I sure hope Dave comes out OK. I was hoping to see season 1 skits rehashed on season 4, ,because I lost my DVDs.
posted by GDMFSOB at 9:14 AM on December 18, 2005

Viral marketing? Garden variety crackpot? Whatever it is, it's a sterling piece of 21st century media folk art.
posted by Coherence Panda at 12:24 PM on December 18, 2005

The coding of the site is obviously done by a mediocre professional coder. The code looks pretty nice, although there are various errors which have been pointed out. It also has statistics monitoring set up by OneStat.

The domain is registered to Weblinc, who has quite a few high profile clients, and is likely responsible for the coding.

It is very unlikely that this is just some hoax from an individual. It's most likely corporately based, or at least from someone with a pretty large amount of money.

The most likely explanation is viral marketing. I could also see Chappelle himself putting this thing up as a joke. It's actually pretty damn funny if you ask me.
posted by anomie at 1:05 PM on December 18, 2005

Oh yeah, it's viral marketing. The original people who pimped the link on the internet (including on digg) are the people who built the site.
posted by deadfrog at 6:46 PM on December 18, 2005

"pepsi black" - dhartung wins.
posted by shoepal at 7:20 PM on December 18, 2005

I'd bank on Chappelle's involvement. There's no way these events actually occurred, but the things that are described sound just like the kind of delusions that can happen when someone is on speed for too long. They say it's practically identical to what a paranoid schizophrenic person experiences. A friend of mine truly believed he could see soldiers hiding in the trees all around his house, and couldn't leave for days. He still kind of believes they were there.

The pressures of fame were probably too much. He developed a nice little drug problem. He started thinking everyone's out to get him. People started appearing in his sleep, and the TV started talking to him. He has to quit the show. He gets cleaned up, they turn the whole trip into a movie, and everybody makes their money back.
posted by team lowkey at 2:42 AM on December 19, 2005

I swear by the boil-covered balls of Dick Cheney I will hunt down and devour the brains of the marketing scumdribbles responsible.

This I swear.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:15 AM on December 19, 2005

What, exactly, does it take to trip anyone's humor detector these days? The first page was ridiculous, every one after that has at least one statement that makes absolutely no logical sense unless you believe in vast conspiracies. Most of the people listed wouldn't be seen in the same room together -- OR WOULD THEY?

I did laugh at this line though:
The sketch, inspired by the true to life circumstances of Chappelle's grandfather, was considered the high point of the show

Yeah, Dave's grandpa was a blind black man who was in the KKK.
posted by mikeh at 9:26 AM on December 19, 2005

What the hell? This is obviously not real, and spells out like a paranoid schizophrenic's delusions. You think a vast conspiracy like this would just so happen to leave papers in a trash bin at a hotel? The credit card incident is just impossible. It's not that funny either, just incredibly thorough. If Dave Chappelle is behind this, and it is not a joke (it's not his type of humor, unless his humor comes off really bad in writing), he seriously needs to lay off the amphetamines (which can result in paranoid schizophrenic behavior). The sheer size and detail in this makes it spooky.
posted by geoff. at 2:29 PM on December 19, 2005

I'm thirsty.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:24 PM on December 19, 2005

It may be viral marketing, but it's also kinda crackpot too. And so not funny.
posted by zarah at 3:50 PM on December 19, 2005

Actually it is a prank by
posted by ?! at 9:07 PM on December 22, 2005

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