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Here’s why Dave Chappelle is an “egomaniac,” according to Jerrod Carmichael

After recently coming out, stand up comedian Jerrod Carmichael has no qualms pushing back on heavyweight comedians like Dave Chappelle. In an Esquire profile preceding the debut of his HBO series, Jerrod Carmichael Reality Show, Carmichael once again called out Chapelle for being an “egomaniac” over his transphobic material.

Carmichael came out in his 2022 special Rothaniel. Dave Chapelle, who has repeatedly made attacking the LGBTQ+ — particularly, the trans community — the focus of his own specials in recent years went out of his way to make a lame dig at Carmichael.

Carmichael responded in an interview with GQ, “Chappelle, do you know what comes up when you Google your name, bro? That’s the legacy? Your legacy is a bunch of opinions on trans shit? It’s an odd hill to die on. And it’s like, hey, bro. Who the f*ck are you? Who do you f*ck? What do you like to do? Childish jokes aside, who the f*ck are you? It’s just kind of played. But he’s choosing to die on the hill. So, alright, let him.”

Chapelle was apparently so incensed that he wanted an apology. “He took it as f*ck Dave Chappelle, because he’s an egomaniac,” Carmichael recently told Esquire. “He wanted me to apologize to him publicly or some sh*t.”

In Carmichael’s view, Chappelle’s obsession with trans people is tragic — he has so much more to offer. “I said he’s not revealing anything personal about himself and he’s removed from what he’s talking about, and I think he’s smarter than that and deeper than that and has more interesting thoughts,” Carmichael said.

The biggest tragedy of Chappelle’s descent into anti-LGBTQ+ mockery is that the once insightful comedian fails to see the irony in almost everything he says. “He referred to [Rothaniel] as the bravest special for 1996,” Carmichael said. “And it’s like, that’s a funny enough line, whatever, but I wonder if he gets the irony that the fact that you are mocking it even then is why it was hard.”

For Carmichael, one of the reasons why he came out later in life is because of the enduring stigma in the comedy world. “I still think saying you’re gay is saying something’s wrong with you,” Carmichael explained. “And so much of comedy is just gay jokes. As long as people continue to laugh at it and mock it, and as long as it’s a punchline, it’s going to be scary for somebody. It’s scary for me.”

Jerrod Carmichael Reality Show premiered on March 29 and new episodes air weekly Fridays on HBO.

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