I’d been invited to a fundraiser last night for Congressional hopeful Kevin Powell which promised to feature the comedic stylings of some guy named Dave Chappelle. From what I’ve been told, Chappelle is a genuinely funny dude who had a successful comedy sketch television program and made a little known film about the perils of marijuana use. The event was to take place at a happening Manhattan spot, Eugene.
Unfort, I was unable to make the fundraiser, which carried a ticket price of $50 (according to my invite; others have reported prices starting at $75). It doesn’t seem, however, that I missed that much.
According to lore, this Chappelle fellow began to feel the pressures of success when his television program became a ratings bonanza and cultural watermark. So much, in fact, that when offered a $55 million contract, he just plain disappeared. That’s right — he didn’t show up. (Eventually surfacing in South Africa.) And that’s exactly what happened last night at Eugene. He didn’t show up.
The Brooklyn Paper reports that Powell and his team blamed the no-show on travel mix-ups:
“We were on the phones non-stop with Dave’s management to get him here,” said a contrite Powell, 42, who promised that campaign donors would get into his next celebrity event for free.
The explanation and disappointment left the over 700 political contributors divided. An amateur comedian named Stephen Witt took the stage, in hopes of appeasing the crowd as well as maybe (I think) getting some ink for himself. Lame jokes and embarrassment followed, and torches and pitchforks were soon drawn thereafter.
Some are willing to stand by Powell, as shit happens beyond our control and the whims of a flaky comedian should have no bearing on a candidate’s aptitude in a political climate. Others, however, seem to think such an incident may be indicative of how Powell’s campaign is being run as well as his ability to show and prove.
Powell, a hip-hop journo, is probably most known for being an original MTV Real World cast member, long before the show started to suck and lose it relevance.