21 Feb 2011

7 American Comedians Who Were Spurred by Politics to Change Up Their Acts

1. Dave Chappelle

Chappelle was worried that his brand of humor -- centered around skewering racist stereotypes with a subversive, sophisticated, line-treading light -- was getting lost on his ever-expanding audience. The final straw: while filming a skit about "the black pixie," in which he dressed up as a Jim Crow minstrel and chided himself to play into black stereotypes, a white crew member laughed just a little too hard. "When he laughed, it made me uncomfortable," Chappelle said at the time. "As a matter of fact, that was the last thing I shot before I told myself I gotta take time out after this. Because my head almost exploded."

Six more on AlterNet (Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Paul Mooney, Judy Tenuta, Patton Oswalt and Pee-Wee Herman aka Paul Reubens)