Proof positive that no lucrative franchise will go unmined for every last scrap of salable material, the big brains at Comedy Central have trotted out this needless compilation of clips from Dave Chappelle's late, great series more infamous for its awkward conclusion than its controversy-generating satire. It's unfortunate that while the cable network did probably take some kind of financial hit when Chappelle walked away from filming the third season, effectively ending the series, that they feel compelled to cannibalize two already available DVD sets. Nothing -- I repeat -- nothing found on this disc can't be found elsewhere, with the possible exception of the Rick James bloopers (which I believe are on the second season set), rendering it utterly superfluous. After all, you never learn who determined that these clips are the "top 25 sketches" -- how was this put together? If you're going to release something with that kind of title, I'd hope you'd at least try to back it up (or go through the motions of doing so, anyway).
Nevertheless, there may be someone out there who completely missed all of the Chappelle's Show brilliance in its prime and barring one or two glaring omissions, this disc does effectively cull the series' best moments, offering over two hours of unmitigated hilarity and biting insight. This "best of" disc collects a total of 25 sketches (playable separately or all together for an aggregate run time of around 140 minutes); the sketches included are as follows:
"Clayton Bigsby: Blind White Supremacist"; "Tyrone's Anti-Drug Speech"; "Roots"; "Reparations"; "America United"; "Roca-Pads"; "Mad Real World"; "Wu-Tang Financial"; "Tyrone's Intervention"; "America Undercover: Player Haters Ball"; "R. Kelly: I'm Gonna Piss On You"; "Trading Spouses"; "Samuel Jackson Beer"; "Racial Draft"; "The Niggar Family"; "Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories: Prince"; "Lil' Jon at the Airport"; "Keeping It Real (Office)"; "Oprah is Pregnant"; "Dave in Jury Selection"; "Making The Band 2"; "A Night With Wayne Brady"; "Black Bush"; "New Tupac Song" and "Dave Meets Showbiz."
It's difficult not to recommend this compilation simply because the material found on the disc really is just as funny now as it was when it first aired. My ratings for this release (as well as my recommendation) should be taken on the basis of the sketches themselves, which are still hilarious, and not this DVD, which serves no purpose other than to line the pockets of Comedy Central. If you don't own any of the other three DVD sets and want the highlights, this is a disc for you -- otherwise, feel free to pass on by. The DVD
Presented as originally broadcast on Comedy Central, each of the sketches are offered in 1.33:1 fullscreen, retaining any flaws that were inherent in the visuals to begin with. Mostly, the segments look clean and clear, free from any noticeable defects. The Audio:
Like the visuals, what's presented here is translated verbatim from the television broadcasts: perfectly serviceable Dolby 2.0 stereo soundtracks that convey the dialogue with no distortion or drop-out and are identical to the already available season sets of Chappelle's Show. The Extras:
How can you tell this is a release purely motivated by greed? The utter lack of original supplements. Granted, the series' implosion might mean the creative types aren't ready to discuss their work just yet, but something besides the measly "bonus" episode (already available on the second season set) of Chappelle's Show that features the Rick James-centric "Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories" that should rightly be part of the main program; 11 minutes, 35 seconds of mostly unfunny Rick James bloopers and trailers for South Park, Reno 911! and Mind of Mencia should be offered up as worthwhile. Final Thoughts:
Is this disc worth coughing up 20 bucks for? Well, yes and no - but certainly more no. It's difficult not to recommend this compilation simply because the material found on the disc really is just as funny now as it was when it first aired. My ratings for this release (as well as my recommendation) should be taken on the basis of the sketches themselves, which are still hilarious, and not this DVD, which serves no purpose other than to line the pockets of Comedy Central. Recommended.