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What the Dave Chappelle controversy tells us about the point of comedy

Dave Chappelle is one of the most successful comedians in the world, and his latest Netflix special, ‘The Closer’, reportedly made him $20 million.

Dave Chappelle is one of the most successful comedians in the world, and his latest Netflix special, ‘The Closer’, reportedly made him $20 million.

The special has sparked a huge amount of backlash, prompting a staff walkout at Netflix, and calls for the special to be taken down. 

This week comedians Cassie Workman and Tom Ballard join The Culture, to help unpack the reignited conversation around free speech, what kind of impact harmful and offensive language can have in the real world, and the purpose of comedy.

Guest: Comedian, actor and musician Cassie Workman and comedian and podcaster Tom Ballard

 

From the front page

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In light of recent events

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A virtuoso memoir of music and trauma, and his experiences as a child prodigy, from the acclaimed Australian pianist

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The quip and the dead: Steve Toltz’s ‘Here Goes Nothing’

A bleakly satirical look at death and the afterlife from the wisecracking author of ‘A Fraction of the Whole’

Composite image of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese speaking during the first leaders’ debate on April 20, 2022. Image © Jason Edwards / AAP Images

Election special: Who should you vote for?

Undecided about who to vote for in the upcoming federal election? Take our quiz to find out your least-worst option!

Online exclusives

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Remembrance or forgetting?

The Australian War Memorial and the Great Australian Silence

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What will it take for Australia to fix the affordable housing crisis?

Image of Daniel Johns. Image © Luke Eblen

Present indicative: Daniel Johns’ ‘FutureNever’

The former Silverchair frontman’s second solo album lacks cohesion, but affords him space to excavate his past