Comedian Trevor Noah did a standup set at L.A. convention Politicon recently, and cracked a joke about being a “racism connoisseur” which went down a storm. Only problem is that the “racism connoisseur” phrase and the whole bit surrounding it was one of Dave Chappelle’s famous jokes from nearly 20 years ago.
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Here’s Noah’s bit in 2015:
Before I came to America, I thought I knew all kinds of racism. I’ve always considered myself something of a racism connoisseur. I appreciate the finer racism. Not to say I appreciate all racism, but a finer racism. Before I came here, blatant racism was my favorite. Blatant racism, where you know exactly where you stand, often perpetrated by old people, which I have always appreciated. They’ll just tell it to you like it is. “This is what I think about you!” Yeah, you’re going to die soon. … Charming racism in America changed my life. I discovered it in a place called Lexington, Kentucky. Probably one of the most wonderful places I’ve ever been – charming, friendly people. Racism with a smile and a tip of the hat. … I was walking through the streets, a man walked up to me, didn’t know me from a bar of soap, came straight up to me and looked me dead in the eye, and he was like, “Good afternoon, n–er.” “Good afternoon.” I’ve never seen racism with a smile. I didn’t know what to do. He just said it like it was a fact. As if I fought him, he would have been like, “What, didn’t you know?”
Here’s Dave Chappelle’s from 1998:
Travelling has made me a racism connoisseur, if you will. You know, it’s different region to region. Anyone ever been down South? So you guys know what I’m talking about. The racism down there is just fucking – it’s perfect. Stewed to a perfection. It’s conformable. It’s out in the open. There are no secrets in Mississippi. Everybody knows the deal. “Morning, n–er!” “Morning, sir!” Not up here. Here in the big cities, it’s a secret. And we should be like them. We should keep our shit out in the open and vent a little – I mean with limits. You don’t want to say whatever comes to your mind, that might be a little much. White dude be walking down the street minding his business and a brother walk up to him: “Hello, you white oppressor, you slave-master rapist of Africa.” “Why hello, my big-lips, spear-chucking friend.”
There’s no denying it, those jokes are ridiculously similar. Terrible look for Trevor Noah here considering all eyes are on him now as Jon Stewart’s successor on the Daily Show over in the States. I mean it’s a fairly famous Dave Chappelle joke so it really boggles the mind how Trevor Noah could just blatantly rip it off. Is it possible he saw the Chappelle routine years ago, forgot all about it, and then genuinely thought he came up with the joke himself nearly 20 years later? It’s the only possible explanation other than to say he stole a joke from one of the most famous comedians ever and thought he’d get away with it.
Here’s the Chappelle bit in person – from about the 1 minute mark:
Noah had better think of a comeback quick, just like Amy Schumer did when a bunch of Internet losers called her out for telling racist jokes.