It sounded too good to be true. Dave Chappelle was doing his first tour in years, it was the afternoon before the first tour date and he didn’t have an opener booked yet. I got an invite to do the first nite and the next day I got a call saying they loved my act and were inviting me to open for Dave for the remainder of his summer mini-tour. I told them I’d have to miss two cities because of a prior commitment — the premiere event for my new talk show — and they were cool with it. Wow.
When does that ever happen?
I’ll tell you when: Never.
I opened for him in Richmond, VA; Winston-Salem, NC; Myrtle Beach, SC and Raleigh, NC. I knew from the beginning that Dave would be bringing in some friends to open for him in the cities I couldn’t make it to and likely the finale city – Atlanta. But after last nite’s show in Raleigh, the promoter let me know that Dave had decided to bring them on earlier. I was beyond bummed; I felt like one of those dudes on Hard Knocks who gets asked to turn in his playbook. I couldn’t believe it. Dave Chappelle had comedian friends he’d rather tour with than me?!?? Impossible.
Please read the sarcasm there.
I was all up in my feelings last nite, but I decided to stop pouting as soon as it became today and instead focus on all the awesome things about this experience. So here goes:
- I got to meet Dave Chappelle.
- I traveled to four cities as Dave Chappelle’s opening act.
- Dave Chappelle watched my act and said he really enjoyed it.
- I got paid for 1-3.
- Live Nation, the biggest comedy concert promoters out there, know who I am now.
- I got to work with superstar DJ and producer 9th Wonder — who I’m SUCH a fan of. He thought I was funny, told other people he thought I was funny and even asked his folks to follow me on Twitter.
Sidebar: now that both 9th Wonder and Phonte are down with the “I hope you don’t make it” movement (click here to see Phonte of LB and FE rocking my IHYDMI t-shirt), can somebody give me Big Pooh’s number so I can complete the Little Brother cipher?
But I digress.
This was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of opportunity that very few folks ever get. So rather than be salty or embarrassed that I got replaced, I’ve decided to be grateful that I was there in the first place. An iconic comic I’ve respected forever enjoyed my work enough to allow me to open a string of sold-out shows. And I am happy with the sets I did, especially the last one. AND I still have a TV show premiering in a week. All in all, I’d say I’m pretty blessed. What a difference a year makes.