In this segment from Hell & High Water, comedian W. Kamau Bell discusses two of the best stand-up comedians of all time: Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle. Bell breaks down what makes them so good at their craft and what sets them apart from one another. He explains how Chris Rock usually sticks to a conventional structure (premise, setup, punchline, tag) while Dave Chappelle’s routines tend to be conversational and nonlinear. Bell also weighs in on the backlash Dave Chappelle has gotten after his latest controversial Netflix special, and where Bill Cosby’s best specials rank when compared to the greats.
Click here to watch the full episode and learn more about W. Kamau Bell’s new Showtime documentary series We Need to Talk About Cosby, Cosby’s role in integrating primetime television, on screen and off, and more broadly as a progressive force in American race relations; his unexpected late-career pivot into a hectoring, respectability politics scold; and why Bell decided to take on a project he describes as a “third-rail conversation” among many African Americans.