Dave Chappelle won Best Comedy Album for “Sticks and Stones” at the Grammys on Sunday. Liberal critics panned the set upon its release last year, but Chappelle’s win is well-deserved.
“Sticks and Stones” was a sharp and subversive stab at contemporary political correctness, with great writing and a classic performance from the legendary comedian. It’s true that stand-ups are increasingly willing to skewer PC culture in their acts, but “Sticks and Stones” is a consummate piece of criticism—shocking, fresh, and funny. Chappelle just does it better.
As Federalist Senior Editor Mollie Hemingway wrote in August, “Sticks and Stones” is also surprisingly pro-life. Here’s the relevant bit:
I don’t care what your religious beliefs are or anything. If you have a d-ck, you need to shut the f-ck up on this one. Seriously! This is theirs; the right to choose is their unequivocal right. Not only do I believe they have the right to choose, I believe that they shouldn’t have to consult anybody, except for a physician, about how they exercise that right.
Gentlemen, that is fair. And ladies, to be fair to us, I also believe that if you decide to have the baby, a man should not have to pay. That’s fair. If you can kill this motherf-cker, I can at least abandon him. It’s my money, my choice. And if I’m wrong, then perhaps we’re wrong. So figure that sh-t out for yourselves.
“In one simple joke,” Hemingway noted, “Chappelle made clear the disastrous effects of a culture which degrades sex and relationships to the point where babies are viewed as afterthoughts to be dispensed with rather than precious lives to be cherished.”
While only at 35 percent among critics, “Sticks and Stones” has a 99 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s funny, it’s smart, and the Grammys were right to recognize Chappelle for his work.