Dave Chappelle Acceptance Speech | 2019 Mark Twain Prize

  • Published: 08 January 2020
  • Watch the full show on PBS: https://www.pbs.org/video/dave-chappelle-the-kennedy-center-mark-twain-prize-qbmxgn/

    An outstanding lineup of entertainers gathered in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall to salute Dave Chappelle, recipient of the 22nd annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on October 27, 2019. The Prize, which is named to honor one of the world’s greatest humorists, was given at a gala performance featuring some of the biggest names in comedy.


    Dave Chappelle is an internationally recognized stand-up comedian and actor whose trademark wit and sharp, irreverent social commentary explores race, popular culture, sex, drugs, politics, and fame. Arguably the most-touring comic on the circuit, Chappelle has performed more than 1,600 concerts worldwide in the past four years, selling out shows within minutes of their announcements.

    Dave Chappelle could always make people laugh. Once he realized the power of his natural talent, he set some ambitious goals for his art. As a 14-year-old student at Washington, D.C.'s Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Chappelle crafted his stand-up comedy act out of the realities of his life growing up Black in the nation's capital.

    The Mark Twain Prize recognizes people who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th century novelist and essayist best known as Mark Twain. As a social commentator, satirist and creator of memorable characters, Samuel Clemens was a fearless observer of society, who startled and outraged many while delighting and informing many more with his uncompromising perspective of social injustice and personal folly. He revealed the great truth of humor when he said "against the assault of laughter nothing can stand."

    The inaugural Mark Twain Prize was presented to Richard Pryor during the first annual Kennedy Center Celebration of American Humor, October 20, 1998. The event was created by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Bob Kaminsky, Peter Kaminsky, Mark Krantz, and John Schreiber and is televised annually. The Kennedy Center is grateful to Cappy McGarr for his steadfast support of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor since its inception. Previous recipients of the Mark Twain include Richard Pryor (1998), Jonathan Winters (1999), Carl Reiner (2000), Whoopi Goldberg (2001), Bob Newhart (2002), Lily Tomlin (2003), Lorne Michaels (2004), Steve Martin (2005), Neil Simon (2006), Billy Crystal (2007), George Carlin (2008), Bill Cosby (2009, rescinded in 2018) Tina Fey (2010), Will Ferrell (2011), Ellen DeGeneres (2012), Carol Burnett (2013) Jay Leno (2014), Eddie Murphy (2015), Bill Murray (2016), David Letterman (2017), and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (2018).

    #MarkTwainPrize #DaveChappelle #MTP

    Subscribe to The Kennedy Center! http://bit.ly/2gNFrtb
  • Entertainment Entertainment

Comments • 10 853

  • Cathy McNasty
    Cathy McNasty  7 hours back

    God damn! How is that cigarette not burning his fingers?;

    • Damion S
      Damion S  8 hours back

      He's talking about Ari @ 1:00

      • MrINSANITY321
        MrINSANITY321  9 hours back

        I feel deprived of a longer speech and deprived of an amazing performance from Mos Def and Thundercat, haha! Great & appropriate choice of song from Dave

        • blackjack reward
          blackjack reward  13 hours back

          What are people thinking who give this a thumbs down? A perfect speech that will go down in history. Dave, thank you so much for sharing your life with us.

          • YaBoiBobSwaget
            YaBoiBobSwaget  13 hours back

            How can anyone dislike this video? We love you Dave Chappelle

            • Matt Allred
              Matt Allred  13 hours back

              the phoenix of comedy rose from the ashes before our eyes that night

              • Chris Lemieux
                Chris Lemieux  19 hours back

                Probably not like a library considering the average IQ is about 75-80

                • Jackson Young
                  Jackson Young  19 hours back

                  Dave simply put, thanks for making the wheel work for me.

                  • Randall Romero
                    Randall Romero  20 hours back

                    Was that his wife and kid in the beginning?

                    • Hell manns
                      Hell manns  21 hours back

                      My favorite comedian behind Norm Macdonald. He gets better and better with age.

                      • Friendly Mutton
                        Friendly Mutton  21 hours back

                        So, he finally succumbed to the Eyes Wide Shut party peoples. *Slaps knee*

                        • Knock Knock
                          Knock Knock  22 hours back

                          6:11 man tears bruh. Man tears

                          • James Grant
                            James Grant  24 hours back

                            This guy I mean wow this guy right here......😑😑😑

                            • truestdude
                              truestdude  1 days back

                              We've already lost Patrice O'Neal. We have 2 cherish Dave while he's still here. I went 2 see my man live in Atlanta back when he did the Sticks & Stones special. Amazing!! Absolutely AMAZING!!!!! He killed it!! Trust me it won't be my last time @ a Dave Chappelle performance. No sir

                              • Bart Allen
                                Bart Allen  1 days back

                                *William Chappelle:* "You are not poor. Poor is a mentality. It's a mentality that very few people ever recover from. Don’t you forget it, son. You are broke.”
                                *Yvonne Chappelle:* "Son, sometimes you have to be a lion so you can be the lamb you really are."

                                • Vanie Chan
                                  Vanie Chan  1 days back

                                  "My mother... If you had just given birth to me, that would have been more than enough, but the fact that you raised me and raised me well" —Dave Chappelle 😘😘😘 "I did not ask to be born that's your job" — Trevor Noah

                                  • kosmo seedo
                                    kosmo seedo  1 days back

                                    Happy for Dave Chappelle he deserves Dave Funny funny for real Dave Chappelle show..and why does Dave voice sound like that?? blessings he talks good about his mom too that's cool

                                    • Kat Lap
                                      Kat Lap  1 days back

                                      This man, so special

                                      • Booger Uppercut
                                        Booger Uppercut  1 days back

                                        They bleep out all the curse words except the N word. What that mean, Kennedy Center??

                                        • tripsr4kids
                                          tripsr4kids  1 days back

                                          then they cut off the Thunderkat performance... dumb asses

                                          • mead mall
                                            mead mall  1 days back

                                            that was so great ....much respect much love 👌👌

                                            • Noah Prior
                                              Noah Prior  1 days back

                                              The GOAT

                                              • D.L. B
                                                D.L. B  1 days back


                                                • Purple Hearts
                                                  Purple Hearts  1 days back

                                                  I wonder if Juicy Smolliet was there.

                                                  • MrShysterme
                                                    MrShysterme  1 days back

                                                    Funniest comedian of all time so far.

                                                    • Dee Cohen
                                                      Dee Cohen  1 days back

                                                      I just watch this twice in a row I am probably going to watch it like 40 more times because I need some inspiration in my life and damn if this isn’t one of the best speeches I’ve ever seen from a comedian musician actor whatever this was fucking epic

                                                      • Dee Cohen
                                                        Dee Cohen  1 days back

                                                        Damn just when you thought Julia Louis Dreyfus gave the best acceptance speech for the Mark Twain award Dave Chapelle literally slays kills murders makes me cry laugh almost Peed my pants
                                                        Ok ya- maybe I Peed my pants a little bit whatever and then he literally drops the mic. And gives mad love to his mama bear!!!!

                                                        • Dee Cohen
                                                          Dee Cohen  1 days back

                                                          HFS THIS IS EFFING EPIC!!!!!!!

                                                          • chuuchdizzle
                                                            chuuchdizzle  1 days back

                                                            Was that a dig at Neal Brennan for what happened on the show? It felt hard to ascertain whether he was accepting what happened or calling him out.

                                                            • Michelle Daniels
                                                              Michelle Daniels  1 days back

                                                              Lol Mark Twain would not like this😂😂😂

                                                              • Ronnie Taak
                                                                Ronnie Taak  1 days back

                                                                This isn't the real dave chappelle.

                                                                • Aesop Tales
                                                                  Aesop Tales  1 days back

                                                                  My lord, what a mum!

                                                                  • Angela McDowell
                                                                    Angela McDowell  2 days back


                                                                    • Brandon Garza
                                                                      Brandon Garza  2 days back

                                                                      Give this man his roses while he’s still here! 🐐

                                                                      • Andrew Gonzales
                                                                        Andrew Gonzales  2 days back

                                                                        Sarah Silverman was feeling that speech

                                                                        • d.KhaN
                                                                          d.KhaN  2 days back

                                                                          What. A. G.

                                                                          • Keonne Williams
                                                                            Keonne Williams  2 days back

                                                                            I wish I was him.🖤

                                                                            • Onlythetruth247
                                                                              Onlythetruth247  2 days back

                                                                              Dave Chappel has an Asian wife!!!! Cool.

                                                                              • Muhammad Naqash
                                                                                Muhammad Naqash  2 days back


                                                                                • Renick Jeune
                                                                                  Renick Jeune  2 days back

                                                                                  Wowwwww, Love Dave.

                                                                                  • Young Maryland
                                                                                    Young Maryland  2 days back

                                                                                    Even in a speech Dave can still find that pocket to display his wit and talent of comedy.

                                                                                    • BZSports
                                                                                      BZSports  2 days back

                                                                                      If anyone is feeling giving and help someone please send me money $B15tip cashapp

                                                                                      • Really 69
                                                                                        Really 69  2 days back

                                                                                        Whites pay him to say what he wants as long as he continues to use the "N" word and black women are still called bitches! He married a non-black woman intentionally! Been done with him!!!

                                                                                        • Moh Wright
                                                                                          Moh Wright  2 days back

                                                                                          2:15 - John Stewart stood up like, "Preech dat brutha." LOL

                                                                                          • Javi Bustos
                                                                                            Javi Bustos  2 days back

                                                                                            The all black suit, the pagan ritual of award shows... Yeah this spells luciferian worship.

                                                                                            • Mahalo.
                                                                                              Mahalo.  2 days back

                                                                                              I get it now .. why Dave’s kids aren’t laughing, because that’s dad. Dads aren’t funny, that’s dad and how he talks on a regular day. Kinda comical if you think about it.

                                                                                              • krishna tiwari
                                                                                                krishna tiwari  2 days back

                                                                                                Dave is a great American treasure.....

                                                                                                • yutubuser
                                                                                                  yutubuser  2 days back

                                                                                                  Damn too bad he didn't smoke weed on stage instead of cigarette.