Jerrod Carmichael Has More to Say About His Beef with Dave Chappelle

Jerrod Carmichael Has More to Say About ChappelleAndre D Wagner

With any art form, it's not unusual to see tension between the young guns and the old guard. As comedian Jerrod Carmichael will tell you, it's even harder when you come out as a gay on stage—and the stand-up world's elder generation is less than accepting. According to Carmichael, a comment from Dave Chappelle about his stand-up special, Rothaniel, continues to live with him. “[Chappelle] referred to it as the bravest special for 1996,” Carmichael says in Esquire's new digital cover story. “And it’s like, that’s a funny enough line, whatever, but I wonder if he gets the irony that the fact that you are mocking it even then is why it was hard."

In Carmichael's new HBO series, Jerrod Carmichael Reality Show, the comedian's conflict with his own sexuality is on full display. In one particularly challenging scene, he even entertains his Christian mother with a prayer to "take the desire" away. "I still think saying you’re gay is saying something’s wrong with you," he adds in the cover story. “And so much of comedy is just gay jokes. As long as people continue to laugh at it and mock it, and as long as it’s a punchline, it’s going to be scary for somebody. It’s scary for me."

It wasn't the first time that Carmichael and Chappelle commented on each other's work. Back in 2022, Carmichael told The Hollywood Reporter that Chappelle's legacy is currently "a bunch of opinions on trans shit," which he called, "an odd hill to die on." Clarifying his thoughts, he tells Esquire that "he’s not revealing anything personal about himself and he’s removed from what he’s talking about, and I think he’s smarter than that and deeper than that and has more interesting thoughts."

According to Carmichael, Chappelle didn't take the constructive criticism too well. "He took it as fuck Dave Chappelle, because he’s an egomaniac," the comedian says. "He wanted me to apologize to him publicly or some shit." It sounds like we shouldn't expect that apology anytime soon.

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