CELEBRITY SPOTTINGS: Chappelle teams up with Mayer, Silverman and Haddish on stage

The celebrity sightings continue in Yellow Springs as Dave Chappelle continues to host comedy events featuring A-list celebrities.

Dave Chappelle swapped out his “Intimate Socially Distanced” series of comedy shows for a single “Controlled Danger” show last Saturday featuring musician John Mayer, with Sarah Silverman opening and a cameo appearance by Tiffany Haddish.

“Controlled Danger” is the name of a comedy and music tour Chappelle and Mayer did in 2017-2018. The show was named after a phrase Chappelle said Mayer once used in a text message about their plans for an evening out on the town.

The pair have been close friends since Mayer, who is known for his pop hits such as “Your Body is a Wonderland,” appeared on Chappelle’s acclaimed Comedy Central series “The Chappelle Show” in 2004.

Credit: Brian Glass/Concert-Captures.Com

Credit: Brian Glass/Concert-Captures.Com

Since their meeting, Mayer has made other forays into the comedy world, even dabbling in stand-up comedy. More recently, he’s made his 5 million followers laugh with his hilarious, and very silly, Instagram stories.

“Controlled Danger” is the melding of both Mayer and Chappelle’s love of comedy and music. Since their tour was fairly recent, it has been rumored all summer that Mayer would make an appearance at Chappelle’s comedy series.

Mayer’s long-awaited arrival happened Saturday, the first date announced after Miami Township granted a zoning variance that allows Chappelle to continue to host shows at the Wirrig Pavilion in Yellow Springs.

Neighbors raised complaints about the shows, from increased noise to traffic. At the show on Saturday, there were clear changes to the already strict safety measures. Attendees were no longer allowed to return to their vehicles for any reason and re-enter the show. There were also on-screen instructions about not speeding when leaving the venue.

Once settled in, the audience was treated to a set of new material by comedian Sarah Silverman, who admitted her surprise set the evening before was the first time she’s been on stage in 5 months. Personally, I thought Silverman’s set was the funniest, and most relatable, of the comedians I’ve seen at this series, aside from Chappelle himself.

Credit: Rich Polk

Credit: Rich Polk

Silverman was followed by an all music set by Mayer, who was excited to perform two new songs for the crowd. He also performed some of his hit songs, like “Gravity” and “New Light.” Mayer switched between acoustic and electric guitars all evening, depending on what the song called for.

Mayer even teased “Althea” for the Grateful Dead fans in the audience. In 2015 Mayer joined Dead & Company, which is a band consisting of former Grateful Dead members. It’s a move that has endeared him to many Dead fans, who were at first incredulous that Mayer was selected to fill in for the band’s lead guitarist, Jerry Garcia.

Mayer’s banter with the audience showcased his natural and considerable charm. He also sincerely thanked Chappelle for “demanding purity of people.”

When Mayer’s music set concluded and he left the stage, Chappelle came out for a solo set. He discussed the recent zoning meeting and expressed some frustration that his neighbors would try to drive him out.

After a short time, Mayer came back on stage to join Chappelle for the “Controlled Danger” part of the show, which mostly consisted of them riffing off each other, occasionally playing a bit of a cover song that Chappelle would hilariously sing along to.

At one point, Tiffany Haddish surprised everyone, Chappelle and Mayer included, and joined the pair on stage for a bit.

Haddish has also been spotted around Yellow Springs with her boyfriend and rapper Common, along with French harmonic player Frédéric Yonnet and locals David Byrne (from Speaking Suns) and Danny Sauers, who delighted residents with impromptu music performances.

Chappelle’s shows over the last week have also featured a return visit from Jon Stewart and Louis C.K., as well as Jaleel White, who is known as Steven Urkel from the hit television show “Family Matters.”

Chappelle’s shows continue. For those seeking tickets, they tend to go on sale randomly between 10 a.m. and noon. Periodically checking for on sale announcements around 9:30-10:30 a.m. is helpful: https://www.ticketmaster.com/dave-chappelle-tickets/artist/803682

Posted by Danny Sauers on Sunday, August 9, 2020

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