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8:46 (special)

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A black-and-white photo of Chapelle onstage holding a microphone
Directed byJulia Reichert
Steven Bognar
Written byDave Chappelle
StarringDave Chappelle
Distributed byYouTube
Release date
  • June 12, 2020 (2020-06-12)
Running time
27 minutes
CountryUnited States

8:46 is a 2020 performance special by American comedian Dave Chappelle about violence against African Americans. The special was released via YouTube on June 12, 2020.[1] The performance is not a traditional stand-up comedy special, as it was recorded at a private outdoor venue due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Ohio and features long stretches without humor.[2] Critical consensus has been positive for the comedy and the social commentary.


What are you signifying? That you can kneel on a man's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds and feel like you wouldn't get the wrath of God? That's what is happening right now. It's not for a single cop, it's for all of it.

—Chappelle in 8:46 on the police who are complicit in the murder of George Floyd

The special was released via Netflix's YouTube channel "Netflix Is a Joke" at midnight on June 12, 2020, with no prior announcement from Netflix.[1] This was directed by Oscar-winning documentarians Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar (American Factory). The recording was made at the private event "Dave Chappelle & Friends: A Talk with Punchlines" held outdoors on June 6, 2020, at the Wirrig Pavilion in Yellow Springs, Ohio,[3] where an audience of roughly 100[4] observed social distancing rules and wore masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


The event was entitled 8:46 in reference to the 8 minutes 46 seconds that police officer Derek Chauvin was originally reported to have kneeled on the neck of George Floyd, a Black man, murdering him, and Chappelle's time of birth on his birth certificate, being born at 8:46 AM.

Album release[edit]

Chappelle touches on Floyd's murder and the subsequent protests, discusses the history of violence against African-Americans in the United States and their attempts to push back, and takes aim at conservative pundits Laura Ingraham and Candace Owens for their policing of the Black community.[2]

An album of the performance was released on October 29, 2021, by Third Man Records.


CNN broadcaster Don Lemon called on celebrities to speak out about the George Floyd protests and Chappelle referenced this in the special saying that the people in the streets needed to lead and celebrities should follow. Lemon commented that he agreed with Chappelle's criticism.[1] Lisa Respers France of CNN characterized the special as "hard-hitting".[1] Jason Weisberger of the community blog BoingBoing embedded the YouTube broadcast with nothing more than the commentary "amazingly powerful".[5] Writing for USA Today, Morgan Hines called the special "impactful" and sums up the consensus from social media as positive.[6] Sean L. McCarthy of Decider urged readers to stream 8:46 in spite of the fact that much of the special is not intended to be comedic because of its social value and the comedy of the jokes that are interspersed in the performance.[7] Randall Coburn of The A.V. Club quoted Chappelle who says, "This is not funny at all", writing it "is both true and not" and particularly calling attention to Chappelle's criticism of Candace Owens.[4] Tomi Obaro of BuzzFeed News noted that the special focuses on Black men who have died but does not discuss police violence against Black women or transgender people.[8]

The special was YouTube's top trending video in 2020.[9]

Awards and nominations for 8:46
Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result
Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards[10] Best Streaming Sketch Series, Variety Series, Talk Show or Comedy/Variety Special 8:46 Nominated
NAACP Image Awards[11] Outstanding Variety Show (Series or Special) Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards[12] Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded) Dave Chappelle, Julia Reichert, Sina Sadighi and Steven Bognar Nominated
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards[12] Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special Julia Reichert, Steven Bognar and Dave Chappelle Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special Dave Chappelle Nominated
Producers Guild of America Awards[13] Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment & Talk Television Dave Chappelle, Julia Reichert, Sina Sadighi and Steven Bognar Nominated
Grammy Awards[14] Best Spoken Word Album Dave Chappelle and Amir Sulaiman Nominated

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d France, Lisa Respers (June 12, 2020). "Dave Chappelle drops Hard-Hitting '8:46' Special". CNN. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Shifferaw, Abel (June 12, 2020). "Watch Dave Chappelle Discuss George Floyd's Death at 'A Talk with Punchlines' Event". Complex. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  3. ^ Ballengee, Libby (June 11, 2020). "Dave Chappelle Hosts Impromptu Comedy Events in Yellow Springs – with More to Come". Cox Enterprises. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Coburn, Randall (June 12, 2020). "Dave Chappelle Reflects on George Floyd, Slams Candace Owens in Surprise Netflix Special, 8:46". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  5. ^ Weisberger, Jason (June 12, 2020). "Dave Chappelle's 8:46". BoingBoing. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  6. ^ Hines, Morgan (June 12, 2020). "Dave Chappelle Speaks on George Floyd's Death, Protests in Impactful Netflix 8:46 Special". USA Today. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  7. ^ McCarthy, Sean L. (June 12, 2020). "Stream It or Skip It: Dave Chappelle: 8:46 on YouTube, a Surprise Stand-Up Set That Couldn't Be Any More Timely". Decider. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  8. ^ Obaro, Tomi (June 12, 2020). "Dave Chappelle Just Dropped A New Comedy Special And It's Scathing". BuzzFeed News.
  9. ^ Spangler, Todd (December 1, 2020). "Dave Chappelle Had YouTube's Top-Trending 2020 Video With Raw Netflix Special". Variety. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  10. ^ "'Ted Lasso,' 'The Crown,' 'The Mandalorian,' 'Cruel Summer,' 'New Amsterdam' Among HCA TV Awards Winners". Variety. August 30, 2021. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
  11. ^ Gibbs, Adrienne. "Netflix, HBO Lead NAACP Image Awards 2021 Nominations". Forbes. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  12. ^ a b "8:46 – Dave Chappelle". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved July 13, 2021.
  13. ^ Pedersen, Erik (March 8, 2021). "PGA Awards Nominations: 'Borat', 'Ma Rainey', 'Chicago 7', 'Nomadland', 'Mank' & 'Minari' Among Pics Vying For Marquee Prize". Deadline. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  14. ^ "2022 GRAMMYs Awards Show: Complete Nominations List". Grammy Awards. November 23, 2021. Retrieved November 23, 2021.

External links[edit]