Date of Award

Spring 2016

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


American Studies and Economics

First Advisor

Davarian Baldwin


Coming off of the second season of his hit comedy show, Dave Chappelle was being hailed by media sources around the country as “the funniest man on television.”[1] The Chappelle Show had found a way to revolutionize sketch comedy through creative yet taboo racial sketches. The show’s wild success was closely tied to the memorable characters, ridiculous stories and the quotable lines that were produced week after week. The Chappelle Show invented many characters that became fan favorites, such as the crack addict Tyrone Biggums, Clayton Bigsby, the blind black man who was a white supremacist, and his memorable quotes such as, “I’m Rick James, Bitch!”[2] In these sketches Chappelle captured both the absurdities and difficulties of navigating race and racism in our so-called post-racial America.

[1] Kevin Powell and 2006, “Heaven Hell Dave Chappelle,” Esquire, April 30, 2006,

[2] “Chappelle’s Show - Season 2 Episode 4,” 4.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, for the degree of Bachelor of Science in American Studies and Economics.