‘I Like Silly Chappelle’: ‘Abbott Elementary’ Star Janelle James Says She Prefers Old Dave Chappelle After Claiming His Recent Comedy Specials Were ‘Boring’

Janelle James has fans heated after weighing in on Dave Chappelle‘s standup routines he’s delivered over the last few years.

During a recent interview, the “Abbott Elementary” actress and comedienne said she thought his last few specials were “boring” and implied his comedy was “bad.”

James was seemingly speaking about Chappelle’s latest Netflix specials, “Dave Chappelle,” which was released in 2017, the 2019 special “Sticks & Stones” and “The Closer,” a 2021 special. In 2022’s “Dave Chappelle: What’s in a Name?” the comedian shared some rather controversial remarks about the transgender community, for which he received subsequent backlash.

Janelle James (L) and Dave Chappelle (R) (Photos: @davechappelle/Twitter/@janellejames/Instagram)

“The last thing I watched of his was when he came out with all the specials at once,” she told Variety on April 19. “Regardless of what he said, I thought it was boring. I like silly Chappelle.”

Related: Dave Chappelle Catching Heat About Contents of Much-Anticipated Netflix Specials

James — who has a 20-year-old son but refused to reveal her age — added that she admired the 49-year-old Chappelle while she was growing up.

“He’s in his wisdom bag now. We’re clowns! Once we forget that we’re clowns, then it becomes bad,” she continued. “Your objective is to make people laugh and then sneak your thoughts in underneath the jokes.

She added, “If your thoughts are on top, that’s not funny or entertaining to me.”

Fans were shocked by James’ comments about Chappelle’s standup and responded with their own opinions. “No, he still funny,” one fan replied.

“This n—a is a legend he dont even got say jokes nomore he could speak straight thoughts and still be funny,” wrote a second.

One fan, who seemed to agree with James, wrote, “She’s not wrong he spent three specials on one transgender joke to make sure we got it.”

One final commentator expressed being unaware of who she is. “Who the hell is Janelle James?”

James may not have found Chappelle’s specials funny, but many others certainly enjoyed his comedy shows. “The Closer” received a 95 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and earned Chappelle two Emmy nominations.

At least 87 million people watched the special, and Netflix reportedly paid the entertainer $20 million for each special on the streaming service.

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