During a new interview, Janelle James offered a critique of Dave Chappelle’s recent stand-up specials. As the cover star for Variety, the actress detailed her opinion of the veteran comedian, referring to his recent comedy specials, and acknowledging her appreciation of his past work.
“The last thing I watched of his was when he came out with all the specials at once,” explained the Abbott Elementary star.
“Regardless of what he said, I thought it was boring. I like silly Chappelle. He’s in his wisdom bag now,” she says. “We’re clowns! Once we forget that we’re clowns, then it becomes bad. Your objective is to make people laugh and then sneak your thoughts in underneath the jokes. If your thoughts are on top, that’s not funny or entertaining to me.”
During the interview, the comedic talent also clarified her professional relationship with Chris Rock, who is often credited for her giving James her big break after she toured with him in 2017.
“He’s done a lot,” she explained. “He’s done enough for me. He didn’t make my career or anything. I was never close with Chris Rock. We went on tour together, and then I didn’t speak to him after that.”
Elsewhere in the feature, the Emmy-nominated star discussed her career goals, her lifestyle off-camera, and never disclosing her age.
“I’m grown. I have a 20-year-old son. I’m not ashamed of my age or anything like that. But for women — and everybody knows it and acts like they don’t — it gives an idea of what you are in people’s heads,” she detailed. “People have this idea of motherhood, the same way they have an idea of women as we reach a certain age. Each age group, people have an idea in your head of what it is. I don’t want that to prevent me from doing anything, because I can do everything.”
Read the full profile on Variety.