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"Ashy Larry" gets a chance to shine in CHAPPELLE'S HOME TEAM - DONNELL RAWLINGS: A NEW DAY"

Funnyman Donell Rawlings collaborates with his longtime friend and fellow DC native Dave Chappelle (who executive produces) for his first Netflix special in "Chappelle's Home Team: Donnell Rawlings: A New Day." Emmy and Grammy award winner Stan Lathan directs the special, which was filmed at Hard Rock Hotel in New York City during the New York Comedy Festival this November.

As a fresh day dawns, the buoyant spirit of Donnell Rawlings is undoubtedly tangible. Bedecked in an elegant blue suit, accentuated with vibrant red socks and meticulously groomed ankles, he eagerly presents himself for a profound conversation. The compelling dialogue navigates through critical topics encompassing detrimental relationships, journeys to New Zealand, the undeniable aging process, shared parenting responsibilities, and the potentially contentious Alabama brawl.

Like every comedy special I review, I try my best not to spoil the jokes in the special. That said, after over twenty years in the comedy and commendable dramatic turns in the shows "Winning Time" and "BMF," it was great to see Rawlings finally get a special. Rawlings is known for his outstanding comedy, which stems from his unique and humorous perspective on everyday life.

He combines this with his quick wit and sharp observational humor to create an entertaining experience for his audience. One of the highlights of his act is his reflection on his past relationship with a woman who branded him as self-absorbed. He expertly sets the scene for an amusing bit that cleverly references America's current pop princess and garners plenty of laughs from the audience.

Equally delightful is another clever joke where he comments about Middle Earth's lack of predominantly fair-skinned inhabitants, triggering chuckles over his mistaken identity as Idris Elba. Rawlings is known for his no-holds-barred approach to comedy, often taking on controversial topics fearlessly. He tackles race, politics, and pop culture with a comedic flair that is both refreshing and thought-provoking all of which is evident in this special.

While it won't win any awards, Donnell Rawlings' first Netflix stand-up special is a harmless forty-minute chuckle fest that should set the stage for even more opportunities.

Final Grade: B


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