Even more than live music, live comedy needs an audience, but the coronavirus is making that hard. Dave Chappelle is giving it a try, though, via intimate, socially distant and invite-only shows near his hometown of Dayton, Ohio. Dubbed "Dave Chappelle & Friends: A Talk with Punchlines," there have been two shows so far (June 6 and June 8) at Wirrig Pavilion in Yellow Springs, OH with around 100 attendees at each.

According to Dayton.com, Dave and guests performed from the main stage with  a few people in the actual pavilion, and the rest of the audience on lawn chairs and blankets spaced out on the lawn. Everyone was wearing facemasks, and there were custom masks available (which you can see below). Attendees said Dave's sets were long and off-the-cuff. “Dave spoke about current events that no one has heard him say before,” attendee Raymond G. Howard told Dayton.com. “Trump, George Floyd, racism, his Netflix specials, a restraining order against a man from Fairborn, and his son getting tear gassed in Beavercreek at a protest.”

Attendees also said Dave ended the night on a serious note, talking about the murder of George Floyd, the protests that have been constant across America since his death, and Black Lives Matter. “It was so intense to see the emotion on his face from such a close distance,” Keith Klein told Dayton.com. “It was a powerful and moving moment, especially with everything going on in the world right now.”

As for the "& Friends" part, also performing were Michelle Wolf and Cincinnati comedian Gabe Kea.

There is another "Dave Chappelle & Friends: A Talk with Punchlines" show on Thursday (6/11) at Wirrig Pavilion. Like the previous two, it's invite only (here is the Eventbrite page, though), and like all Dave Chappelle shows, there's a strict no-cellphone policy. There's also no alcohol sold or allowed at the show.

While these are invite-only, Dave has been filming them, so maybe there will be a new Netflix special to come out of this.

As you may recall, Dave Chappelle hosted a block party benefit last year in his hometown for the victims of the Dayton mass shooting.

dave chappelle socially distant comedy shows

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