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Chappelle’s “The Closer”: Observant or Derisive?

Bishop Barron begins his Catholicism book and video series reminding us that our salvation is bound up in comedy. He tells us, “It all begins with a jest,” the wildest congruence of opposites—divinity and humanity—in the birth of our eternal King in the lowliest surroundings. Bishop Barron concludes, “God chose to save us by making us laugh.”  Aristotle described comedy this way in his Poetics: “Comedy is, as we have said, an imitation of characters of a lower type, not, however, in the full sense of the word bad, the Ludicrous being merely a subdivision of the ugly. It consists in some defect or ugliness which is not painful or destructive. To take an obvious example, the comic mask is ugly…

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