Suffice it to say, Chappelle’s Home Team—Luenell: Town Business was love at first sight. And it had to be since she was given only half an hour for her set. If we hadn’t fallen in love with her immediately, we wouldn’t have loved her at all, simply because there was no time.
Coming to the set itself, we must say that if our old age doesn’t look as good as Luenell’s, we don’t want it. You could tell that when she was on stage, she wasn’t even making the effort to make the audience laugh because she knew that she was just that good, and it was up to the taste of the audience to appreciate it. This is the only situation where a lack of effort is acceptable. That shade was directed at Emergency Contact and Sledgehammer. Either way, what strikes us first about Luenell is her choice of outfit. While it may initially come across as a deliberate costume for the sake of the set, it doesn’t take long to realize that this could easily be her personal style. We even imagined her going on that plane in those clothes, simply because they are so representative of her personality: sparkly and unapologetic. As we said before, we fell in love with her in the first five minutes, so our next natural step was to google her obsessively, and unexpectedly, she belongs to one of our favorite sun signs: Pisces.
While Pisces men seem to be more intuitive comedians, the women of this zodiac sign are fully capable of roasting you alive. It is right when they say that those who feel too much are also the ones most capable of not caring at all, and it shows in Luenell, in her unignorable personality, and in the way we see ourselves wanting to be her friend. The last bit is something we haven’t felt before.
A stand-up comedy set looks like one person talking on stage and the rest reacting to it from their seats, but the secret sauce of the magician is that it is a conversation being controlled by one person. Engagement doesn’t just mean that the comedian is provoking or reacting to the response of the audience. It means that they are including the audience in whatever they are saying. Even when talking about the most outlandish subjects, you cannot leave out a single person in the audience. Whether they relate to it or not, they have to keep up with you and care about what you are saying. This is the trick that Luenell uses when talking about “white” women. Before anybody decides to say something inane and vapid like “reverse racism,” we would like them to think about the difference in the effect of the joke. Luenell does not punch up, but when she punches down, what is the tangible long-term harm she is causing? And would it be the same if the roles were reversed, if a white woman was making that particular kind of joke about a black woman? If you insist on carrying the illusion of false equivalence, then comedy becomes very limited for you.
Our favorite bit in Chappelle’s Home Team—Luenell: Town Business has to be the bit about corporate people on a flight, but before that, if Luenell ever reads this article, can she tell us whether she got a look at the brand of that man’s laptop that managed to not run out of charge for five hours? Moving on, we agree with the sentiment that a ‘hello’ or at least a polite smile are in order when you are going to spend the next few hours sitting in a cramped space with someone. Secondly, we are 100 percent sure that what annoyed Luenell must have been the sound of the typing. It just hits differently with the changing air pressure at that high altitude, which clogs one’s ear. We see her point because it is easier to be more tolerant of someone who has said ‘hi’ to you than someone who has ignored your existence from the get-go. And Luenell does not like to be ignored. On a different note, we can see why she is so possessive of the view while taking off and landing. It is because that is the only thing that salvages the uncomfortable economy section of the airplane: that you are able to see that you can at least travel faster than you could have by train or bus.
At the beginning of this article, we had talked about how we loved her dress, but we neglected to say that what made the loud dress so classy was the very apt choice of color. That is why it is so representative of the matter of her entire set, because through the loudness, what Luenell talks about is her irritation with a lack of manners, class, and consideration. Be it airline etiquette, the appropriateness of modern slang versus the old one, or her relationships with men, Luenell has her manners and expectations, and she has us convinced that they are the best in the world. But on that note, we wished more comedians dressed for their sets than just showed up looking like it’s another day out for them.
There were a few points in Chappelle’s Home Team—Luenell: Town Business where you could tell just how much command Luenell had over her audience. They all had to be hooked to the slightest shake of her head to get the entirety of the joke, and they did that so effortlessly. This is making us wonder why Netflix did not give Luenell an entire hour. Was half an hour the time limit set up by Luenell or the giant streaming platform? In either case, we humbly request that whoever is calling the shots grace us with more of Luenell’s time and energy. The last time we were envious of not being physically present in the audience was during Michelle Wolf: It’s Great to Be Here, and our regret for not seeing Luenell face-to-face is even greater. This is the comedy that we want to come back to after a tiring day at work, and we want Netflix to take notes.