By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Comedian Dave Chappelle will grace the stage at Icehouse MPLS to share his comedy with Twin Cities fans.

“I love this place. The perfect size, it’s very intimate,” Chappelle said. “Sounds good in here, feels good in here.”

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He uses his laid-back style to address social and political issues. And when on stage at Icehouse MPLS, he does not stray away from events that have cast Minnesota in the national and international spotlight.

“I think that one of the things that’s special about our genre in this day and age is that it’s very engaging, it’s very personal,” he said. “And I think in this cyberspace world that people need an entertainer that looks them in their eyes and says some things that they feel.”

But don’t expect to take a picture or video at his Icehouse shows. Chappelle asks fans to put their phone in a pouch. He says it helps make the show that much better.

“It just empowers me to say more because I know that I’m just talking to the people in the room,” Chappelle said. “They might write about what I say or blog about what I say, but there ain’t no leaks, man. There’s no footage, no secret tapes. I can work on my special in peace.”

Dave Chappelle (credit: CBS)

Chappelle is having a stellar 2017.

“My first [Emmy nomination] since ‘Chappelle Show,’ and I got it on ‘Saturday Night Live.’ Who knew,” he said.

His two Netflix specials have also introduced him to a new generation of fans.

“The Netflix thing was a windfall for me. Like, I didn’t expect it to go as well as it did,” Chappelle said. “I was real happy that people were still interested in me, and I’m very excited about putting another one out.”

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Chappelle is proud to celebrate 30 years in the entertainment business.

“I’m just grateful, man. Like, to be able to do something like this for 30 years, I’ve got to be one of the luckiest people alive,” Chappelle said.

He says he counts his blessings every time he is on stage.

“I’ve seen the world. I’ve more than seen the world, I’ve entertained people all over the world, and I’ve met people all over the world,” Chappelle said. “And I know comedians all over the world and I’ve watched the genre that I’m in grow. And right now in particular, it’s a very exciting time for comedians.”

His first big gig was at Radio City Music Hall at the age of 19, where he opened for Aretha Franklin. He returns to the venue in August.

“The 14 nights or however many nights we’re there, it will be the first time me and Chris Rock co-headline a show together. I’m doing four nights with The Roots. We got amazing special guests,” he said. “The last night of the run is the 24th, which is my birthday, which ushers in my 30th anniversary in stand-up. I got special guests playing that night, too. One of Prince’s band members is going to be fronting the band that night. John Mayer’s going to play that night, and some other huge surprises.”

Chappelle says nothing is more special than his fans in Minneapolis and St. Paul. He talked about recent events that have placed Minnesota in the national and international spotlight.

Chappelle says he has no doubt the people of Minneapolis will come together to address the issues faced with compassion, fairness and respect.

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Watch The Full Interview:

Reg Chapman