Comedian Dave Chappelle, one of D.C. Public Schools’ most famous alumni, strode on stage Sunday night at the Emmy awards to announce the best director of a comedy series. But, no doubt to the excitement of public school officials locally, he also decided to drop the school district’s name.
“I should also tell you that I skipped rehearsal,” Chappelle said, after introducing himself and noting his amazement at the number of black people in the audience, saying, “I counted 11.”
“All right, now I’m going to read this teleprompter. Shout out to D.C. Public Schools, here we go,” Chappelle joked. The audience roared with laughter. Chappelle is a 1991 graduate of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and returned to the school to speak at graduation in 2015.
D.C. Public Schools responded thusly:
Then came the truly unexpected: Comedian John Oliver, who is not an alum, also gave the school district a shout-out, while accepting an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series for “Last Week Tonight.”
“Like Dave Chappelle, I would like to unexpectedly thank D.C. Public Schools, because I think it would be great if it started trending on Twitter for no reason tonight whatsoever, so if you’re tweeting at home about the Emmys, please use the hashtag #DCPublicSchools,” Oliver said.
Twitter users seemed to be obliging, adding the tag on unrelated posts about the Emmys.
The reaction from D.C. Public Schools? This student’s facial expression pretty much captures it.
There’s plenty happening in the school system, which educates nearly 50,000 schoolchildren in the nation’s capital. Chappelle’s alma mater, Duke Ellington School of the Arts,
. The district just released another ambitious five-year plan. This is hardy the school district’s first brush with celebrity: