Comedian Dave Chappelle traveled to Ames on Tuesday for a show at Iowa State University, and KCCI reported he brought Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang — who he has endorsed for president — as a special guest. Before the show, Chappelle spoke about his support for the 44-year-old serial entrepreneur and why he believes in his platform, which centers around a universal basic income (UBI) of $1,000 per month.
“What I’m trying to do is make people aware of an option that I think is fantastic,” he said in a YouTube video of the interview. “I mean, people are always gonna do what they wanna do, I don’t wanna be insulting to people — I’m a nightclub comedian! That’s what I do. I’m not an expert on anything.”
Chappelle then noted that he lives in Dayton, Ohio, which he highlighted earlier in the interview is a city struggling with poverty, crime, and drug addiction. According to Chappelle, a UBI would help many people in his town “almost instantly,” and he believes most residents would select a UBI over health insurance.
“I really do think it’s an important — you know, Martin Luther King came up with a universal basic income! No one’s ever run on this before, it’s very exciting, I’m very inspired.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Chappelle talked about Yang’s platform and how it addresses the “emotional content of what being an American is like,” pointing to homemakers, overlooked workers, and people who struggle with the fear of not paying their bills.
“This would alleviate a lot of the bad feelings in the country almost immediately,” Chappelle said.
He also touched on what he saw as the Yang campaign’s reportedly low representation in the media.
The Sticks & Stones comedian is reportedly going door-to-door in support of Yang’s campaign this afternoon from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST in Columbia, South Carolina.
Yang is currently sixth in the polls overall behind Pete Buttigieg ahead of the Iowa caucuses on February 3, and his performance in the state will determine how far he can go in the race.
Despite lagging in overall polling, Yang has received multiple pieces of good news ahead of the Iowa caucuses. As The Gazette reported, Yang recently topped an Iowa straw poll among teen students, inching out Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. In addition, Morning Consult polling put him at 8 percent in the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina.