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TUESDAY

Charlie Murphy was the breakout star of last season’s run of Chappelle’s Show, but Paul Mooney was the series’ secret weapon. As the all-knowing Negrodamus, he deadpanned the season’s key line, about how white people love Wayne Brady because “he makes Bryant Gumbel look like Malcolm X.” Without that knock, Brady’s subsequent appearance in the show’s instant-classic Training Day parody would’ve been impossible. Mooney’s racial barbs are nothing new to comedy insiders—he’s been writing for TV (Sanford and Son, Saturday Night Live, In Living Color) and stealing scenes in films (Hollywood Shuffle, Bamboozled) for decades. His stand-up is both raucous and steely, with rampant use of the N-word and little concern for the sensibilities of the softhearted. Unlike his idol Richard Pryor, Mooney eschews overt vulnerability in favor of a relentlessly cocky, you-can’t-touch-me vibe. But the truth is always in there. Get a dose when Mooney performs at 8:30 p.m. (see City List for other dates) at the Improv, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW. $20. (202) 296-7008. (Joe Warminsky)

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