Although go-go remains locked within the Beltway’s borders, our area has managed to export some first-class comedy to the 50 states. PG County’s Martin Lawrence took the low road out of town and has been rewarded with a No. 1 box-office film. On the other hand, Duke Ellington School of the Arts graduate Dave Chappelle has worked his way up the entertainment ladder by trafficking in more intellectually challenging material. Although there is a temptation to link Chappelle’s deceptively sleepy delivery with the fact that he wrote and starred in the just-say-yes movie Half-Baked, the comedian is actually one of the most alert observers of that thin black-and-white line that separates so much of modern society. That he still looks like a kid helps his frank racial commentary go down more smoothly—white folks can laugh, too!—but Chappelle’s not really kidding around. He returns home to tape an HBO special at 8 p.m. at the Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. $15. (202) 328-6000. (Dave Nuttycombe)

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