The funniest show on TV at the moment may be the Comedy Central smash Chappelle's Showwhich has also become the obligatory show for dorky white folks to name-check to sound halfway cool. It's because of breakout performer Charlie Murphy that the geeks sitting behind me at Anchorman kept cracking each other up by bellowing, "I'm Ron Burgundy, bitch!" This season's highlights have been Murphy's "true Hollywood stories" of encounters with the likes of Princeand, yes, Rick James, bitch. (It'll be interesting this weekend to see how Murphy handles James' surprise death Friday morningin comedy, the old adage that "timing is everything" isn't always to the good.)
No longer known just as the screenwriter of his younger brother Eddie's Vampire in Brooklyn, Murphy headlines the "Stars of Chappelle's Show" tour, which starts a three-night stand Friday at Zanies. Joining Murphy are two of the show's other valuable players, Donnell Rawlings (known to you as Ashy Larry from the "World Series of Dice Shooting" sketch) and Bill Burr (from the classic "Race Draft"). There are two shows Friday at 8 and 10:15 p.m.; three Saturday at 7, 9 and 11:15 p.m.; and one Sunday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20, and several of the shows are almost sold out. Call 269-0221 for more info.
♦ Although it's rightly regarded today as one of the city's treasures, the 112-year-old Ryman Auditorium was almost a civic casualty in the 1980s after the Grand Ole Opry moved to its new home at Opryland. Nashville Public Television's new documentary The Ryman: Mother Church of Country Music charts the legendary concert hall's history and profiles its colorful personalities, including riverboat Capt. Thomas Ryman, fire-and-brimstone preacher Sam Jones, and the Ryman's longtime manager and champion Lula C. Naff, whose reign at the Mother Church lasted for more than a half-century. The program, produced by Bridget Kling and narrated by Hal Ketchum, will be re-broadcast 10:30 a.m. Sunday on NPT-Channel 8.
♦ A wolf goes chasing after young girlswhat, is Peter Jennings back in town? Just kidding! No, it's time to revisit the well-worn path to Grandma's house in the Olde Worlde Theatre Company's retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, running 10 a.m. this Saturday and next at the Belcourt. My, what sharp teeth you have! Call 846-3150 for information and discounts on wolf repellent.
♦ Among the many health issues facing musicians, hearing loss looms as a crisis. To raise awareness of the issue, the EAR Foundation hosts its first annual Hear for the Cause benefit 6 p.m. Tuesday at Chi-Town. Featured guests include songwriters James House, Dylan Altman, JB Bruck, Johnny Reid, James Slater, Chris Wallen and more. For more information, call 284-7807 or see www.earfoundation.org.