Dave Chappelle Talks about His Abrupt Exit from CHAPPELLE’S SHOW

by     Posted 193 days ago

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At its height, Chappelle’s Show became one of the hottest show on TV.  It came at a time when Comedy Central’s only hits were The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and South Park.  Fans were saying “I’m Rick James, bitch!” and talking about Chappelle’s brilliant sketches like the black Ku Klux Klan leader and “Moments in the Life of Lil’ Jon.  After the popularity of the first two seasons, Comedy Central offered Dave Chappelle $50 million for more seasons, but during work on season three, Chappelle left the show, production shut down, and the series ended.  It was an abrupt end to a show that was embedding itself in the Zeitgeist.  Questions have always surrounded his exit, and talking with David Letterman on The Late Show, Chappelle talked about why he left.

“Technically, I never quit,” says Chappelle.  “I’m seven years late for work.”  Hit the jump for more.

chappelles-show-black-presidentDiscussing why he left Chappelle’s Show, Chappelle was still somewhat evasive and clearly ambivalent about deciding to end the series.  Leaving $50 million on the table, most people would be.  Surprisingly, he didn’t touch on sketches he wanted to do or any behind-the-scenes conflict.  Instead, Chappelle and Letterman talked about the fallout following his exit rather than the specific reasons for why he didn’t return for work.

From time to time, I wonder what would have happened if Chappelle’s Show remained on the air.  The show was so sharp in its racial satire, and I remain curious as to how Chappelle would have handled Barack Obama, especially since one of Chappelle’s sketches was about a black president.

Additionally, it would have been fun to see more Charlie Murphy stories, more of Chappelle’s recurring characters, and any new characters he and his writers might have dreamt up.  At the very least, he’s continuing to do stand-up, so we should all be grateful for that.

Here’s his interview with Letterman talking about life post-Chappelle’s Show [via Vulture]:




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  • Daniel Ronczkowski

    In the next year or two I have a feeling we will see Chappelle back on the air.

    • Scott

      Don’t tease me..

    • Scott

      Don’t tease me..

  • Daniel Ronczkowski

    In the next year or two I have a feeling we will see Chappelle back on the air.

  • Royale With Cheese

    Breast milk, you made my day-ayyyyy…..

  • Royale With Cheese

    Breast milk, you made my day-ayyyyy…..

  • Liderc

    He seems weird in this interview, maybe tired.

    He blew his opportunity, whether they were restricting what he could do or not. He chose to let it go when it was the best comedy show on tv and that’s a bummer for us, his fans, but it’s his life.

  • Liderc

    He seems weird in this interview, maybe tired.

    He blew his opportunity, whether they were restricting what he could do or not. He chose to let it go when it was the best comedy show on tv and that’s a bummer for us, his fans, but it’s his life.

  • NICK НΛRT

    this dude can do whatever he wants. chappelles show was one of the greatest comedy tv shows of all time, i wouldn’t ask any more from him.

  • NICK НΛRT

    this dude can do whatever he wants. chappelles show was one of the greatest comedy tv shows of all time, i wouldn’t ask any more from him.

  • MCP

    Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey…. Smoke weed, every day!

  • MCP

    Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey…. Smoke weed, every day!

  • Dustin

    Check out “Inside the Actor’s Studio” with Dave Chapelle, he goes into more detail as to why he left.

  • Dustin

    Check out “Inside the Actor’s Studio” with Dave Chapelle, he goes into more detail as to why he left.

    • Scott

      lol I saw that. He showed up late as f**k and just casually lit a cigarette on stage.

    • Scott

      lol I saw that. He showed up late as f**k and just casually lit a cigarette on stage.

  • Al

    I actually thought he was hilarious in this. Even when he’s playing it straight, hes got great zingers. Go Chappelle!

  • Dickgeek

    Manages to say a lot of words without actually saying anything. Impressive.

  • Dickgeek

    Manages to say a lot of words without actually saying anything. Impressive.

  • Jan

    Chappelle’s decision of turning away $50 million is a real-life example of when “Keeping it Real Goes Wrong.”

  • Jan

    Chappelle’s decision of turning away $50 million is a real-life example of when “Keeping it Real Goes Wrong.”

    • Royale With Cheese

      Haha this.

  • Scott

    One of the two shows I bought all the seasons of.

    • Daniel Ronczkowski

      Then they put them up on netflix.

  • vitextreeradar

    he left because people were laughing before the punchline to a parody about racist attitudes. it would be like laughing at an overweight comedian before they even tell a joke.

  • http://www.discogs.com/ AdamShitwood

    It’s been forever. Get over it, bro. Make something new so you don’t have to talk about this every time you get interviewed.

  • Jjzip

    Who cares? We got tosh now.

    • Guy

      Hahahahaha. Are you serious? Making fun of Internet clips is so innovative. Creating funny original sketches isn’t. You like Dane Cook too right?

  • brNdon

    He previously said that the show ruined his life. People would run up to him and yell “I’m Rick James, bitch” while out with his kids.

  • ervin

    i just realized, he could do a killer obama impression

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