The Legend of Dave Chappelle

The Legend of Dave Chappelle

Collin Cardot

Dave Chappelle is one of my favorite comedians, so when I was scrolling through Netflix and saw his famous Chappelle’s Show sitting there I was super pumped. I was so excited to see more skits with characters like Tron Carter and Tyrone Biggums. And as I was watching, I was reminded of a story. See Chappelle’s Show is interesting in and of itself, however, the way it ended maybe even cooler.

The show’s last episode aired in 2006, and many fans expected the third season. This was not the case. Comedy Central had recently been acquired by Viacom, which Dave cites as one of the biggest sources of interference. Chappelle always pushed the boundary of what was said on TV, and with new management, seemed to find himself constantly defending himself. 

After an incident at a stand-up show which caused him to end his act early, Chappelle left for South Africa for two weeks. He’s not very open on the subject but in 2018 he told David Letterman he wanted to quote “get out of media coverage.” 

When Chappelle got back to his home in Ohio he turned down a fifty-million-dollar offer from Comedy Central and stayed more or less M.I.A. for a long time after that. Chapelle was never fully gone from the comedy scene, but boy was he hard to find. One option he exercised has been becoming more and more popular with comedians; they ban phones in order to not let jokes get out into the public. 

Chappelle’s disappearance is very contrary to a lot of artists nowadays. When faced with the decision of money versus contentment, Chappelle chose the latter. He chose not to sit idly by while the content he was producing was being stripped and altered almost all the time. He recognized how important he was to that show and decided to do something about it. Because of this choice, Dave has been able to spend time with his family and travel the world. Dave has since become less elusive and you can now watch Chappelle’s Show and some of his comedy specials on Netflix.