Dave Chappelle Has No Regrets About Quitting Show
Dave Chappelle is back to doing stand-up in comedy clubs and has no regrets about quitting his popular television show.
Comedian Dave Chappelle, who walked away from his hit TV series earlier this year, said working in front of smaller audiences is more his speed. Chappelle sold out 10 shows at a northern Kentucky club and said doing standup is “like I’m hanging out with a bunch of people.”
Chappelle stunned fans and the entertainment industry when he abruptly left during production of the third season of his Comedy Central series, “Chappelle’s Show.” He spent two weeks in South Africa before returning home to his 65-acre farm near Yellow Springs, Ohio, about 75 miles northeast of Cincinnati, and then returned to standup comedy. He played the Funny Bone Comedy Club at Newport on the Levee last week, a 325-seat club.
“I like that particular kind of attention. People don’t know what it’s like standing up there on stage, when you have a wall of people smiling at you,” Chappelle told The Cincinnati Enquirer for a story published Monday. “Most people don’t know what it’s like to stand up there and speak their mind. I have a venue to do that. I get paid to do that. It’s not like I’m doing heavy lifting up there. It’s not like I’m solving the world’s problems. It’s like I’m hanging out with a bunch of people and it’s cool,” he said.
Chappelle has said he was unhappy with the direction of his show. His decision triggered reports that he had mental or drug problems, which he denied. “It was a little weird,” he told the newspaper. “It felt like some of the stuff was real tabloid, like raw speculation. “It was like stuff I would normally buy and believe,” he added, laughing. “I just took it as a learning experience. It was like becoming a public person and learning all the responsibility that comes with that.”
It’s hard to fathom walking away from a hugely popular show and a $50 million contract. But it’s not like he can’t make a good living doing standup.