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Chappelle Show Suspended

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Chappelle Show Suspended

Old 05-12-05, 08:23 PM
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Comedians are often not the most mentally and emotionally healthy people, y'all (duh).

I hope DC recovers well and soon...and that his crazy humor doesn't suffer in the process.
Old 05-13-05, 09:06 AM
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When you sign a contract for $20 million a year, expect to feel a little pressure.

I love his show, but I can't feel too sorry for him.
Old 05-14-05, 04:28 AM
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Doesn't look good:

Timing of Comic's Flight Is Bad for Comedy Central
Executives had hoped 'the hottest thing' on their network would help launch new programs. His absence leaves them scrambling.

By Scott Collins and Matea Gold, Times Staff Writers

Late last month, comic Dave Chappelle called his bosses at the Viacom Inc.-owned cable network Comedy Central with some distressing news. He had suddenly decided to quit "Chappelle's Show," the enormously popular sketch series that has made him a $50-million star and a household name among young fans of his outrageous spoofs and impersonations.

The reasons were murky, and network President Doug Herzog stayed on the line for a long time, working hard to turn his star around. Days later, Chappelle relented and said he'd stay after all, according to two sources familiar with the situation.

But then matters unraveled entirely. Chappelle, who failed to report to work April 29, fled to South Africa and mysteriously cut off contact at least temporarily with some of his family members and closest advisors, according to sources inside Comedy Central and close to Chappelle. The following week, the network announced that the third-season premiere of its No. 2 show (after "South Park") would be postponed indefinitely.

"It's crushing on a lot of levels," Herzog said in a phone interview Friday. "There's no question about it, he was the hottest thing on the network…. It's tough to lose your big power hitter like that."

Clearly, Chappelle's disappearing act comes at a bad time for Comedy Central, which has been piling up record ratings and counting on fresh Chappelle episodes to help launch a full slate of new programs this summer. Now, executives can't say when — or even if — "Chappelle's Show" will return.

The 31-year-old Chappelle, like many performers, has been known to reschedule tapings at the last minute and engage in other unpredictable behavior, Herzog said. But his abrupt and unexplained departure left virtually everyone close to the comic baffled.

"He's never just dropped off the face of the planet like this," Herzog said.

Chappelle's publicist, Matt Labov, declined to comment but confirmed certain details for this article.

As recently as three years ago, Chappelle was a hardworking if somewhat obscure performer with multiple failed network sitcoms under his belt. But since "Chappelle's Show" began in 2002, his spirited goofs on such entertainers as actor Samuel L. Jackson and late funk singer Rick James have turned into a major profit machine for Viacom and Comedy Central.

The first season of "Chappelle" has become the bestselling TV series DVD of all time, with nearly 3 million copies sold, according to Viacom-owned distributor Paramount Home Entertainment. The second-season DVD will be released May 24, intended to coincide with the third-season premiere.

The sudden postponement of the program forced Herzog and his team to scramble, rescheduling series premieres from comics D.L. Hughley and Carlos Mencia. The network originally hoped that Chappelle's vast popularity could encourage viewers to sample those programs. The network also had sold millions of dollars in advertising tied to the show, although executives say much, if not all, of that will be moved to other programs.

But far beyond any question of economic fallout is the mystery of Chappelle himself: how a gifted young performer who had struggled for years to find success suddenly went AWOL just as he seemed poised for his greatest triumph. A landmark deal now in peril guaranteed Chappelle at least $35 million and as much as $50 million if copies of his DVD continued to sell well.

The eldest of three children, Chappelle grew up in Washington, D.C., and Ohio, where his late father taught music at Antioch College. He first tried his hand at stand-up comedy at age 14, hitting open-mike nights at Washington comedy clubs, accompanied by his mother, a Unitarian minister.

Encouraged by the reaction, he took his act to New York, where his first appearance onstage at the Apollo Theater was greeted with boos. Undaunted, Chappelle moved to New York at age 17 and began to hit the local comedy clubs. Within a few years, television and film deals followed. He co-starred in "Buddies," a 1996 midseason ABC sitcom that was quickly canceled. Disney was impressed enough, however, to sign him for a $1-million development contract.

David McFadzean, executive producer of "Buddies," recalled in an interview this week that Chappelle exhibited no personal problems during the arduous, months-long development and production process. "The show was troubled, but not because of David," McFadzean said. "He was alarmingly regular for a TV actor."

The producers were especially impressed with Chappelle's unusual comic gifts. "He had the ability to say … controversial things," McFadzean said, "but he said them in such a way that he was charming and likable. There was no question in my mind that once he found the right place for his voice, people were going to love him."

As Chappelle kept struggling to find that place, however, he seemed to grow increasingly bitter at the Hollywood system.

"I'd done 11 television pilots [before 'Chappelle's Show'], which was very grueling, you know," he said on NPR's "Fresh Air" last fall. "At first I would defer to these [executives] just because they were older than me and they all had suits on and I guess they'd know what they're talking about: 'First, Dave, let me tell you something about TV. People want blah-blah-blah, blah-blah-blah and blah-blah-blah, and our research shows blah-blah-blah, blah, blah, blah-blah, blah-blah.' … Each time it got progressively more frustrating."

The dry streak ended with "Chappelle's Show." With its incendiary racial humor, the program quickly gained an avid following, averaging 3.1 million viewers a week by the end of its second season.

Success brought new tensions. Chappelle believed that he was not fairly compensated for the enormous popularity of the show on DVD — which Comedy Central has said it addressed with last summer's contract, which would pay Chappelle as much as $50 million for two more seasons of new episodes, plus a percentage of DVD revenue. Executives grew irritated when Chappelle gave interviews talking about his newfound wealth.

The network originally slated the third season to begin in February 2005 but pushed the date back to the spring when Chappelle complained of illness and that he needed more time to write with his longtime partner, Neal Brennan. (Through his agents at CAA, Brennan declined to comment.)

When Chappelle returned to work in late winter, he seemed uneasy. One source at the network says he would suddenly quit in the middle of sketches, expressing dissatisfaction with the quality of the work and disappearing for hours at a time.

Even so, by late last month he and Brennan had completed taping enough sketches to fill four of 10 episodes for season three, although they were missing the "wrap-arounds" in which Chappelle introduced the bits. Brennan showed the completed sketches to the show's staff this week, and Comedy Central executives have said they're pleased with what they've seen.

In his last contact with Comedy Central's Herzog, Chappelle said he would continue working but asked the network to give him one more postponement. But the network, reasoning that it had already sold ads for the show and spent heavily on promotion for "Chappelle" and the rest of the summer lineup, refused. Days later, Chappelle disappeared and has made no public statements since.

Comedy Central will have to soldier on, Herzog said, noting that the network continues to have its best year ever, with such fare as "South Park," and "Blue Collar TV."

"We're planning for life without Dave at least for calendar year 2005," Herzog said. "Life goes on…. We can't put the business on hold for this."
Old 05-14-05, 07:58 PM
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I heard from a very reliable source that dave was just diagnoised with scizoprenia
Old 05-14-05, 07:58 PM
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Dave Chappelle Found! Talks Exclusively with TIME Magazine in South Africa

"I figured, Let me just cut myself off from everybody, take a minute and pull a Flintstone-stop a speeding car by using my feet as the brakes. I am surprised at what I would do for $50 million. I am surprised at what people around me would do for me to have $50 million," Dave Chappelle tells TIME's Christopher John Farley in an exclusive interview.

CHAPPELLE tells TIME he's not in mental hospital or drug rehab, debunking earlier reports in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY and elsewhere.

The full story, as well as exclusive photos of Chappelle in South Africa, will appear on TIME.com Sunday morning and in the issue that hits newsstands Monday.
Old 05-14-05, 08:23 PM
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well aint that some shit
Old 05-14-05, 09:30 PM
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This is the weirdest fucking story.
Old 05-14-05, 10:16 PM
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Well he always appeared to be normal
Old 05-14-05, 11:56 PM
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... well I believe that this has nothing to do with Dave on drugs or any shit like that. [I really hope that it's not... I really don't give a fuck of other people's [that I don't personnally know] lives, but Dave is a talented funny man and always seems cool, especially on Conan]

Since getting this big payday, probably many people are trying to get some. He might of had been Threaten [him/family] or someone is Extorting him. Many snakes and fakes come out when they see or smell money.

So I hope that Dave is alright, comes back, lives life... and gets to continue on what he does best, makes us

This is my thinking.
Old 05-15-05, 03:49 AM
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According to Entertainment Weekly, they don't expect the show to ever go forward again. The people who work on the show have been freed up to look for work elsewhere.
Old 05-15-05, 08:24 AM
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that boy need to relax, if he wanted to get away to get his mind right he should have just said that and not run away and leave everyone hi and dry

if him and neal brennan are having 'creativity issues' it won't hurt to recruit more writers with some fresh ideas

it would be a shame if the show doesn't come back, that's some hoe shit right there

if they need to they can get wayne brady to do the wraparounds for the few episodes they finished, it would tie in perfectly

then when and if dave comes back in later eps... he can come with a 'Gotcha, Bitch!'
Old 05-15-05, 09:57 AM
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The article is here, but you need to be a subscriber...anyone?

Here's the intro:

It was a clumsy dismount," says Dave Chappelle. For the past couple of weeks, everybody has been looking for Chappelle. Turns out, all this time Chappelle has been looking for himself too. He is without a doubt the hottest, edgiest and most talked-about comedian today. But on April 28, he walked away from his highly rated sketch-comedy series, Chappelle's Show, and vanished into speculation, rumor and the whispers of unnamed sources. His agent, his publicist, even his writing partner didn't know where he had gone....
Old 05-15-05, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by wmansir
The article is here, but you need to be a subscriber...anyone?
Try this one.
Old 05-15-05, 04:03 PM
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sounds fine to me, just looks like he needed some personal time.
Old 05-15-05, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by sauce07
sounds fine to me, just looks like he needed some personal time.
Yeah, personal time to take drugs and go crazy...
Old 05-15-05, 07:15 PM
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Fox 5 NY just ran a promo for tonight's news.
Find out tonight about Dave Chappelle and drugs, and why he walked away from his show.
Old 05-16-05, 12:17 AM
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"I'm not crazy. I'm not smoking crack. I'm definitely stressed out."

That's the update from Dave Chappelle, who, after being MIA for the past few weeks, has turned up in South Africa, where he granted a interview to Time magazine for its new issue.

The entertainer skipped out on Chappelle's Show, his hit Comedy Central sketch series, late last month, forcing the cable net to shut down production and indefinitely postpone the May 31 premiere date of the third season--and causing headline-making speculation into why Chappelle disappeared and where exactly disappeared to.

Newsweek took a stab at the former, reporting last week that friends blamed Chappelle's meltdown on a combination of too much partying, overwhelming pressure to live up to his $50 million contract and creative sparring with Comedy Central over the direction of his show. Entertainment Weekly, meantime, reported that Chappelle checked himself into a psychiatric hospital in South Africa for undisclosed treatment.

To Time, Chappelle cops to meeting with a psychiatrist for one 40-minute session after arriving in South Africa, but he says he's staying with a family friend. "I'm not in a mental facility," he says in a Q&A that took place Friday and lasted 90 minutes.

A converted Muslim, he says he flew to the country last month for a "spiritual retreat."

"I'm a difficult kind of dude....I have trust issues.," he says. "There were some things about myself that I didn't like. People got to take inventory from time to time. That's what this [coming to South Africa] is for.

"I'm an introspective dude. I enjoy my own thoughts sometimes. And I've been doing a lot of thinking here," he tells the magazine.

As for the other explanations for his abrupt absence. "There were things that overwhelmed me," he says. "But not in the way that people are saying. I haven't spent any of the money. All that stuff about partying and taking crack is not true.

"I haven't smoked marijuana in months. My drugs these days are nicotine and coffee."

What he does admit to is struggling with expectations--his fans', the network's, but mostly his own--for the third season of Chappelle's Show.

"My personal feeling is I didn't like the direction of the show. I was trying to explain it to people, and no one was feeling me. There's a lot of resistance to my opinions, so I decided, Let me remove myself from this situation.

"So I figured, let me just cut myself off from everybody, take a minute and pull a Flintstone--stop a speeding car by using my bare feet as the brakes."

Chappelle says he first shut down production late last year after he became unsatisfied with the first batch of season-three skits. That led Comedy Central to bump the original February premiere date to May--a delay initially reported as due to a Chappelle "illness" and subsequent inability to stockpile enough scripts to meet the launch.

Now, a peeved Comedy Central boss Doug Herzog, suddenly scrambling to replace one of his biggest hits, says he doesn't foresee Chappelle's Show back on the air in 2005. For his part, Chappelle tells Time he is unsure of when he will be back in the States or what will happen to his titular series.

"When I get back, [I hope] everything will be up and running, or we'll make other arrangements. I don't know what the lay of the land is.

"I want to make sure I'm dancing and not shuffling," he continues. "What ever decisions I make right now I'm going to have live with. Your soul is priceless." The first two seasons of his show "had a real spirit to them," he says. "I want to make sure whatever I do has spirit."

Old 05-16-05, 12:38 AM
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From the Time.com article:
"Is that enough to prove I'm not smoking crack or hanging out in a mental institution?"
So which is it, drugs or not? It certainly sounds like he just needed some personal time to sort everything out. I just hope he gets back soon so we can be treated to Season 3 before they can the whole thing.
Old 05-25-05, 10:34 PM
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Dave Chappelle's South African "spiritual retreat" has apparently reached its conclusion.

The Comedy Central stalwart, whose disappearance, alleged mental breakdown and sane and crack-free reemergence have been well chronicled, has reportedly returned to Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he makes his home for part of the year.

Residents of the small town have spotted the Chappelle's Show namesake running errands around town and generally going about his business since last week.

"He was just chilling and walking around with his friend," Cole Lindemuth, an employee of Ye Old Trail Tavern told the Dayton Daily News, after spying Chappelle last Thursday.

Despite the fact that the comic has returned to the United States, the future of Chappelle's Show remains murky. The network has said it does not expect the show to return this year, but does expect that it will be back at some point.

For now, Chappelle's Comedy Central timeslot is being filled by new episodes of Reno 911! and a new variety show from D. L Hughley called Weekends at the D.L..

Chappelle's spokesman, Matt Labov, had little insight to offer on his client's state of mind.

"We have no update and I won't speculate on when the show might come back," Labov told MTV.com.

Meanwhile, Chappelle's fellow Yellow Springs residents are simply glad he's amongst them once more.

"He's from here and he's part of the community," storeowner Cyndee Perkins told the Dayton Daily News.

Old 05-25-05, 10:39 PM
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Strange tale indeed. At least he didn't off himself like other tortured brilliant minds. He'll get the bug again and come back, but I don't expect it to be anytime soon.
Old 05-26-05, 03:17 AM
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Chappelle was suppose to be on Conan on Thursday am. Instead, they had a replacement the Senator Mcain.
Old 05-26-05, 07:33 AM
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Personally I'd rather him take all the time he needs to come back strong. There is nothing worse than a true talent who's rushed by corporate america to push product that is crappy. Here's to wishing him well
Old 05-26-05, 04:32 PM
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Wow. What a guy.

Curious to see what Comedy Central does. I see them being very polite about it. Possibly brining it back next year, and keeping the contract.
Old 05-26-05, 05:08 PM
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Ah, the prohetic Rick James did utter: "They should have never given you ******s money."

Just make me laugh, bitch. I think he did it better when he had almost no money, too.
Old 07-27-05, 09:30 PM
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If Chappelle hadn't gone nuts, I wouldn't be watching Carlos Mencia right now.


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