Comedian Dave Chappelle walked away from the show without warning in 2006 in the midst of recording Season 3. Despite laying the show to rest, fans continued binging reruns which aired in syndication on multiple networks.
Since then, Chappelle has publicly spoken about why he left the popular sketch show and a $50 million deal behind. In an interview with CBS News host Gayle Kingin 2017, Chappelle recalls being in a “very successful place,” the “emotional content of it didn’t feel anything like what I imagined success should feel like. It just didn’t feel right.” He eluded to no longer finding comfort in performing for the white man or in this case predominantly white corporation, Comedy Central.
Even after expressing his disdain with the network, the incomplete season was still released on DVD asChapelle’s Show: The Lost Episodes, and Dave Chappelle was not pleased about it. He actually told Oprah in an interview that he intended to donate half of the funds from the DVD sales to charity. He remained elusive about his separation from Comedy Central and away from Chappelle’s Show but eventually made a few spontaneous appearances at stand-up venues at the time.
Lmaoo Man , Chappelle Show Bouta Be On Netflix pic.twitter.com/oALIJ5Hrj8
— Dõn Pablo™️ (@RippaDeLaHoya) November 3, 2020
After his hiatus, Chappelle began working full time as a comedian in 2015. He quickly found success again a year later when Netflix announced a massive deal with the comedian to produce multiple new stand-up specials. He released Deep in the Heart of Texas and The Age of Spin in March of 2017, followed by Equanimity in September. His return came with rave reviews, for the most part, fans and critics praised his return. However, the new releases stirred up even more controversy than his previous work, touching on social and political topics that tend to leave some viewers angry.