Comedian Dave Chappelle is making his return to Netflix. The comedy legend has fought hard over the years to maintain his brand and integrity after several companies scrambled to take the rights to his wildly successful series “Chappelle Show”, and even his name.
Chappelle famously walked away from his hit TV show back in 2004 right before its third season. At the time it was unclear why he left, but over the years its become obvious that Chappelle was not comfortable with the level of success the show reached. He’s also expressed feeling torn because of the shows often racial undertone, wondering if he was reinforcing them more than just making fun of them. “It just raised an interesting question to me, which I was already wrestling with in the first place” he told David Letterman in a recent interview.
In the time since, his appearance were sporadic, before he embarked on a series of highly successful comedy specials via Netflix that brought him back into the public eye.
Things quickly turned sour when the streaming giant obtained The Chappelle Show this past November, without Dave’s consent. Despite the series bearing his name, Chappelle was earning no money from it streaming due to bad business.
HBO, who famously kicked him out of their office when he initially pitched his series, was also streaming it without paying him.
Calls to boycott the show quickly resulted in Netflix pulling the plug, for fear of losing Dave all together.
“That’s why I like working for Netflix. I called them and I told them that this makes me feel bad. And you want to know what they did? They agreed that they would take it off their platform just so I could feel better. That’s why I f*ck with Netflix. Because they paid me my money, they do what they say they’re going to do, and they went above and beyond what you could expect from a businessman. They did something just because they thought that I might think that they were wrong. And I do — I think that if you are f*cking streaming that show you’re fencing stolen goods.”
Fast foward to this week, and it seems like things are looking better for the comedy vet. In a video posted to his instagram late Wednesday night, Dave announced that things had been straightened out and that his show would be returning to Netflix on Friday February 12.
“I asked you to stop watching the show and thank God almighty for you, you did. You made that show worthless because without your eyes, it’s nothing,” Chappelle told his fans. “And when you stopped watching it, they called me. And I got my name back and I got my license back and I got my show back and they paid me millions of dollars. Thank you very much.”
The 10 minute clips was filmed at Stubb’s Waller Creek in Austin, the last venue Dave was too perform in before catching COVID. He briefly touched on the pandemic, the riots in DC and more before showcasing a montage of Chappelle Show clips. He concluded the video with this message, “”Cheers to you forever. I’m riding with you until the wheels fall off.”