Dave Chappelle is by far one of the greatest comedians in this era. If not for his humor and edginess, without a doubt for his ability to keep anyone engaged into what he’s saying and being able to correlate a simple issue into a bigger one people are facing today. He’s a storyteller and whether you like him or not, the man has always been true to himself. But, being true himself hasn’t always benefited Chappelle, and that was prevalent when in 2005 during the height of Chappelle’s sketch comedy show ‘Chappelle Show,’ he abruptly left after two seasons and even walked away from a coveted deal of $50 million.
Now, looking back Chappelle is respected for sticking to what he believed in and not giving into peer pressure, but at the time Chappelle was constantly criticized and ridiculed for walking away from such a lucrative job and was even called crazy when he traveled to South Africa thereafter. Over the next decade, Chappelle stayed away from the spotlight, only doing small stand-up gigs and small appearances. Now with social media and streaming services, such as Netiflx, which has given an immense platform to Chappllee’s stand-up specials, Chappele has retired better than ever.
However, even though Chappelle’s commentary and stand-up involving social issues, such as the 2016 election to cancel culture, to the tragic death of George Floyd is as insightful as it is raw, the one thing that Chappelle has never really been able to grapple with was the departure of his sketch comedy show, ‘Chappelle Show.’ Now, even though the show is as popular as ever, with Comedy Central even creating a similar style in ‘Key & Peele,’ Chappelle still had no control over the show. Chappelle signed away his rights and likeliness, so in essence ViacomCBS owns the show and Chappelle unfortunately doesn’t earn residual profits of the show, unlike shows like ‘Friends’ and ‘Seinfeld’ which make millions off their residuals.
When Netflix and HBO Max started streaming ‘Chappelle Show,’ Chappelle publicly expressed his dissatisfaction for the decision because of the fact he still wasn’t getting paid for his work. This went so far that Chappelle asked Netflix to take down the show, which they did, and asked people to stop watching in efforts that ViacomCBS would allow him to finally profit from his show.
Well, the boycott worked and Chappelle was finally able to reach an agreement with ViacomCBS, which returned him the rights to show name and now allows him to make residual profits from his work after all these years. Who knows, Chappelle has hinted that he wants to revive the show, and now that he owns the rights to it, it may be possible. Chappelle is a clear example to always stand up for what you believe in and to always speak your truth in any given situation no matter how unpopular it is.