I grew up on Dave Chappelle comedy. Chappelle’s Show, arguably the greatest sketch comedy show of all time, premiered in 2003. I was 10 in 2003, meaning my personality as I know it today was still being molded. So Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories, Clayton Bigsby, the Wayne Brady episode, “I Know Black People,” and all of the other legendary skits from the show’s two and a half year run are embedded in my sense of humor. Needless to say, seeing Chappelle back doing what he does best was an absolute treat for me.
Going into the night, expectations were high. The country had just lived through a week unlike any it has ever seen, and the reclusive Dave Chappelle was lined up as the host. You had the perfect storm of comedy, so the only question was whether SNL and Chappelle would be able to deliver. And boy, did they ever. Only could Dave Chappelle drop a line about the horrific Pulse Night Club shooting and the Wu Tang Clan and get the whole audience to laugh.
So the question I’m asking is: if you’re a television executive, HOW do you get Dave Chappelle back on television? We all know he won’t be swayed by money — he’s walked away from $50 million before — so what would it take to persuade him to make his triumphant return to mainstream comedy? You know he’s starting to feel the itch again, too, as he’s been doing stand-up for the better part of the last three years. But most importantly, you know he’s still got it. So is it full creative control? Is it the ability to work whenever he wants? Is it all of that, plus $50 million dollars? I don’t know. But what I do know is that if I was a head honcho at a television network, the first thing I’m doing on this Monday morning is figuring out a way to get Dave Chappelle back on television.
It has been a long time, Dave. Too long.