Dave Chappelle celebrates gaining control of his legendary show (video)

Dave Chappelle celebrates gaining control of his legendary show (video)
Dave Chappelle (Photo credit: Shutterstock.com / Kathy Hutchins)

Comedy superstar Dave Chappelle has defied the overwhelming odds once again. Remember, he was at the pinnacle of his powers as the star of his own eponymous show on Comedy Central when he suddenly walked away from a guaranteed $50 million deal. And he not only survived those times, but he also thrived.

Today, Chappelle is celebrating gaining control of his legendary show while pocketing millions of dollars, to boot — something that rarely ever happens in Hollywood.


The 47-year-old Washington, D.C., native and father of three explained how it went down on the “The Joe Rogan Experience.”

“You’re the first guy to beat the system,” a still incredulous Rogan said. “You’re the first guy to get f—ed over by the system, go public with it, and then get your money.”


With a look of astonishment flashing across his face, Chappelle obviously can’t believe it happened either. “I still can’t wrap my mind around it. But I do have to shout out Chris McCarthy at ViacomCBS. When we were working this out, his approach was someone who was actually trying to resolve something. It was amazing, man,” he said.

Chappelle’s case is an anomaly. Many entertainers publicly decry being exploited by a studio or label that makes money off their work while they receive little to nothing in return. Their grievances, however, rarely receive proper redress.

Chappelle said he abstained from bitterness while Viacom was profiting from his culture-shifting “Chappelle’s Show” after he abruptly walked away from it in 2005 and sojourned in Africa.

The Grammy-winning comic made news in 2020 when he told his multitude of fans to boycott “Chappelle’s Show” because Viacom was airing old episodes without giving him any royalties. He said using the therapeutic powers of comedy to put Viacom on blast helped him avoid the emotionally eroding impact that resentment can have.

“It wasn’t a court of law. I don’t believe I would have got anything in a court of law,” Chappelle said. “I think in the court of public opinion it was a good time for me to say my piece, and through the years it wasn’t something I would harp on. It was something I was actually reluctant to talk about.”

Flip the page to view the interview in full.

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