Monday, February 06, 2006

Got 40 minutes to kill?

If so, here's Dave Chappelle's appearance on Oprah from this past Friday.

If not, here's it is in simple, not-as-funny terms:

-- One of the final straws that led to Dave's abrupt departure to Africa was a white dude laughing a little too hard at a "black face" character while they were taping a skit. Damn, all this because of ONE DUDE! Motherfuck that guy!!

-- He seemed a little peeved at Neal Brennan (Chappelle's Show co-writer) for not sticking up for him in the wake of all the rumors about Dave being a supposed drug addict, party animal, mentally unstable, etc., etc.

-- And none of that shit was true, by the way. Neither was the report about him having pneumonia, or having writer's block, and any of the stuff that came out in the news before he left for Africa. Dave used these as examples of Comedy Central trying to control him now that they had invested so much money into him and the show.

-- That and being stressed out was pretty much why he left. Also, he felt like some of the skits he was doing were funny, but not socially responsible, and he didn't want to feel like he was hurting black people with his show (i.e. the aforementioned "black face" thing with the white dude laughing a bit too hard). And he only told his brother before he left, and told his brother who else to tell. He seemed to regret not telling his wife and kids at first. He said that he kept it so on the hush because in the wake of everything about him supposedly being "crazy", the last thing he wanted to do was publicize the fact that he was taking a retreat to South Africa.

-- He wants to do his show again, but he only if he can renegotiate his contract so that half of the DVD revenue will go underprivileged people. Much credit to Dave for trying to juggle $50 million with social responsibility, but I have my doubts that Viacom would be willing to go through with that deal.

-- And while I appreciate Oprah's interviewing skills, she definitely brought up the whole "50 million dollars" stuff way too much (on some Austin Powers-type shit) considering that Dave repeatedly says it had nothing to do with the money. Shit, half the time the graphic they'd show while Dave was talking said "Dave Chappelle -- Walked Away From $50 Million Contract". The fact that Dave was willing to turn down that money because he felt he wasn't doing right for it seemed really, really, REALLY shocking to Oprah.

-- And, lastly, to shoot down all the conspiracy theories, Oprah did find the skit about Dave getting her pregnant to be funny. They showed a chopped-out version of the skit (with "bitch" edited out, no less), and Dave's response was, "Everybody has dreams".