To promote his two stand-up specials dropping tomorrow on Netflix, Dave Chappelle spoke to CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King about a number of issues, including his decision to walk away from the Chappelle Show (and a $50 million payday), his post-show career, and his problems with Comedy Central’s Key and Peele.
“I was talkin’ to a guy… he basically said to me that comedy is a reconciliation of paradox,” he told King of his decision to leave the Chappelle Show after signing a $50 million contract. “And I think that that was a irreconcilable moment for me. That I was in this very successful place, but the emotional content of it didn’t feel anything like what I imagined success should feel like. It just didn’t feel right.”
He added that he missed the show in the same way you might miss a tumultuous relationship. “[It’s] like breakin’ up with a girl and you still like her. But in your mind you’re like, ‘That bitch is crazy. I’m not going back,’ he said.
Chappelle used a story from a nature show he’d recently watched as an analogy for escaping the traps of fame.
Chappelle my only idol. pic.twitter.com/4d6SDLk5n9
— brandon / jinx / big jinx (@brandonjinx) March 20, 2017
He also addressed his apparent feud with Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, which began at the Roots Picnic in October when he said: “Put some respect on my name, y’all don’t know what I’ve been through…watching Key & Peele do my show the last five fucking years.”
King asked about “speculation that Dave doesn’t like Key & Peele or Dave thinks, ‘Okay.’”
“No. I’m a fan of this show,” Chappelle replied. “I fought the network very hard so that those conventions could come to fruition. So, like the first episode I do, that black white supremacist sketch. And it’s like, ‘Well, that’s 10 minutes long. It should be five minutes long.’ Why should it be five minutes long? Like, these types of conventions. I fought very hard. … So when I watch Key & Peele and I see they’re doing a format that I created, and at the end of the show, it says, ‘Created by Key & Peele,’ that hurts my feelings.”
Watch the full interview here.