Dave Chappelle is asking his fans to stop streaming his popular sketch comedy show, “Chappelle’s Show,” and educating viewers about his early career and the circumstances of why his show ended with Comedy Central and Viacom.
In a new video released on his social media, the comedian talks to a crowd about his start in comedy and lessons he learned in show business.
Chappelle says in the video that a year into his comedy journey, he wrote a joke that he lent to another comedian who asked him. But when Chappelle asked that he not do it anymore, the other comedian said he wasn’t going to stop.
The second lesson, a lesson in street smarts, Chappelle says he played a Three-card Monte game in New York where he lost $60. Frustrated, Chappelle said he watched the dealer continue his day and realized that the people around him were in on the game.
Chappelle said he saw another man walk up to the table and he warned him not to play the game, saying they were all in on it. He said he was spared a violent retaliation for ruining the dealer’s gig, but was instead taught a lesson about business.
“This man snatched me up by my collar. I could feel how strong he was when he grabbed me, I was a skinny little guy and he was going to maul me,” Chappelle said. “The only reason he didn’t, I’m sure, is because he saw the fear in my face. I saw his eyes go from hard to soft. and he said to me, ‘young man, don’t ever come between a man and his meal.’”
Chappelle then explains how he got the deal with Comedy Central, an expectant father who was desperate for the money. He said he made the deal as a young kid would and executives assured him it was a great deal. In the video, he asks, ‘what if it was like that game in Three-card Monte?’
The day that it was announced that the show would be streamed across multiple platforms, Chappelle said he was furious.
“They didn’t have to pay me because I signed the contract, perfectly legal because I signed the contract, Chappelle said. “But is that right?”
Chappelle says he reached out to the platforms, including Netflix, and explained to them how he felt about the situation.
“I called them and I told them that this makes me feel bad and you know what they did? They agreed that they would take it off their platform just to make me feel better,” Chappelle said. “I’m not going through the agents, I’m coming to my real boss, I’m coming to you. I’m not asking you to boycott any network. Boycott me. Boycott Chappelle’s Show, do not watch it unless they pay me.”