How about this for a True Hollywood Story: Dave Chappelle has made peace with Comedy Central — and the brilliant Chappelle’s Show is back on Netflix. Chappelle himself dropped the bombshell via Instagram by sharing an 11-minute portion of a standup performance he titled “Redemption Song.”
Fans will recall that Netflix started streaming Chappelle’s Show on November 1st of 2020, then yanked it on November 24th at the behest of the comedian, who argued that ViacomCBS, which owns Comedy Central, licensed the program without his consent. Chappelle had even appealed to his followers not to watch the show. Netflix, which regularly airs Chappelle specials, did right by Chappelle – who walked away from Chappelle’s Show in 2006 and spent more than a decade mostly out of the public eye — by removing the show from its platform.
Based on Chappelle’s comments in the “Redemption Song” video, Comedy Central sought rapprochement, and he credits his massive fanbase for applying the pressure that compelled them to do so, and to show him the money. “I never asked Comedy Central for anything,” Chappelle notes. “If you remember, I said ‘I’m going to my real boss, and I came to you’ (the audience) because I know where my power lies. I asked you to stop watching the show and thank God almighty for you, you did. You made that show worthless because, without your eyes, it’s nothing. And when you stopped watching it, they called me. And I got my name back. And I got my license back, and I got my show back, and they paid me millions of dollars. Thank you very much.”
Chappelle not only thanked his fans. He also cited Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, who “had the courage to take my show off its platform, at financial detriment to his company, just because I asked him.” and Chris McCarthy of ViacomCBS for his interest in “making the past right.” Now, he stated, “I can finally say to Comedy Central: It’s been a pleasure doing business with you.”
We know what we’re doing this weekend!