10 May 2005

Dave Chappelle, where are you?

So I was distracted by National Orgasm Day. Buy yesterday, another important issue came to my attention. E! (still a more reliable news source than Fox) confirmed that Dave Chappelle has stopped production of Season 3, which was scheduled to come out around the end of May.

In a surprise announcement Wednesday, Comedy Central said that the highly anticipated third season of Dave Chappelle's show will not make its May 31 premiere date.

"Comedy Central has suspended production on the third season of Chappelle's Show until further notice," network spokesman Tony Fox said in a brief statement. "All parties are optimistic that production will resume in the near future."

Why has Chappelle backed off after signing a fifty-million dollar contract, with more than three million people tuning into his show each night?

"I saw him start trippin' when the buzz started to get real loud," one unnamed friend tells Newsweek. "I think he was in shock after the first season. Then during the second season, it hit him that he was the Man. That freaked him."

"And then came the pressure of living up to expectations for the third season. He's never been there--where something's so good and you got to come even stronger the next time. It was too much."
The reactions from fans on Dave's message board have been mixed, ranging from "Well that sucks!" to things more supportive "I love you Dave!" One fan seemed to think this would be helpful (comments added):
Dave, I'm 50. (you're old) I've been a jazz musician most of my life. (Who cares?) There are only a few television shows that have ever intentionally made me laugh out loud- Seinfeld, Strangers With Candy, Richard Jeni specials, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Fat Actress and your show. I know $50 million is a lot of pressure but come on, relax. (you're an independent musician, so you're also poor. How would you know?) You're a funny guy. There's nothing to have to live up to- nobody even remembers the last season anymore; the public has the attention span of a housefly. (Fair enough) If anything, Dave, you would have to dumb the show down quite a bit to get to today's common denominator. (Which is why his current work drew millions of viewers? To see my opinion of this assumption, read on)
No one seems to know why, citing everything from stress to addiction to the fact that he just can't think of anything funny anymore. I just hope Dave works through whatever he needs to get through, whether he goes on with the show or not. If it is a case that he's not sure he wants to write anymore, is it so bad he's stopping? Would we really all be happier with a not-funny Chappelle Show?

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