Dave Chappelle Once Left a Show on Fox Because His Character Was Being Paired With a White Actor

Comedian Dave Chappelle became a mega-star after starring in his iconic Chapelle’s Show. Although he was already well-known before, the sketch comedy series catapulted him to megastardom. But Chappelle’s Show wasn’t the only TV series he walked away from.

Earlier in his career, Dave Chappelle partnered with Fox on a new show. But he declined the offer once he discovered his character would be close roommates with a white female actor.

How Comedy Central once ruined their relationship with Dave Chappelle

Dave Chappelle smiling while wearing a yellow shirt in front of a microphone on stage.
Dave Chappelle | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

As many know, Dave Chappelle left Chappelle’s Show and Hollywood at the peak of his fame in the 2000s. The comic walked away from a reported $50 million deal and spent a couple of weeks in South Africa. However, he was willing to do more episodes of Chappelle’s Show when he returned. But it was on the condition that the show did not air new episodes featuring material Chappelle filmed before leaving. Comedy Central refused to honor this request.

“I feel like it’s kind of a bully move,” Chappelle told the Dayton Daily News (via CBS News). “That’s just how I feel about it. I don’t know if that’s the case. But if people don’t watch it, then I’d be more than happy.”

As for why Chappelle quit the show in the first place, the comedian has hinted it’s due to integrity and freedom.

“It’s a very complicated answer, because I felt a variety of ways over the last years. Whenever there’s something I’d like to have that I could have afforded but I can’t now afford, then I’m upset about it,” Chappelle once told David Letterman according to Vanity Fair. “But then when I see a guy who goes to a job that’s time-consuming, and he doesn’t have free time to do things I get to do, then I feel good about it.”

While Chappelle’s decision shocked many at the time, the comedian has a history of staying true to himself.

Dave Chappelle once left a show on Fox when he discovered his character would be paired with a white actor

Even before Chappelle was worth multi-millions thanks to Chappelle’s Show, the comic stuck to his principles. Back in his earlier years, the Fox network gave Dave Chappelle the opportunity to lead his own comedy show. But he later declined this opportunity after finding out his character would be living with a white woman.

“There was a woman I was living with in the show,” Chappelle said in an interview on The Howard Stern Show (via Daily Comedy Clips). “Now, who wants to see me…even the Jewish lady in Mississippi don’t want to see me living with no white woman. On television.”

Chappelle shared that it wasn’t going to be an interracial marriage situation. But for him, them being roommates was enough to walk away from the show.

“It wasn’t like I was married to the girl on the show,” Chappelle said before confirming they were roommates. “It was a thing like a guy comes to the city, and he got to live with [someone].”

Chappelle also added that not doing a show was a matter of creativity and preference.

“I couldn’t do it. Because what’s gonna happen is, just by bringing it up, if I do it, I don’t get the show I want,” he continued. “I could never go to a barbershop again.”

Chappelle wanted to leave another long-lost sitcom after his co-star was fired


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In 1996, the comedian got the opportunity to star in a TV sitcom called Buddies. The series was a spinoff of the hit series Home Improvement. However, unlike Dave Chappelle’s Fox show, the series actually shot a pilot that featured the comic. However, the New York Times reported that Chappelle didn’t want to do the series after his co-star, Jim Breuer, was fired. Still, Chappelle was later talked out of quitting.

Buddies would receive negative reviews before being canceled after five episodes. A trailer of the now-forgotten sitcom can be seen on the youtube channel Dave Nelsen.