Dave Chappelle Was ‘Furious’ When He Called Netflix About Streaming His Comedy Central Series
‘Chappelle’s Show’ hit Netflix and HBO Max on Nov. 1
Comedy Central aired the first two seasons of Chappelle’s Show from 2003 to 2005. But in May 2005, just as season 3 began production, Chappelle famously quit the show and walked away from a $50 million deal. In 2006, three final episodes were pieced together and released to wrap up the series.
Because ViacomCBS owns Comedy Central, they exclusively hold distribution rights to the comedy sketch series. On Nov. 1, 2020, Netflix and HBOMax started streaming Chappelle’s Show after finalizing separate licensing deals with ViacomCBS.
On ‘Saturday Night Live,’ Dave Chappelle revealed he doesn’t get paid for the series
Chappelle hosted the season 46 premiere of Saturday Night Live. And during his monologue, he revealed that he isn’t getting any compensation for Chappelle’s Show while on these new streaming platforms.
“This week, I flew to New York on a private jet,” Chappelle said on the Nov. 7 show. “Netflix started streaming a show that bears my name, Chappelle Show. HBO Max is streaming it. And I didn’t get paid for any of it.”
Netflix takes down ‘Chappelle’s Show’ at the comedian’s request
In a stand-up clip, which Chappelle posted on Instagram under the title, Unforgiven, the comedian talks about his grievances with Comedy Central. “People think I made a lot of money from Chappelle’s Show,” he explains in the clip. “When I left that show, I never got paid. They didn’t have to pay me because I signed the contract.”
He questions the morality of the arrangement and notes that the network is streaming his show without looping him in. But then he reveals that Netflix, the streamer he recently signed an exclusive $60 million deal with, is a company that cares about his feelings.
“I like working for Netflix because when all those bad things happened to me, that company didn’t even exist,” Chappelle says. “And when I found out they were streaming Chappelle’s Show, I was furious. How could they not– how could they not know?
Chappelle then says that he called Netflix and told them he felt “bad” about them streaming the series. And in return, they pulled it from their catalog.
“That’s why I f**k with Netflix,” he adds.” Because they paid me my money, they do what they say they’re going to do, and they went above and beyond what you could expect from a businessman. They did something just because they thought that I might think that they were wrong. And I do — I think that if you are f**king streaming that show you’re fencing stolen goods.”
It’s unclear if Netflix will ever add Chappelle’s Show back to their catalog. But the series is still streaming on HBOMax.