DAAAARKNESSS!!! We’ve been fienin’ for the return of Dave Chappelle the way, well, Tyrone Biggums fiends for crack rock…
Apparently Dave has been fienin’ too — for the spotlight. The comedian is rumored to be working on a new show — not for any network though. Chappelle’s new project is reportedly set to air via a subscription service so he doesn’t have to deal with those network wanksters like he did at Comedy Central.
The beloved comic is planning a new TV show with a paid subscription service like Netflix, Sony’s Crackle, or Hulu, which are now competing in the original programming game, a plugged-in source told Flash.
“Dave Chappelle’s going back to TV,” tattled our insider. “It’s not for a network. It’s for Netflix or Crackle or some other subscription service.”
Chappelle had one of the biggest flameouts in show business history when he abruptly went MIA in 2005, bolting his top-rated “Chappelle’s Show” in its third season. The funnyman shocked the world when he walked away from the $50 million Comedy Central would have paid him over the next two years.
More recently, Chappelle has been dropping by comedy clubs from Los Angeles to San Francisco for surprise standup gigs, calling himself the “Big Foot of Comedy” because “you never know when he’s going to show up.”
A source at Hollywood’s Laugh Factory said Chappelle has been trying out fresh material: “It’s all new. He started off talking about his career and what he’s going to do now, because someone like him can’t do ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ He’s obviously working on some new project.”
Chappelle’s been joking about his stalled career and riffing about President Obama, but not all of it has been side-splitting hilarity. “It was really depressing. He was talking about the past, about the show,” said a comedy circuit veteran who caught a Chappelle gig at The Comedy Store in L.A.
“Not that many people walk away from a show like that on Comedy Central and get a second chance. But he’s still incredible.” Chappelle appeared super-sober, said our source: “People were offering him [marijuana], but he wasn’t taking any.”
A move to a streaming service like Hulu would allow Chappelle to bypass the lack of creative control he claims he had at Comedy Central parent company Viacom.
Meanwhile, Netflix has thrown down the gauntlet and shown that it will pay top dollar for original shows, recently signing a $100 million deal for a David Fincher-directed series, “House of Cards,” starring Kevin Spacey.
And Sony’s Crackle already has a deep comedy lineup with “Groundlings” based on the famed sketch troop, and “Backwash,” featuring Jon Hamm, Jeffrey Ross, Sarah Silverman and “West Wing” alums Allison Janney, Josh Malina and Dule Hill.
This is great news, but no more Mary Jane for Dave Chappelle? Then again, that might be for the best, we wouldn’t want him to get all ‘noid again.
Who is ready to subscribe to whatever service Dave signs up with — regardless of how obscure?