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James Hibberd

Herzog on Chappelle

July 13, 2006 4:11 PM

Ever since he walked away from a hit show and a $50 million deal, comedian Dave Chappelle has taken plenty of shots in the media at his former boss, Comedy Central President Doug Herzog.

Chappelle has said the network put him under too much pressure, fostered an uncomfortable working environment and — last week — that the network made a “bully move” by airing episodes from the incomplete third season. Talking to Herzog after the network’s “South Park” panel (more on that later), Herzog seemed fed up with Chappelle when asked about the comedian’s complaints. “It’s all about Dave,” he said. “If he’s saying that we gave him a lot of money and complete creative control and that made him go off the deep end, then guilty.”


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Comments (17)


I agree. I wasn't too happy when Dave started saying he didn't want a white audience, that white people laughing at his jokes wasn't what he wanted. Well fine. I'll find someone who wants this white fan to laugh at his/her jokes.


Give me the damn money. I make all of you laugh and cry.


Now how would it sound if Seinfeld said he didn't want black people laughing at his jokes?


Ummm ... he didn't say he did not want "white people" to lauch at his jokes. What he was talking about was a particular sketch that made him uncomfortable because of what someone on his set was laughing at. the sketch had a character in blackface. Here is a reference to it, though I am sure you can find more information about what blackface is elsewhere [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackface]. Yes, he did comment that it was the way a white man laughed at the sketch and that was what made him uncomfortable. Given the history of blackface and the context of it, maybe he felt it pushed too far. It's his right.
As for turning down the deal, it wasn't that particular incident that caused him to back away from the 50 million dollar deal. So to go on and say Dave doesn't want "white people" laughing at his jokes is not fair or correct. He has been on tour all year and I am sure that his audience was made up predominantly of white people.
I don't think it's right for him to go attacking anyone because he chose to turn down the deal, but maybe it's not right for Comedy Central to air these sketches without his approval.

Here are two links to interviews with him, for the one from CNN you have to scroll down to the middle:


I am sure it woudl sound bad if Seinfeld said he didn't want black people laughing at his jokes just as it would if Chappelle said the same thing about white people not laughing at his jokes. But he didn't. He said he didn't like the way this one guy laughed at ONE sketch.


It's kind of stupid to even say that ONE person who was WHITE laughed at a joke. First off black people only make up for 13% of the people in this country. Sorry whites are still the majority and are still the demographic when watching or listening to television that may be geared towards black people. So either way there's a white audience you can't get around it. I was unaware that there was a membership to watch his show. If it's funny it's funny. I've never ever heard of someone so idiotic saying that they were offended by someone who laughed too hard at a joke. Seriously read what I just stated. He was offended because someone laughed too hard at a joke that HE wrote. Didn't he have white writers on his staff? He WILL get the last laugh, everyone for years will use his name as a punch line, not as a purveyor of civil rights and moral equality. He's a joke. That being said I still feel that he just couldn't handle the pressure and he's blaming others for his obvious lack of self esteem. I couldn't imagine the pressures he had, but I also find it hard to feel sorry for him.


I don't know. The "lost episodes" have been really disappointing. Oddly enough, the best one to me, was the sketch where Dave is in black face as the "Pixie". Now, does that make me a racist, becuase I find it funny that a guy can rip that shit down with aplomb by mocking it? That is what Dave does better than anyone. We will get nowhere further with the race question in this country until we loosen the hell up and learn to poke wicked-assed fun at the lies perpetrated about each other by each other and by our forefathers.


People can be so narrow minded, they see a man leave 50 mill and he must be crazy, or its stupid that he was offended by the white guy on the set that laughed, but does anyone really know the man, no, all we are hearing is media speculation and hear say. Does anyone know about his religion or how he may feel that those beleifs are being compremised. Sure he thought he knew what he was getting into, he wanted to be success, but until your the one wearing the shoes you can only imagin what it is like, having millions of fans, a successful show, a boat load of money (and people coming out fo the woodwork to get at you for it). Chappelles jokes and skits stopped being just comedy and fun after a while, people began to see it as he was breaking down barriers and shedding light on alot issues, he started becoming somewhat of a black leader, doing what had not been done before and with all this comes great responsiblity. Maybe it wasn't just about the show, the guy that laughed inappropriatly at his job or the 50 mill, it was about who he was and where was going.


Wow. Who cares? Dave Chappelle is a comedian. He had a contract with Comedy Central. He walked. Period. This type of thing happens everyday. I wish everyone would stop trying to channel their disappointment at not being able to see Dave on TV anymore into some greater political discussion. Its business. Chappelle can do what he wants within the limits of his contract and so can Comedy Central. Everyone get over it.



First off, I'm a huge fan of Chappelle. But Dave took the easy way out... he had options. He's an adult and didn't have to run away like a child.

Nice Post.

That was well said. Always appreciate your indepth views. Keep up the great work!


I've just about had enough of all of it how about you?

What in the world is he talking about?

I have no idea what that was all about?

So some dude lost a bet and is changing his name to Peyton Manning? Poor guy. That's pathetic, just like the Bears performance!

Will Memphis win it all? I doubt it. My money is going on Georgetown, Texas, or Kansas. But ya never know..

Somebody could come up and win it all from nowhere. But please enough of Florida already!

Well I don't know about you but I think the Tournament has been quite boring. Too many top seeds winning.
I'll put my money on UCLA for now.


The depth of the statement "I don't want white people laughing at my jokes" if he actually said it, is: the fact that these are real examples of what people of color lived through, during the recent past; should not be an article of amusement to people who have not experienced, but have only quietly observed as these tragic facts of history happened. The fact that the reprecussions of this past still affects people of color negatively until this day, is why these truths should not be found amusing. Its my humble opinion that Mr. Chappelle acknowledged that having the power to voice you're opinion in a forum that allowed for millions to hear, broadened his political position. Because in fact , his exsistence on this earth as a man of color who is living after the physical oppression, is in itself polictical. Now you give this man of color a wopping $50 mil to do and say whatever will make people laugh, and yes, white people think its funny. However, people of color have to remember what they actually lived through... the infultration of drugs, HIV, and government assistance rather than government reparation in their communities. People this is deeper than it seems. Its about letting the man of color know that the only color that dictates what the public will see is the color of green... and we all know who holds the majority of the green on this earth. The Chappelle incident is just one small step for man... but a giant step for mankind. We'll see where this leads us in the fight for equal rights and justice for all. Because that's all it really boils down to. In the words of the latter King... "Can't we all just get along!!!!"

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