Tuesday, July 25, 2006
I DO NOT feel sorry for Dave Chappelle!
Who would be so stupid? But then, I've always heard that some people simply cannot handle success.
Mystery Solved: Comedy Central Drove Dave Chappelle Crazy With Money And Freedom
Dave Chappelle has had plenty of opportunities to try to explain why someone might abandon a hit TV show in the middle of production and escape to South Africa, a move that resulted in the likely forfeiture of a $50 million contract and invited the world to openly question his sanity.
Pity Comedy Central head Doug Herzog, who's had no invitations to tell his side of the story to Oprah, James Lipton, or Anderson Cooper. Knowing that his relationship with Chappelle was effectively destroyed by Comedy Central's airing of the "Lost Episodes" of Chappelle's Show, an exasperated Herzog, tired of months of questions about what he did to induce a schizophrenic fugue state in his network's most recognizable talent, finally got to return some fire at the TCAs yesterday.
TV Week's blog reports:
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."
There you have it, straight from a TV executive who knows he's never getting his biggest star back: They drove Chappelle crazy with piles of money and total freedom. Please spend the next two minutes distributing your sympathy between the rich guy who threw away an eight-figure paycheck or the other rich guy who signed that paycheck.