Dave Chappelle is a “Ho” and fans want another date.

I’d be a corporate ho for $50 million.

Saturday, February 4, 2006

Chappelle: ‘I felt like some kind of prostitute’

Comedian Dave Chappelle loves being famous. He just hates the side effects.

In his first television interview since abruptly leaving his hit Comedy Central show last spring during production, Chappelle told Oprah Winfrey that being overwhelmed by fame was not the problem.

“I love being famous, it’s phenomenal,” Chappelle, 32, said during his appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” that aired Friday. “It’s the way the people around you position themselves around you to get in your pockets and in your mind. It’s infuriating to me.”

With the premiere date for the third season looming, Chappelle stunned his fans and the entertainment industry by leaving “Chappelle’s Show” in mid-production last May. He spent two weeks in South Africa before returning home to his farm near Yellow Springs, Ohio, about 75 miles northeast of Cincinnati. Chappelle has since resumed performing live standup.

Chappelle said after he signed a $50 million deal for the third and fourth seasons in August 2004 and began production on the show, he felt awful going to work.

“I would go to work on the show and I felt awful every day, that’s not the way it was” he said. “I felt like some kind of prostitute or something. If I feel so bad, why keep on showing up to this place? I’m going to Africa. The hardest thing to do is to be true to yourself, especially when everybody is watching.”

The provocative and sometimes raunchy comedian said his abrupt departure was caused by stress and not by mental or drug problems. He decided to leave the country, without telling anyone except his brother before he left, so he could take a break and reflect.

“It was getting ridiculous, and I knew I was going to leave, so, I got a head of schedule and I bounced. And I didn’t tell anybody where I was going,” he said. “The whole time they’re trying to convince me I’m insane. They’re trying to get me to take psychotic medication.”

The comedian did not rule out returning to film the rest of third and fourth seasons of “Chappelle’s Show” but only under certain circumstances. For example, Chappelle said he would like to donate a portion of the proceeds from his record DVD sales to the less fortunate.

“I don’t want the money. I don’t want the drama. I just want to do my show. I want to have fun again. I want to finish the season. I want to give the money to someone who’s not exploiting me,” he said.

Comedy Central said in a statement Friday that “Dave is a comedic genius whose work we truly value, and the door is always open to him.”

The status of his show has hung in limbo since May. Comedy Central announced in December that four half-hour episodes of “Chappelle’s Show” — based on what Chappelle taped before leaving the production — will premiere in weekly airings this summer. A full season would have been between 10 and 13 episodes.

Posted by SPN on 02/04 at 11:31 AM in Celebrity

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