Dave Chappelle says that his long running beef with Comedy Central over rights to Chappelle’s Show is over. The surprise announcement came during a 10-minute performance titled Redemption Song posted to Chappelle’s Instagram account late Thursday night. The clip closes with news that the sketch comedy will return to Netflix starting today.
Netflix began airing Chappelle’s Show on November 1st but pulled it on November 24th after the comedian complained that Comedy Central’s owner ViacomCBS licensed the show without his approval. “I called them and I told them that this makes me feel bad. And you want to know what they did,” said Chappelle in a clip posted to Instagram on the morning of November 24th. “They agreed that they would take it off their platform just so I could feel better.” Netflix, which has been airing standup specials from Chappelle since 2016, has a lucrative contract with the performer worth tens of millions of dollars.
Now, three months later, and 15 years after Chappelle famously walked off the show that aired between 2003 and 2006, we have a resolution. According to Chapelle’s telling, Comedy Central reached out to him to make things right.
“I never asked Comedy Central for anything. If you remember I said ‘I’m going to my real boss and I came to you’ because I know where my power lies,” Chappelle said to the Redemption Song audience. “I asked you to stop watching the show and thank god almighty for you, you did. You made that show worthless because without your eyes, it’s nothing. And when you stopped watching it they called me. And I got my name back. And I got my license back, and I got my show back, and they paid me millions of dollars. Thank you very much.”
Chappelle then thanked Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos for his “courage,” and Chris McCarthy of ViacomCBS for “making the past right.”
“Finally after all of these years I can finally say to Comedy Central, ‘it’s been a pleasure doing business with you,’” said Chappelle in closing.
Now, how about a nice game of shirts vs. blouses?