Dave Chappelle has given his blessing to Netflix to run “Chappelle’s Show,” which will start streaming again Friday after the service pulled it over the comedian’s displeasure with the licensing of the show.
Chappelle announced the news during a standup set Thursday, a 10-minute performance titled “Redemption Song,” in which he thanked his fans for refusing to watch the show on the streaming service. He posted the set to his Instagram account on Thursday night. Along with Netflix, Comedy Central, which ran the show from 2003 to 2006, also reached out to Chappelle.
“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 during his set. “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.”
Netflix started airing “Chappelle’s Show” on Nov. 1 but after Chappelle publicly complained about Comedy Central and ViacomCBS licensing the show without additional payment to him, Netflix pulled it. Chappelle was the creator, star and executive producer of the show.
“They (ViacomCBS) didn’t have to pay me because I signed the contract,” Chappelle said in November 2020. “But is that right? I found out that these people were streaming my work and they never had to ask me or they never have to tell me. Perfectly legal because I signed the contract. But is that right? I didn’t think so either. That’s why I like working for Netflix.”
As for Netflix, Chappelle said he simply called up co-CEO Ted Sarandos and said, “This makes me feel bad. And you want to know what they did, they agreed that they would take it off their platform just so I could feel better.”
Chappelle thanked Sarandos in his set and named 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,’” Chappelle said.