Written by By Mike Abel, CNN • Updated 13th December 2018
Dave Chappelle is certainly not the most regular comic on the circuit, having spent much of his career very self-consciously avoiding performing.
But it’s fair to say he’s not known for his ability to induce mild anxiety.
In just a few short years, the 42-year-old comedian and actor has conquered the world. His career, once stormy and unique, has largely come out of nowhere. Even if Dave Chappelle isn’t famous on a level we’re familiar with, it should probably not surprise us that he’s returned to the privacy of his old stomping grounds to prepare for his new Netflix comedy special, “Deep in the Heart of Texas.”
Chappelle cut his teeth on local clubs, like, where he spent most of his school time — Well said Dave Chappelle. Credit: Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
“I’m a private person,” Chappelle told E! News when asked why he was holding the special at Chappelle’s Comedy Club in Gainesville, Florida, where the comedian first performed back in the early 90s. “We’re actually still shooting this particular show right now at my old high school. All my shows at Chappelle’s — they’re filmed at the same school. This one was filmed after work. I’d rather just wait until Friday, when I can get the audience back in town.”
He’s made a habit of filming these shows after work, as he works to build excitement for his most recent shows.
Newsday reports that the news of Chappelle’s return to stand-up can be traced back to 2017 when the comedian made waves by returning to his beloved Comedy Cellar in New York, whose patrons had begun to become nervous that Chappelle might actually leave town.
In an interview with “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” Chappelle said “everyone’s pretty much retired … they’d be devastated” if he left.
Dave Chappelle, aka Cree Starship, unleashes the best of both worlds on Nickelodeon as “The Dorito’s Diner Play Tour.” Credit: Anne Marie Fox
The finale of “Chappelle’s Show” (2013) served as an almost overly perfect rebuke to that very anxiety, and three years later, just as he entered his next phase of self-realization — his gradual transition from bad boy to mogul with a new Netflix series and the launch of his Comedy Castle record label — Chappelle’s Comedy Club became something of a favorite going out spot for his fellow comics.
On top of handing out T-shirts and such like, Chappelle’s continues to draw crowds. Fans still remember him fondly, many of whom have since been converted into working comedy superstars themselves.
It’s safe to say Dave Chappelle hasn’t always been a man of his word when it comes to the audience.