Other Side of the Fame hasn’t caught up with Dave Chappelle ever since earlier this year when he was bomb rushed by TMZ-being asked if he would be waiting with baited breath to see [the late Johnny Carson’s sex tape].
At the time, that was being talked about it in the news.
Needless to say, Mr: “I’m Rick James, Bitch!” was seemingly a little more serious and detached from the moment (and the question), and too, was being interrupted from making it to his lunch date and destination.
After a few minutes, he made his was away from the TMZ crew and hasn’t been spotted since.
Who can forget comedian Dave Chappelle and how in love with the funny man-we fell, for two season of Comedy Central’s “The Dave Chappelle Show.”
Well when Dave Chappelle walked away from Hollywood, he had no plans on ever returning to comedy as he knew it and once did it-ever again (so we later found out in an interview he eventually gave to Oprah Winfrey) where he said [quote] “I wasn’t walking away from the money, I was walking away from the circumstances that were coming with the newfound plateau” [unquote].
Without stating specifics about their individual situations, Dave mentioned, as examples, greats like Martin Lawrence and Mariah Carey–stating that at the height of their careers, they were given large amounts of monies and (ironically shortly thereafter), Martin was found out on a Hollywood street corner spazzing/spiraling out of control (whether from stress or mental breakdown), and how Mariah Carey experienced her public breakdown shortly after her major deal as well (around 2000).
“It’s not the fame. It’s the way the people around you, position themselves around you to get in your pockets & your mind.” -Dave Chappelle
Chappelle mentioned that even before being apart of the industry to the extent that he was at the time [in so many words] he remembered [quote] “the stories” [unquote] about The Powers That Be…[that the world/conspiracy theorists outside looking in call “The Illuminati”].
Dave experienced a profound sense of clarity about what he was doing-where he felt like although he was funny, bringing the ratings in, and making good money; he was beginning to feel like he was doing things for his career that was socially, ethically and personally irresponsible.
“The hardest thing is to be true to yourself especially when everybody is watching.” -Dave Chappelle
Additionally, his reasons (for walking away) had to do with the eventual Hollywood staple-sort of like a “Right of Passage”-here it seemed like in order to move up in the industry, Hollywood had this thing that he totally disagreed with: The emasculation of the man (if the man would allow it). Dave was in total disagreement with ever having to put on a dress or do a skit and anything else remotely close to portraying a woman in exchange for his being a man (even if for a skit or movie).
In addition to that, he basically began to see his life, his career and the industry with a different set of eyes-as if it were an outer body experience where so much money was being thrown his way to do things that (if he wasn’t conscious or able to look at himself from the out side looking in), he would have totally lost himself [as a result]. So before that could happen, we walked away from it all: The offers, the checks ($50 million dollars)-everything.
The collective experiences of having to deal with himself in front of (versus behind the mask) all the while right in front of the world-making large amount of monies to do, to be, and to say so many things that he-himself wasn’t so comfortable reaping benefits from, eventually took a toll on him.
He told it all in a very revealing, honest, poignant and truthful interview with Oprah Winfrey a few years ago. Watch the entire interview (less the commercials) right here:
Well since then (during the last ten minutes of that interview with Oprah) when asked if he would be returning to comedy, high on the list of his return and game plan, he joked that getting buff was high on the chain of command.
I'm off to the gym. Replacing good character with good looks is a cornerstone of my comeback stratagem. (sarcasm)
— David Chappelle (@DaveChappelle) March 21, 2012
Actually, he did that, and as well, performed a show in Hartford, Connecticut on August 29, 2013.
Things went awry however, and the moment he was heckled-all bets were off. I’m guessing it was like he said in the interview with Oprah: “I can tell when somebody is laughing with me or at me.” Dave Chappelle’s plight and stance on not looking like a “coon” or clown for a crowd, a laugh and a little money is serious. So in a way where you couldn’t tell if his response to the heckling was apart of the show or if he was really serious about was he was saying, he walked out—and didn’t return.
At long last, Chappelle decided to make good on his walk-out by staring apprehension and trepidation right in the eye: he returned [to Hartford, Connecticut] nearly a year later-to date [August 23, 2014] to do that show (at the Oddball Festival)
11 THINGS WE LEARNED & NOW KNOW ABOUT DAVE CHAPPELLE:
- He’s not willing to cash in his personal integrity and peace of mind for any amount of money
- He steps back to reflect a lot
- He’s very sensitive (sensitive meaning “keenly aware”) of his audience/environment, colleagues and higher ups
- He knows when he is being laughed at or laughed with
- He tries to make good where something may have gone bad
- He’s mad or upset at no one
- He likes ‘fame’ and money, just not the trappings
- He has personal boundaries
- This time around (should he decide to step all the way in), he’s taking his time and doing things his way
- Going forward, for his conscious’ sake, he wants to make sure that the monies he makes will be used for other causes-great or small-because he doesn’t want the blood and burden of greed and unconsciously having crossed any lines on his hands without ever having extended help with those same hands–to others
- He and Oprah are due for a follow-up interview about his comeback