Dave Chappelle walked away from his Comedy Central hit series, but not before he completed enough sketches to give viewers another taste of his skewered humor.
Three “lost episodes” of Chappelle’s Show — assembled from footage shot for the planned third season — begin airing Sunday (9 p.m. ET/PT). Several of the sketches, which were filmed starting in fall 2004, play off the comedian’s newfound fame and fortune:
*An $8 haircut suddenly costs $11,000 when the barber realizes Chappelle is a $50 million man; a $28 car wash becomes $873.
*He exacts dark revenge on characters who wronged him, including a girlfriend who dumped him as he was about to propose, a casting agent who said he didn’t have “it” and a comedy-club owner who banned him.
*A third sketch has him visiting a “Wizard of Hollywood,” to whom “he lays out a lot of his issues, his struggle with the mainstream entertainment business,” network chief Doug Herzog says.
Herzog describes the episodes as a fascinating window into the comedian, to whom he has not spoken since December. “If Dave were a recording artist and this was his third album, critics would say he turned the lens on himself a little. Given everything that’s gone on, it’s a little fascinating and a little heartbreaking.”
Chappelle’s Show co-writer and executive producer, Neal Brennan, says that “Dave became one of the focal points of pop culture” and that viewers probably will look for clues into his sudden exit by “parsing Dave’s psyche” through his sketches. He defends the new episodes from any implication they’re cut-rate material: “This is not the outlet mall of sketches; these are not defective.”