Dave Chappelle Opens Up About Key & Peele And Why Their Show Hurt His Feelings (Video)
Tomorrow (March 21), Dave Chappelle fans will be treated to the comedy giant’s first stand-up specials in over a decade. Over the course of his multi-decade career – and certainly in the years immediately following his infamous departure from Comedy Central in 2005 – Chappelle has maintained a relatively low profile as far as interviews go. However, with the magnitude of his forthcoming releases, he’s been in the public eye more than usual, providing various outlets with personal insight into his past career, Chappelle’s Show, and where he hopes to take his comedy next. All of those topics and more were on hand at CBS, where Chappelle spoke with Gayle King and even touched upon his feelings about Key & Peele.
In past stand-up appearances, Chappelle made comments about the sketch-comedy show, sarcastically asking things like “I wonder how they came up with a show that funny.” Insodoing, Chappelle was rightfully staking claim to Key & Peele’s format, even going so far as to say at one appearance “You don’t know what I’ve been through, watching Key and Peele do my show for the last five fucking years.”
Gayle King, in Chappelle’s “CBS This Morning” interview, asked Chappelle to discuss the apparent hostility he feels towards Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, who created the hugely successful Comedy Central comedy series that ran from 2012 to 2015. “I think there’s a speculation that Dave doesn’t like Key & Peele,” says King (7:37). Chappelle shuts it down immediately, saying “No. I’m a fan of the show.” Rather than diss the two comedians, Chappelle instead comments on how he felt the network gave the duo free range to run with a concept he had to fight tooth and nail to put on the air during his tenure there.
“When I did Chappelle’s Show, there were certain conventions of the show that the network resisted,” explains Chappelle. “I fought the network very hard so that those conventions could come to fruition.” As an example, Chappelle references the legendary Clayton Bixby sketch, which he intended to be a ten-minute sketch, while the network insisted it run for only five. “So, when I watch Key & Peele and I see they’re doing a format that I created, and at the end of the show it says ‘created by Key and Peele,’ that hurts my feelings.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Chappelle discusses how his life has changed for the better since leaving “Chappelle’s Show,” what living in a small town means to him, what he hopes to do with his life, and more.
Dave Chappelle’s newly unvaulted comedy specials will air on Netflix on March 21, with a third, brand new special to follow at a later date.