Friday, December 16, 2005

Finally. An explanation of Chappelle's behavior

I really, really wish I knew Dave Chappelle personally. And not because it could potentially be a shot in the arm for my career. (Although that would be nice, too.) No. I wish i knew him personally so I could be the one to show this to him and see the look of amazement on his face.
Find a few moments and read the entire thing. Trust me. You will not be dissapointed.

A Word Before you BeginThis account of Dave Chappelle's fall from grace has been pieced together by me, a retired public relations executive who wishes to remain anonymous. my contacts, many of whom were closely related to the individuals involved, enabled me to fairly accurately recount the events that took place. You can take this for what you wish, but it is the truth - the abhorrent byproduct of the industry I used to hold to such a high esteem.I have written this account without the need for embellishments or exaggerations for the truth is appalling enough. Let this site serve as a drawn curtain to the entertainment industry which is blindly adored by the entire world. On August 3, 2004 comedian Dave Chappelle signed a contract with Comedy Central valued at $50 million.The contract committed him to two more seasons of his hit television series Chappelle's Show.Chappelle's Show was a runaway success. It was lavished with praise by mainstream and underground media alike, and was Comedy Central's most talked-about series.It was a juggernaut on DVD - selling more than 1.7 million copies of its first season, a record for any television show.All seemed right in the world of Dave Chappelle, and all seemed right with Chappelle's Show. After years of hard work, Dave had reached the pinnacle of his chosen profession, largely on his own terms, and had been rewarded handsomely for it.Personally, Dave's life was also prosperous. He had a beautiful wife and lovely children, and was close to both his mother and father, though the two had divorced years earlier.He was also a devout Muslim, and his faith had been a source of strength throughout the tumultuous production schedule of the first two seasons of Chappelle's Show. But nothing, not even religion, could prepare him for what lay ahead. After signing the contract, Dave looked forward to returning to his rural Ohio home to spend some time with his family before hunkering down to begin work on show's highly anticipated third season.But Dave was haunted by a secret. One that only he was aware of, and one he couldn't share with anyone, lest his comedy empire crumble.He knew that at the same time he was signing his record-setting deal, there was a secret cabal of powerful African-American leaders from the business, political, and entertainment industries working together to ensure that the third season of Chappelle's Show would never happen.At one time or another, each member of this loosely knit, informal group had played a key role in Chappelle's rise to stardom.They had been instrumental in securing movie and television roles, offering counsel, and simply aiding Chappelle financially when his stand up work couldn't pay the bills during his lean early years.Over the last two years, they had watched warily as Chappelle's Show had become Comedy Central's premiere show, eclipsing even South Park and The Daily Show in terms of buzz. It was reported that they had voiced their concerns about Chappelle's Show to Dave many times over those two years, showing their displeasure with the direction that the show was taking. However, their actions could not steer Dave away from the comedy that was most natural to him.Collectively, they felt Chappelle's Show reinforced negative stereotypes about African Americans, and that its content was, in the words of group leader Bill Cosby, "setting race relations back 50 years."The $50 million deal that Chappelle signed was the straw that broke the camel's back. The group - informally known as "The Dark Crusaders" - knew that a deal of this magnitude would guarantee increased attention for the third season of Chappelle's Show, not to mention sending his already robust DVD sales through the roof.In what was an attempt to ensure that this would not happen, the group was seen holding a closed-door meeting at the Omni Hotel in Atlanta's affluent Buckhead neighborhood over the weekend of August 7th.During that weekend meeting, recovered documents by the hotel's staff revealed that they finalized a comprehensive five point plan to bring an end to what some of the members had termed the "Chappelle Problem".This complex, well funded, and well thought out plan was to employ a "by any means necessary" approach to ensure that the 3rd season of the Chappelle's Show would never air on Comedy Central.What follows is the story of the events that led up to, and ultimately were responsible for Dave Chappelle's fall from grace. The "Dark Crusaders"An ad-hoc organization whose members were all an integral part of Dave Chappelle's early life and career, the group known as the Dark Crusaders came together to sabotage Chappelle's career because they felt the material on Chappelle's Show was not reflecting well on the black community.Using a mix of measures, the Dark Crusaders achieved its primary goal - the cancellation of Chappelle's Show third season, and the near crippling of Chappelle's comedy career.Al SharptonBio: Former Mayoral, Congressional and Presidential candidate, civil rights activist, reparations advocate, Pentecostal minister. Sharpton spearheaded the controversial efforts to bring Tawana Brawley's rapist to justice, and continued to do so even after authorities unearthed evidence that Brawley's accusations of rape were fabricated.Connection to Chappelle: Was a rabid fan of standup comedy who took an early liking to Chappelle and offered support and encouragement early on in his career.Jesse JacksonBio: Former Martin Luther King confidant and Presidential Candidate. Founder of the Rainbow Coalition, and prominent Civil Rights leader for over forty years. Presidential hopes were dashed when it was revealed that he once referred to Jews as "hymies" and New York as "hymietown" during an off the record conversation with reporters. Has been dogged by controversy ever since, including accusations of infidelity, and unethical behavior while securing a Budweiser distributorship for his two sons in the lucrative Chicago market.Connection to Chappelle: Friend of Chappelle's mother, Yvonne Seron, and has known Chappelle since he moved to Washington, D.C. with his mother after his parent's divorce.Louis FarrakhanBio: Leader of the African American Nation of Islam, Founder of the Million Man March, and former confidant of both the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X. Rumored to have been involved in the assassination of Malcolm X. Has elicited controversy by espousing his views that the white race was invented by an evil scientist named Yacub in one of the craters on the dark side of the moon, and by publicly stating that "Hitler was a great man."Connection to Chappelle: Has advised Chappelle on spiritual matters related to the Islamic faith. Bill CosbyBio: Philadelphia-born star of I Spy, Fat Albert and The Cosby Show. Purveyor of respectable black family television. Cosby has raised the ire of the black community recently by being openly critical of low-income blacks, whom he believes are deprioritizing education in favor of sports and fashion. He has been accused of fathering an illegitimate daughter, and drugging and groping former female acquaintances.Connection to Chappelle: Helped secure the role of "Achoo" in Mel Brook's Robin Hood: Men in Tights for Chapelle. Advised Chappelle against taking the role of "Bubba" in the film Forrest Gump.Whoopi GoldbergBio: Academy Award winning comedic actress and staunch civil right supporter. Goldberg broke into show business with her one woman Broadway show - The Spook Show - and ever since, has been one of the leading proponents of charitable causes in Hollywood. She has managed to remain relatively controversy free throughout her career - save for the infamous "blackface" incident involving her then boyfriend, Ted Danson.Connection to Chappelle: Gave Chappelle one of his early breaks when she offered him the chance to appear on Comic Relief VI in 1994. Oprah WinfreyBio: Billionaire talk show host and the most powerful women in show business. Winfrey has successfully defended herself against a spurious lawsuit brought by the Texas Cattlemen's Association, brought Dr. Phil and William Faulkner to unsuspecting middle-American housewives, and single-handedly bought the Hermes Corporation to its knees. She has also supported black charitable causes throughout her career, and strives to convey a positive image for the community.Connection to Chappelle: Worked briefly with Chappelle when he was an extra on the set of The Women of Brewster Place, and offered mentoring early on in his career.Robert L. JohnsonBio: Founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET), first black-controlled company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. First black owner of a major sports franchise - the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats. Serves on the Board of U.S. Airways, Hilton Hotels, and General Mills. Divorced from Sheila Johnson, yet still remains a staunch supporter of family values.Connection to Chappelle: Used his influence in corporate America to help broker deals for Chappelle to be the pitch man for both Pepsi and Coca-Cola at different times in his career. TimelineThe first episode of Chappelle's Show aired on January 22, 2003. It was a lightly promoted thirty minute show that Comedy Central executives hoped would perform as well as earlier shows such as Strangers with Candy, or The Man Show. The budget was modest, the stars were modest - Chappelle's biggest success up until this time had been the cult stoner comedy Half Baked - and expectations were modest.Chappelle was looking forward to the show's debut, but was nonplussed about its chances for success.Clearly, neither Comedy Central nor Chappelle had any inkling of the impact Chappelle's Show would have on pop culture. January 22, 2003Chappelle's first show set the tone for much of the content of the upcoming series. It featured a sketch on a blind, black white supremacist, Clayton Bigsby, who was raised by white foster parents and taught from a young age to abhor the black race.The sketch, inspired by the true to life circumstances of Chappelle's grandfather, was considered the high point of the show, and concluded with Bigsby taking off his KKK-hood at a Klan rally and shouting "WHITE POWER" to the horrified reactions of his fellow Klansmen.According to Nielsen ratings, the show was seen by approximately 2.5 million viewers in on its opening night - a small, but respectable, audience for the debut of a basic cable show.One of viewers that night was Bill Cosby, an old friend of Chappelle who had helped him secure movie roles early in his career. Bill later recalled being eager to watch the show to see how Dave's career was progressing.To summarize an interview with Cosby by the Philadelphia Metro, he wasn't pleased.January 29, 2003The show's' second episode aired, featuring the debut of what will soon become one the show's most identifiable characters, Tyrone Biggums - crackhead. In his first appearance, Biggums lectures at a grammar school's drug awareness week. The wisdom he dispenses to children includes that dog food is delicious, and that he has sucked dick for crack.Bill Cosby had tuned in to this show as well, and according to friends of his, was reportedly livid with the portrayal of the black community that Chappelle was foisting on viewers. This may have been when he began to think about doing something to send a message to Chappelle about the "show's outrageous tone." February 5, 2003Chappelle's Show third episode featured a take off on the making of Roots, a topic that many upper-income, baby-boomer blacks hold sacred.Soon after the airing of this show, a friend of Minister Louis Farrakhan recalled a heated phone call discussion between Farrakhan and Cosby. It appeared that, already upset from having seen Chappelle's Show before, Cosby had been pushed over the edge and decided to seek out help from his influential friends.Chappelle remained blissfully unaware that he was a topic of heated debate amongst some of the most powerful members of black American society - in interviews it seemed he was completely engrossed in the growing success of his show.February 12, 2003Episode four of Chappelles's Show, which by this time was beginning to pick up a head of steam with the public and critics alike, featured a sketch fantasizing about what would happen if black people were given reparations. The outcome was that Tron, a ghetto hustler, supplants Bill Gates as the world's richest man, and stock market prices for fried chicken related companies surge.It's about this time that Al Sharpton, a staunch reparations supporter, and longtime fan of Chappelle, noticed the show's growing popularity. Sharpton began writing letters to his contemporaries concerning Chappelle, unaware that Cosby was also displeased and taking action.February 26, 2003Episode six of Chappelle's Show featured the sketch "It's a Mad Real World" a take off on MTV's Real World series. In the Chappelle version, a white, suburban male rooms with six black inner city youth, and is terrorized throughout his stay. His dad is stabbed and his girlfriend is molested by his inner-city, African-American roommate Tyree.Robert L. Johnson, alerted by the rumblings coming from the Cosby, Farrakhan, and Sharpton camps, decided to tune into this show to see what Chappelle had been doing that was getting so many black leaders rankled. After watching the show, Johnson reportedly thought to himself, "Bill, Al and Louis may be right - if this really blows up, it sets us up to be minstrels again." Just as Cosby and Farrakhan did, Johnson decided to get involved as well. March 5, 2003Episode seven of Chappelle's Show skewered the Star Wars franchise. It had a bit based around sexual molestation that occurs at the Jedi Academy. A reportedly furious George Lucas, demanded that his secretary place a call to Whoopi Goldberg, a long time friend of Lucas as well as an early benefactor and friend of Chappelle. Lucas wanted her to see if she could get word to Chappelle that he is not amused. According to Lucas's secretary, it seemed as if Goldberg — like Bill Cosby — did not agree with the message that Chappelle's Show was sending to the African-American youth. March 12, 2003Episode eight of Chappelle's Show saw the reemergence of the Tyrone Biggums — crackhead character. During his appearance, Tyrone is lured to an intervention with the promise of free crack. After the show's conclusion, a reportedly furious Cosby got Farrakhan and Al Sharpton — who he had heard was also concerned about Chappelle's effect on the African American community — on a conference call. The three men decided to meet for lunch at Farrakhan's Chicago residence to discuss what action to take. March 19, 2003Episode nine of Chappelle's Show was the one that captured the attention of Black America's biggest power broker — Oprah Winfrey. The sketch that alerted Goldberg to the growing Chappelle phenomenon came to Oprah's attention in a roundabout way. "The Player Hater's Ball" sketch featured an aside by the Silky Johnson character talking about how Rosie O'Donnell wears "underwear with the dickhole in them." O'Donnell mentioned the remark while lunching with Winfrey at the Palm in West Hollywood the next day. Winfrey, who had supported Chappelle early on, had her staff get a tape of Chappelle's Show so she could take a look at the sketch. She was appalled at the subjects Chappelle mined for humor, and immediately began calling friends in the black entertainment and business communities to see what they thought of the show's content. March 26, 2003The season's 10th episode features the R. Kelly "Piss on You" video. This contraversial sketch ignited a world of criticism and, unsurprisingly, caught the attention of Bill Cosby. In a call on March 27, Cosby voiced his concerns directly to Chappelle. In an aside to a co-worker, Chappelle reported telling Cosby how he was thankful for his insight, but while the show was riding a wave of acclaim, he didn't want to tinker with a successful formula. He believed Cosby was just over-reacting and didn't think much of the phone call. April 9, 2003The season finale of Chappelle's Show featured a sketch spoofing the popularity of "mate-swap" reality television programs. It revolved around a black family and a white family trading spouses, and plays on long held stereotypes about black male virility, while willfully promoting racial miscegenation. Louis Farrakhan, most likely under the direction of Cosby, sought out the opportunity to speak with Chappelle. Farrakhan, who had advised Chappelle on his conversion to Islam in 1998, visited Chappelle on location days after the episode aired. His concerns fall on deaf ears, as Chappelle was resistant to pressure to tone down the show's content. April 1, 2003While in Philadelphia, visiting her good friend Patti Labelle, Oprah Winfrey was seen meeting with Bill Cosby, who was also in town attending a function at Temple University. The two of them were witnessed dining at the exclusive Walnut Street eatery Le Bec Fin. While the two were catching up, Cosby was overheard casually mentioning his concern over Chappelle's Show, and his failed attempts to convince Dave to change his brand of humor. "...funny you should mention that, I've had the same concerns," Winfrey reportedly responded. The two spend a long dinner talking about how to exert covert pressure on Chappelle to change the show's content. Winfrey offers to reach out to friends she's spoken with regarding Chappelle. And just like that, the Dark Crusaders are born. April 20, 2003With Chapelle's Show on hiatus before production for season two commences, Chappelle took some down time at his Ohio area farm. It was here that he received a strange package. As told by Dave himself, at around noon, in the middle of an early season Cincinnati Reds game, there was a knock at his door. Chappelle was a bit concerned, as no one except his close family and friends were aware of where he was. When he opened the door, all he found was a crudely wrapped package, with the inscription "For Chappelle" on it. Inside the package was a voodoo-doll style replica of Chappelle dressed as Clayton Bigsby — the African American Klansman from his first show. The doll was riddled with safety pins, and had a noose tied sharply around his neck. Accompanying the doll was a message in a childlike scrawl that read, "what you're doing is hurting the African American community — it needs to stop." Chappelle was extremely bothered by the development, but later chalked it up to a local group of black nationalists — "probably some college kids from Antioch looking for kicks." Though Chappelle was unaware of it at the time, this was the first assault by The Dark Crusaders aimed at shutting down his comedy career. July 4, 2003While enjoying a holiday weekend with his wife at the Four Seasons in Santa Barbara, Chappelle alerted the staff that he received a late night phone call to his room that told him "If you know what's good for you, you'll stop using your show to denigrate African-Americans." While telling his wife about the package he received in Ohio, Chappelle began to think that maybe the voodoo-doll package was not an isolated incident, but part of a larger, coordinated campaign. Shaken by the phone call, he stayed awake with his wife and executives of the hotel for the rest of the night. August 31, 2003As Chappelle began production on the second season of Chapelle's Show, strange things started to occur. Scripts for the sketches began disappearing, featured players weren't showing up on the set, and illnesses were plaguing key members of the crew. Additionally, Chappelle voiced his concern to one of the extras of the show that one of the replacement cameramen looked like the Nation of Islam bodyguards Farrakhan had with him when he visited the set earlier in the year. Upon confronting him, Chappelle learns that the replacement cameraman was originally from Chicago, was a fellow Muslim, and was a member of Farrakhan's congregation. After this incident, Chappelle confided in cast member Charlie Murphy and head writer Neal Brennan that he thinks some powerful black people are out to get him to tone down the show's content, and that they may have infiltrated the set. Both tell him not to worry — that it's just the pressure getting to him. But personally, both worry that the pressure to succeed may have been getting to Chappelle, and express concern to other crew members. September 15, 2003While in Washington, D.C. on a weekend break from shooting, Chappelle and his mom decided to catch a movie. Shortly after the movie started, witnesses reported a man who looked like Al Sharpton taking a seat behind Chappelle and his mother. When Chappelle's mother excused herself to go to the bathroom, Sharpton was seen moving into the seat beside Chappelle. Chappelle would later recount what Sharpton had whispered: "I didn't appreciate the mockery directed at reparations in last season's shows. You should be ashamed of selling out the community for cheap laughs and ratings." Sharpton was seen quickly leaving the theatre immediately after. When Chappelle told his mother about this upon her return, she was in disbelief. She asked if he was feeling alright and if the pressure of success was getting to him. She then offered to take him to see her physiatrist. It was around this time, and understandably so, that Chappelle began to sink deep into paranoia.January 1, 2004With the debut of Chappelle's Show's second season growing closer, Dave began receiving phone calls at all hours of the day when he was in his family's house alone. The phone calls all said the same thing "Tone down the show, or you will have to go." When Chappelle contacted the local police department and phone company in an attempt to trace the calls, they report that they have no record of the calls ever being made. When Chappelle confided in his wife that he thinks he is being targeted by a group of powerful black showbiz folks and politicians, she tells him that he's acting "crazy" and he should relax and enjoy his success. With everyone in Chappelle's life doubting his sanity, it was only a matter of time before the media started to report Chappelle acting strangely. January 21, 2004 Season two of Chappelle's Show aired. The debut episode featured the infamous "Racial Draft" sketch, where Tiger Woods is declared "all black" and chosen by the black race with their draft pick, and the Wu Tang Clan is declared Asian, and drafted by the Asian race. After the show played, Chappelle was seen having dinner with friends at Pastis in New York City's fashionable meatpacking district. When he tried to pick up the tab, embarassingly he found out that his credit card had been rejected. He tried several other credit cards, and found that surprisingly, they were rejected too. After his last credit card was declined, Chappelle received a call on his cell phone. Chappelle confided to his friends that the voice on the line advised him that "this is only the beginning if you don't do what we want — try your credit cards now." Chappelle, clearly rattled, told the wait staff to run his credit card once more. When it did, this may have been when Chappelle began to realize the seriousness of the situation. January 28, 2004Despite what appeared to be a growing conspiracy against him, Chappelle forged ahead with his show, refusing to rewrite skits. That week's show featured the "Niggars" sketch, and following its run, Chappelle began feeling the pressure again. On Tuesday, while watching an episode of the Oprah Winfrey show, Chappelle recalled being completely stunned when Winfrey turned to the camera in the middle of interviewing Tom Cruise and said "Dave Chappelle, you should be ashamed of yourself for airing that Niggars sketch on your show this week, I'm going to make sure you never work in Hollywood again." The image, allegedly taped by Winfrey, and transmitted to Chappelle's house under the direction of Robert L. Johnson who called in some favors with Chappelle's local affiliate station manager, terrified Chappelle. At that time he considered telling the show's cast and producers what was happening to him, but decided against it. He feared it would alienate him from his staff; making them think he was delusional, which, by that point, Chappelle was fairly certain he was. February 11, 2004 The catchphrase "I'm Rick James bitch" made its debut on this week's show. What was once a somewhat successful, cult television show was now a full blown phenomenon. Season one DVD sales begin to blow up, and Chappelle's Q rating soars. This caused the Dark Crusaders to really turn on the pressure. Most likely sensing that their window of opportunity to silence Chappelle was fast closing, they convened at Oprah Winfrey's Chicago production offices to coordinate yet another assault on Dave. February 18, 2004The next episode of Chappelle's Show aired, and it once again featured the Tyrone Biggums — crackhead character. All was quiet in the life of Chappelle after this show, no reports of harassing phone calls, or strange packages delivered to his house — no message form Oprah arriving via television. To Chappelle, it appeared that the "Dark Crusaders" had stopped, but soon he would find out it was just the eye of the hurricane. What laid in store for him next would be worse than anything that came before. March 3, 2004After a relative lull in their campaign against Chappelle, the Dark Crusaders came back with a vengeance. That week's Chappelle's Show featured a sketch that parodied anti-drug commercials, and shows a little girl on a bike being hit by a car of stoned teenagers. In this rendition however, Dave and his crew hit the kid, freak out, and then decide to chop her body up and stuff her remains down a drain. This is perhaps the raunchiest skit ever to appear on the show, and it is Dave's way of thumbing his nose at his harassers, saying, no, he won't back down. After this show airs, Chappelle began to notice that he is being shadowed by a group of three large, crisply attired, African American gentlemen. Where ever he went they never seemed far behind. He asked his family and close friends if they noticed this too, but they never seemed to catch a glimpse of the men. This reached its apex when Chappelle emerged from the shower one morning to find the three men sitting in his bathroom. By Chappelle's account, they told him "If we can get into your home this easily David, imagine what we can do to you if we really wanted to hurt you. If you don't tone down your show, maybe the next time we're in your bathroom, we'll be waiting for your wife or children to get out of the shower — not you." Chappelle was found on the bathroom floor by his wife several hours later — most likely having fainted due to shock. When he tried to relate the story to her, she immediately called for an ambulance, thinking — and rightfully so — that her husband was having a nervous breakdown. The incident was hushed up by Chappelle's agent, who was in negotiations with Comedy Central to produce a third season of Chappelle's Show. March 10, 2004Figuring that he had nothing left to lose, Chappelle went ahead with his decision to air a sketch he knew would be patently offensive to every one that was after him, as well as catering to the base tastes of his white middle-class audience. The sketch, called "I Know Black People," centered around Chappelle asking people who claim to know black people questions about black culture. Some sample dialogue between Chappelle and contestants includes: Chappelle: What is a chickenhead?Professor: That's a woman who umm puts her mouth on the member of a — or sometimes called a crackwhore.(Ring)Chappelle: That is acceptable. That is one of the many definitions of a chickenhead.Chappelle knew there would be retribution for this, but at that point, he probably figured if he was going to go down, he was going down fighting. The next day a friend recounted a frantic phone call from Chappelle at 2pm. Dave described the following story of the previous night, which his friend assumed, at the time, to be a dream: (paraphrased) I was in bed next to my wife when I got woken up by a heavy pressure on my chest. I opened my eyes to find one of the three men — that appeared in my bathroom days before — perched on top of my stomach, wielding a Colt 45 handgun with an enormous silencer. The other two men were holding me down. It seemed like my wife had been drugged, as she laid motionless but breathing next to me. Oprah Winfrey leaned forward and whispered in my ear "you better watch your step — we're representing interests more powerful than you can imagine. You do remember that Farrakhan killed Malcom, and that Cosby, Johnson and I have more money than God — we can keep this harassment up forever. Is this what you want your life to be like Dave?" The last thing I remember, someone knocked me out. I woke up with my wife the next morning and I thought it might have been a dream, but I still have a bruise on my head and I really think this all happened, despite the fact that my wife shows no signs of anything having ever happened. Chappelle then said he was afraid to tell his wife this story because he was nervous that she would call the ambulance again. He told his agent that he felt he needed body guards — but his agent advised against it for fear that it would make him look too paranoid and jeopordize his career. Since it seemed like he could get no outside help, he decided to take matters into his own hands. March 24, 2004On the next show Chappelle decided to attack Oprah directly, as he now knows she is behind all of the harassment. The skit, called "Dave Gets Oprah Pregnant" centered around Dave getting a call from Oprah informing him that she is going to have his baby. After hearing the news, Dave quits his job and moves in with Oprah, spending her money like its going out of style. Chappelle felt that he had the leverage to get away with this, as Winfrey wouldn't want her involvement to unseat Chappelle made public. He soon realized his leverage wasn't as strong as he thought. Nothing seemed to happen immediately following the airing of that show. Like before things seemed oddly quiet. Chappelle began to noticably gain more confidence on the set and grow a bit more comfortable with the situation — despite all that happened so far. April 7, 2004Chappelle again decided to send a message through his show's material by opening with a sketch called "Dave Quits Chappelle's Show." The sketch had him doing exactly what his antagonists wanted him to do: stepping down from the show. In the sketch, executives at Comedy Central replace Dave with Wayne Brady. The show ended with a sketch that has Wayne Brady acting like the thugs Chappelle's characters often portray on the show, with Wayne killing police officers, beating Chappelle, and partaking of copious amounts of drugs. Dave, after this episode's production, reached out to Brady, who he knew was a close friend of Oprah, to see if he could intercede on his behalf. Brady acted like he didn't know what Chappelle was talking about and as Dave recounted later — "looked at me as if I was nuts." Chappelle failed yet again at reaching out for help. April 14, 2004Technically, the second season finale aired, as the following two episodes were compilations of season 2 sketches. Chappelle treaded lightly during this episode; the constant harassment has had a deep psychological impact on him. Sketches include the "First Black Man to Use a White Toilet," which poked fun at black historical figures, and more insight into the "Life of Little John." According to a stage hand, after the show, when Chappelle returned to his dressing room, he found a package containing pictures of Malcom X, Biggie Smalls, Tupac Shakur, and himself, with the words "You're Next" scrawled across his picture. August 7, 2004In the wake of Chappelle's record-breaking deal, The Dark Crusaders likely realized they had very little time to formulate a plan to shut Chappelle down once and for all. The third season of the show would reach an even broader audience than the previous two seasons, and if they were to do anything, timing was important. The entire group was seen meeting over the August 7th weekend at the posh Omni Hotel in Atlanta. They were able to keep the meeting out of the press, as Robert L. Johnson owns an interest in the hotel and arranged for the entire top three floors of the hotel to be reserved for the group. However, the underpaid staff was quick to vent their frustrations on the organization of this event, which is how I came to know this information. According to some of the documents left behind by the group, they seem to have emerged with a definite plan — a plan developed largely by Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan, and most likely financed by the deep pockets of the rest of the group. August 31, 2004While Chappelle was in Yellow Springs preparing to spend the Labor Day weekend with his friends and family, he received a phone call from his father, who is a Professor at nearby Antioch College. His father told Dave that Louis Farrakhan will be passing through town on a lecture tour, and that he had called his father — an old friend, the two had met in the 60's when Mr. Chappelle was a black radical — to invite him to dinner. He also mentioned that Farrakhan said he would enjoy seeing Dave during his visit, according to interviews conducted with Mr. Chappelle. Chappelle allegedly tried to warn his father: "...don't go see Farrakhan, I think he's involved in a group that's trying to shut me down, and you may be in danger." However, his father did not take this very seriously, he recalls, as Mr. Chappelle told Dave he thought the stress of being famous may be getting to him. "I told him to stop acting ridiculous...why would Minister Farrakhan bother himself with something like that..." his father reported. September 5, 2004Chappelle received an anonymous letter in the mail that said "Only those who wish to be led to hell or to their doom will follow Chappelle..." it echoed what Farrakhan wrote in the Nation Of Islam paper Muhammad Speaks regarding Malcolm X, two weeks before his assassination. As he recalled, Chappelle thought about going into hiding after this — legitimately beginning to fear for his life — but the pre-production and filming for the third season of his show was set to begin shortly. September 10, 2004Farrakhan dined with Dave Chappelle and his father while he was in the Yellow Springs area. When Mr. Chappelle excused himself to go to the restroom, Farrakhan leaned in to Dave and said "it certainly would be a shame if anything were to happen to your father..." nearby diners reported. Chappelle said nothing when his father returned, most likely because he felt his father would have no reason to distrust his old friend, Louis Farrakhan After dinner, Chappelle placed a call to his close friend and fellow comedian Mario Cantone — who he thought he could count on for help — to reveal what has been happening to him. September 25, 2004Following the call, Cantone seemed to have vanished. Despite numerous attempts, Chappelle was unable to reach Cantone, co-workers recall. Chappelle then contacted the police in an effort to locate his friend. The police were resistant to begin an investigation — partly because Cantone's voicemail message reported that he was out of the country (with no return date) and partly due to Chappelle's unwillingness to file a missing person's report, most likely because he did not want the press to get involved. On September 25, Cantone showed up at the studio where Chappelle was filming the third season of his show. Chappelle told Cantone that he's been very worried about him and asked where he has been. Staff members recall Cantone then pulling Chappelle aside and telling him "You're dealing with very dangerous people here...I have to advise you to halt production of the show immediately." Cantone then exited the studio very quickly. Chappelle was seen following Cantone and saw him getting into a car that looked to be driven by one of Louis Farrakhan's bodyguards. After this incident, Chappelle halted the day's work on the show, and went back to his Los Angeles-area hotel. October 15, 2004During this time, Chappelle began slipping into paranoia. He called his agent and told him he was thinking of pulling the plug on the show. When his agent asked why, Chappelle told him about the Dark Crusaders and how they were out to end his career. His agent reportedly laughed, but after realizing Dave was being serious, he recommended that Dave see a psychiatrist. Chappelle began to retreat further into his shell. People close to him noticed that he began to start drinking heavily and occasionally taking drugs. Word of this got out, and rumors began to fly in the press about troubles with Chappelle's Show. The Dark Crusaders appeared finally to have reached Chappelle. November 12, 2004After another talk with his agent, Chappelle rallied himself and tried to give the Show one last shot. With a $50 million dollar contract on the line, it wasn't surprising. During the show's production, Dave's secretary appeared on the set to give him his messages for the day. One of those messages was from Dave's wife who had run into Bill Cosby in Ohio. The message said that Cosby had invited Dave's wife and her friend to a screening of Cosby's show and that they were going. After hearing this, Chappelle immediately told his secretary to book the next flight to Ohio and left the set of the show running. This raised further concern with the show's cast members and Comedy Central. The entertainment press continued reporting that the Chappelle show was troubled. Comedy Central summoned Chappelle to a meeting to discuss the show's problems. December 10, 2004Chappelle missed his scheduled meeting with Comedy Central to discuss the production problems with the show. At this point, six shows had been completed, and Comedy Central was growing anxious waiting for production on the remainder of the shows to be completed so they could put it on their schedule. They had already sunk a substantial amount of money into marketing the upcoming third season, and were planning to make it the centerpiece of their upcoming lineup. Stories began to appear in the mainstream media about the problems with the show. December 26, 2004The day after Christmas, Chappelle and his family were home, trying to enjoy the holidays. Dave has taken to sleeping with a gun under his pillow and won't let his wife or children leave the house without him. Privately, his wife had consulted with her Doctor about institutionalizing Dave. On that day, Chappelle received a package that made him decide to halt the show's production for good. The package — which arrived via UPS — contained a picture of Chappelle's sleeping children, taken the night before in Chappelle's house. A person who appeared to be of Al Sharpton's build was standing next to their beds. Chappelle called his agent, immediately. Hinting at what just happened, Dave told him that he would like to cancel the production of the third season. His agent advised Dave not to tell anyone else yet, as he'd like some time to see what he can work out with Comedy Central. Chappelle made one more phone call that evening to Bill Cosby...all he said to Bill was "it's off the dogs." "Only when I see an announcement in the press," Cosby responded. January 15th 2005While Chappelle laid low — biding his time until a resolution with Comedy Central could be worked out — he and his family were continually harassed. They complained about being followed wherever they went, the windows of their house being broken repeatedly, and receiving harassing phone calls at all hours of the night. The local police appeared to have been doing nothing to ensure the protection of Chappelle and his family. There was talk of the department being in negotiations with BET and Oprah's production company — which may explain why. Chappelle began talking about leaving the country for awhile, at least until his show's cancellation was publicly announced. April 2, 2005Chappelle made contact with his friend Salim in South Africa. Salim, who was later interviewed in the Time Magazine article about Chappelle's trip to South Africa, agreed to provide him with a place to stay while he was in South Africa and not to ask too many questions. April 28th, 2005Chappelle left the country for South Africa, as the heat from the Dark Crusaders was getting to be too much. His secretary reported contacting Bill Cosby for him, though the details of the conversation are not known. Immediately following that conversation, Chappelle drove his family to a safe location in rural Ohio and booked a flight to South Africa at the Cincinnati Airport. May 15, 2005Time Magazine ran the article that effectively announced the ending of Chappelle's Show. In an interview with a time reporter done in South Africa, Chappelle spun the decisions for cancelling the show. He talked about how "things...overwhelmed " and how he didn't want to "dance and shuffle" for the show. Chappelle also denied rumors of drug and alcohol abuse. Later he reported having thought about going into the campaign waged against him by the Dark Crusaders, but he just wanted to put it all behind him and not take a chance of any harm coming to him or his family. May 16, 2005The Dark Crusaders met again at the Omni Hotel to celebrate the publication of the Time article, and the delay on production of the Chappelle Show. All members agreed not to be seen together publicly in the next 12 months, and deny any involvement in the cancellation of Chappelle's Show if ever asked about rumors. According to documents, they designated Farrakhan as the man to "silence" any member who appears to be considering talking about their involvement. They all left from separate entrances at the end of the party, and at staggered intervals. Their mission was complete.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

where the hell did you get that insane account of how Dave Chappell lost his shit and ruined his third season?!?!
That is the most outrageous, unbelievable cock-a-mamy-bull I have ever heard. The simple answer is that Dave is a spoiled, self centered ego maniac who acted like ever other celebrity does once they get so big that the entire world is kissing their ass! He freaked out and copt out and Comedy Central and all his fans had to pay for it.

8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

spoiled huh? your a sad tale my anonymous poster... and if you couldn't tell that was a joke from the frist 15 words your an even bigger ass than I though.

12:57 PM  

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