Classic sketch comedy series Chapelle's Show is back on Netflix after the streamer removed it in November at creator Dave Chapelle's behest. The comedian broke the news during a performance at Austin venue Stubbs, a snippet of which he shared on his Instagram. In the NSFW clip, spotted by Variety, Chappelle thanks Netflix chief Ted Sarandos for sticking by him and addresses his troubled relationship with Comedy Central, which was at the crux of the removal.
The stand-up comic has routinely alleged that his contract with Comedy Central owner ViacomCBS has allowed the company to license the series without his approval, in turn preventing him from receiving royalties for the show. Why does that matter to a successful comic and actor with a comfy Netflix gig? Well, those royalty checks add up over time, especially for a canonical comedy that can be watched on repeat like Chapelle's Show.
“This is a very important moment,” Chappelle says in the new video. “I want to thank Ted Sarandos at Netflix, a CEO with the courage to take my show off its platform [at] financial detriment to his company, just because I asked him.” He goes on to speak about the power of his fans for rendering the show "worthless" by simply not watching it.
The move seems to have worked as Chappelle states that ViacomCBS "made the past right" and "did something very courageous." He adds: "After all these years, I can finally say that Comedy Central, it’s been a pleasure doing business with you.”