Unlike most celebrities who reach a pinnacle of fame, comedian Dave Chappelle turned the spotlight off and went the non-entertainment route for some years. Thankfully, he seems ready to regularly be seen by millions of people again, and this week brought the outstanding news that Chappelle signed a deal with Netflix to release three comedy specials, his first since 2004. And the streaming giant reached into its deep pockets for this one, as it's being reported the deal for roughly three hours of material was worth $60 million. Sixty. Million. Dollars. (Continues echoing.)
While we probably won't get any more Chappelle Show proper, Dave Chappelle on stage is absolutely just as good (if not so extremely rewatchable). According to Page Six, the comedian was offered $20 million a special, and subscribers will get to see two unreleased specials from Chappelle's own personal archives, as well as a new one that is being produced specifically for Netflix. According to the source's insider, the big paycheck doesn't bother Netflix so much, even if the specials don't recoup the money, since the deal has already amassed a ton of publicity, and the comedian will likely bring a new wave of subscribers.
One has to wonder if Netflix only approached Chappelle for the $20 million for the wholly new performance, and then he quickly brought up the other two from his archive as a way to completely break the bank. And one then has to wonder if he reacted like this afterward.
The Netflix deal came very soon after Dave Chappelle returned to scripted TV to host the post-election episode of Saturday Night Live, where he slayed audiences by playing Negan in a Walking Dead spoof (so weird) and yukking it up with _SNL _vet Chris Rock in another sketch, among other things. But it wasn't exactly the reason for the deal, as Chappelle has definitely been on the path to bringing more stand-up to audiences. Months ago, it looked like HBO would be the home for the new specials, but apparently Netflix kept the "cha-chings" rolling a little longer.
For fans, it's incredible that we won't be getting only one Dave Chappele stand-up experience, but three of them. For other networks and outlets, it's a blow, since Chappelle is an attention-magnet treasure that anyone would have loved to get. For Netflix, the deal is just another big reason why it keeps a billions-strong stream of money coming in. You never know when you might need $60 million to spend on some laughs.
We still don't know exactly when Netflix is going to drop all kinds of new Dave Chappelle comedy on its subscribers, but all three specials are currently set for simultaneous releases on the streaming service. In the meantime, head over to our fall TV schedule and our midseason premiere schedule to see what is definitely coming to the small screen in the near future.