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Dave Chappelle counts himself a “fan” of Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, but believes he deserves some credit on the series.
In an interview with Gayle King for CBS This Morning, the veteran comedian admitted that it hurt to see Key & Peele use the sketch comedy format he “fought hard” to establish while working on Chappelle’s Show without any acknowledgment. The Comedy Central series gained popularity years after Chappelle’s Show went off the air, and creators Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele have cited Chappelle as a comedy influence in the past.
“I’m a fan of their show,” he clarified, before adding, “When I did Chappelle’s Show, there were certain conventions of the show that the network resisted. I fought the network very hard so that those conventions could come to fruition.”
Chappelle told King he pushed back against the network for wanting to cut down the length of his “Black White Supremacist” sketch, which originally aired on the show’s first episode.
“[Network execs said] ‘Well, that’s 10 minutes long. It should be five minutes long.’ Why should it be five minutes long?” he asked. “These types of conventions … I fought very hard. 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 & Peele‘ — that hurts my feelings.”
When asked why he chose to walk away from Chappelle’s Show (and a $50 million deal) back in 2005, the comedian explained, “I was in this very successful place, but the emotional content of it didn’t feel anything like what I imagined success should feel like. It just didn’t feel right.”
Chappelle has since been performing stand-up across the country and has three specials headed to Netflix. Two of them, Deep in the Heart of Texas and The Age of Spin, will begin streaming Tuesday.
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