Friday, Jul. 24, 2009

Dave Chappelle

Dave Chappelle says he was a victim of his own popularity. Though he rocketed to fame after taking his stand-up act to TV with 2003's massively successful Chappelle's Show, the reclusive comedian quickly grew to hate the gig. Before the show's third season began, Chappelle unexpectedly left — not just the show's set, but the entire country. In a 2005 interview with TIME, Chappelle blamed his inner circle and the pressure of a new $50 million contract with Comedy Central for his decision to ditch the show. He returned to the U.S. soon after but hasn't sought out a return to TV, opting instead to perform only stand-up sets. He lives with his family on a farm in rural Ohio.