Dave Chappelle is best known for his hit comedy “Chappelle’s Show,” but the comedian had the chance to be a TV star before the Comedy Central series.
Chappelle revealed he was in 11 different failed TV show pilots in a new in interview with GQ.
“I probably did eleven failed television pilots,” Chappelle told GQ. “And I have to be honest: Like, maybe one went to series. Another one was bought, but I quit.”
When asked why he quit, Chappelle said he didn’t think the series was good enough.
“It just wasn’t good,” said Chappelle. “None of ’em were really good. And it took that experience, those experiences, to learn how to do television.”
One show Chappelle starred on before his Comedy Central career was a “Home Improvement” spinoff titled “Buddies” which aired on ABC in 1996.
The series followed two friends as they tried to start up a film company called “Hi-Intensity.” Only five episodes of the series ever made it to air.
Here’s how Chappelle described the show to CBS in 2004: “”It was a bad show. It was bad. I mean when we were doing it, I could tell this was not gonna work.”
Chappelle told GQ his television experience up until that point taught him it may be better for him to take the lead on a series.
“I’m a slow learner,” Chappelle added. “Early in my career, I was along for a ride. And then, later in my career, I was like, ‘You know, I should really drive. ‘Cause nobody has ever taken me to a place I actually want to go.'”
That led to three seasons on Comedy Central’s “Chappelle’s Show,” which the comedian abruptly left in 2004. While the show launched Chappelle into stardom, he tells GQ he sometimes forgets he had a hit show.
“Even now, I can go days at a time and forget that I ever did Chappelle’s Show or any of that s—,” said Chappelle.
Chappelle is alright with that. He says allowing himself to forget the comedy has allowed him to focus on other things.
“What that’s allowed me to do is have a vantage point about my own life that’s accessible to people still,” added Chappelle. “I could see a guy walking down the street and be like, Even though I’m famous, I got more in common with this guy than, like, Brad Pitt. You know what I mean?”
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