Earlier this month, Chappelle hosted the SNL right after the 2020 election just like he did in 2016. In his 2020 SNL monologue, Dave Chappelle talked about his great-grandfather, who was a slave until he was 10 years old. “I wish I could see him now and I wish he could see me. I wonder what he would say. This week I flew to New York on a private jet to host Saturday Night Live. Netflix started streaming a show that bears his name, Chappelle’s Show, and HBO Max is streaming it. And I didn’t get paid for any of it,” Chappelle said. “If he could see me now, he’d probably be like, ‘This n—a got bought and sold more than I have.’”
The joke drew some gasps from the show’s live audience, but his most recent Instagram posting goes even further as condemns ViacomCBS for licensing his former series without allegedly compensating the comic for his work.
As Chappelle explained in the monologue, he initially signed a contract to host Chappelle’s Show on Comedy Central as a “28-year-old expectant father that was broke.” “I was desperate, I needed a way out. It wasn’t good money, it wasn’t good circumstances, but what else am I going to do?” he asked.
According to the comic, he had previously approached HBO about the series but was turned down, Chappelle said in the video posted Tuesday, he was reminded of when HBO Max began streaming Chappelle’s Show this month through a licensing deal with ViacomCBS.
“Now, these are executives, all they have to do is say, ‘Yeah we’ll take it,’ or, ‘No, thank you, we won’t,’” Chappelle said of meeting with HBO years prior. “They didn’t say either of those things, they went too far. They said, literally, ‘What do we need you for?’ That’s what they told me as they kicked me out of the office, ‘What do we need you for?’ And here we are all these years later and they’re streaming the very show I was pitching to them. So I’m asking them, what do you need me for?”
Chappelle hosted his eponymous show for three seasons, but famously left after signing a huge $50 million extension with Comedy Central in 2005. After he exited Chappelle’s Show, however, Chappelle claimed he “never got paid.” “They didn’t have to pay me because I signed the contract. But is that right?” he asked. “I found out that these people were streaming my work and they never had to ask me or they never had to tell me. Perfectly legal because I signed the contract. But is that right?” As the crowd said it was not, Chappelle added, “I didn’t think so either.”
Chappelle signed a major deal with Netflix in 2016, and has worked almost exclusively with the streaming platform in the years since. But according to the star, when he found out Netflix had also licensed Chappelle’s Show for its platform, he was left “furious.”
So, you know what he did? Check out his Instagram video.