Mulaney recounted the incident on Netflix’s YouTube channel, Netflix Is A Joke.
Prior to becoming a Saturday Night Live writer and accomplished stand-up comedian, John Mulaney had served as a temp assistant at Comedy Central. And it was during this job that Mulaney was tasked with telling execs at the television channel that Dave Chappelle was leaving.
In a recent episode for Netflix’s YouTube channel, Netflix Is A Joke, Mulaney recounts how he fielded the phone call where Chappelle had “went missing” to South Africa.
“They were like, ‘You have to interrupt the meeting and tell them’,” Mulaney recalled. “I was like, ‘Okay.’ So I went in and was like ‘So, Dave Chappelle’s gone.’”
Initially, the execs weren’t concerned, noting that Chappelle was often late for work. That changed after Mulaney repeated that Chappelle was gone, which then to the execs wanting to get the physical tapes of the comedian’s third season of Chappelle’s Show.
“They wanted to get season 3 of Chappelle. The tapes from production. They were going to put me on a plane that day and send me to L.A. to get physical tapes so they couldn’t be destroyed and fly back to New York with them,” Mulaney explained.
Back in 2017, Chappelle spoke with Gayle King about why he left his beloved show.
“I was talkin’ to a guy… he basically said to me that comedy is a reconciliation of paradox, and I think that was an irreconcilable moment for me,” the comedian previously said. “That 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.”