It might have been the single greatest act of celebrity self destruction since Nick Nolte showed up at the Toronto International Film Festival in his pajamas or Courtney Love flashed the crew on Letterman.
On April 28th, Dave Chappelle walked away from his comedy series and a new $50 million contract. Rumors flew. His credibility plummeted. A brilliant career was suddenly in shambles. Dave was now rumored to be in South Africa…strung out or stark raving made.
It was time for a little “damage control.” Like all great communicators, Chappelle reached for metaphor.
“It was a clumsy dismount,” he said to explain his abrupt departure.
The metaphor invited us to accept: a) that the departure was necessary (all pommel horse routines must end), b) that it was bound to be difficult (this is always most difficult part of the routine), and c) that, hey, he missed this one (no big deal, everyone does).
Great save, Dave. I believe you stuck it.
Farley, Christopher John. 2005. Dave Speaks. Time Magazine. May 23, 2005. p. 68.