Dave Chappelle made his first appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman in ten years. In the interview Chappelle provided some key information about his upcoming Radio City Music Hall performances from June 23rd through the 26th.
That night Chappelle stated the performances would not be his first time at the Hall. When he was 19 he opened for R&B legend and recent Harvard honorary degree recipient Aretha Franklin. While his set was only 15 minutes long, it implanted within Chappelle the desire to one day come back “as a headliner”. That dream is rapidly approaching with insane demand.
Initially there was no June 23rd performance, but Chappelle explained to Letterman that the addition “Wasn’t just about demand. There was an artist I really wanted to get”. He then triumphantly revealed “I am really lucky to say I will by playing June 23rd with Nas and a forty five piece orchestra.” To which Letterman responded with an appropriate “Wow.” The performance coincides with the 20th anniversary of Naz’s Illmatic, which is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential hip-hop albums of all time. Naz will join The Roots, Janelle Monáe, Erykah Badu, Busta Rhymes, and DJ Premier to complete the line-up for Chappelle’s week long NYC stint. “It’s going to be good.” Chappelle promised. “It’s going to be good.”
Much of the interview centered on Chappelle’s infamous disappearance after the third season of Chappelle’s Show and his subsequent trip to South Africa. While Chappelle didn’t provide new information he did claim that he “never quit” but is rather “seven years late for work”. This response left both the audience and Letterman in stitches, with the host commenting “Boy, are you going to be in trouble when you get back!”. On the contrary, Chappelle’s tickets are selling quickly to adoring fans hungry for the comedian’s grand return.
Tickets for Chappelle’s Radio City performances are on sale now at Ticketmaster but are going fast. Tickets are also available for Chappelle’s solo standup acts occurring from the June 18th to the 22nd . Check out the entire interview with David Letterman right here.