TV Article

'Show' Me The Money

Dave Chappelle signs $50 million deal. The ''Chappelle's Show'' star re-ups for two years and gets 50 percent of DVD profits

Dave Chappelle | HALF TAKE Chappelle will split DVD profits with Comedy Central
Image credit: Dave Chappelle: George De Sota-FWD/AP
HALF TAKE Chappelle will split DVD profits with Comedy Central

You'll be seeing a lot more of Dave Chappelle on Comedy Central over the next couple years, and not just because the channel plans to rerun ''Half Baked'' 100 more times. Comedy Central announced on Monday it had signed the comic to star in two more seasons of ''Chappelle's Show,'' in a deal that the Hollywood Reporter says could earn the comic $50 million. He'll be paid a seven-figure sum for each 13-episode season (USA Today puts his seasonal salary at $5 million, about what the channel pays Jon Stewart), but the real money will come from DVD sales, which Comedy Central will split with Chappelle.

After all, the DVD of the first season of ''Chappelle's Show'' sold more than 1.7 million units this year, making it the third highest-selling TV series DVD of all time. Under the deal, Chappelle will get half the DVD profits, including those from discs sold before he re-upped.

That generosity helped keep Chappelle from jumping ship, as other outlets (notably, FX and the NBC Universal empire) were reportedly courting him. (''I'm not sure, but I believe there is a clause that gives me reparations for slavery,'' he joked to USA Today.) ''Re-signing Dave Chappelle was a top priority and I am just so pleased that we were able to reach an agreement,'' said Lauren Corrao, Comedy Central's vice president of original programming, in a statement. ''Comedy Central is the rightful home for 'Chappelle’s Show' and Dave's unique and provocative brand of humor.'' In the same statement, Chappelle echoed his now-unavoidable Rick James imitation, saying, ''Now I’m actually rich, b----!''

Originally posted Aug 03, 2004