The return of Dave Chappelle

By Lisa Respers France CNN | 6/19/2014, 1:07 p.m.
Looks like Dave Chappelle is making up for lost time.
Dave Chappelle speaks to CNN on August 19, 2013 in this CNN file photo.

Looks like Dave Chappelle is making up for lost time.

The comedian, who famously and abruptly quit his acclaimed, wildly popular "Chappelle's Show" on Comedy Central in 2005 and dropped out of public life, seems to be a bit less reclusive these days.

He recently appeared on the "Late Show With David Letterman," telling the host he never actually quit but was instead "seven years late for work." He also "crashed" morning show "Today" by banging on the glass window and holding a sign advertising his comedy shows at Radio City Music Hall.

On Wednesday night, Chappelle played Radio City for a two-hour concert that the New York Daily News said showed he had "returned with his irreverent and often raunchy sense of humor fully intact."

"I'm just here to make enlightened money so I can disappear again," the paper quoted Chappelle as saying during his stand-up.

The New York Times noted that Chappelle's act reflected his almost a decade of absence from the set.

"Once you chat with Matt Lauer while holding a handmade sign plugging your new shows, your days as a reclusive rebel are over," Jason Zinoman of The New York Times wrote. "That shift is reflected in his comedy."

Chappelle has had a few pop-up and one-off performances over the years, including one in which he stormed off a Hartford, Connecticut, stage after being heckled. Sporting a more buff look but still chain-smoking cigarettes, Chappelle reportedly joked at Radio City about everything from the Donald Sterling controversy to life as a married father.

And he appears to be unrepentant about his exit from his career -- and his return.

"There's a method to my madness," The Daily Beast quoted Chappelle as saying during his performance. "It was dramatic, but I feel better."

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