Dave Chappelle wants to play a zombie on AMC’s hit series The Walking Dead. He also wouldn’t mind snagging roles on CSI and Scandal. It’s all part of Chappelle’s goal to return to television. “For one year, I want to do this thing where I guest-star on as many television shows as I possibly can,” he tells GQ in a new interview. “I’d be a zombie on The Walking Dead. A corpse on CSI. I’d be the first black guy to fuck Olivia Pope on Scandal…”
It’s difficult to tell whether Chappelle is serious but we can’t imagine Hollywood would say no to any of the above scenarios. After all, Chappelle is a huge draw, especially now after a few years of relative calm in the iconic comedian’s life. Over the last year or so, Chappelle has been on the road touring sporadically and this past summer he played 10 shows at Radio City Music Hall in New York. “I have a show-business bucket list,” Chappelle says. “There’s just certain things that every entertainer always dreamed of doing. When I was 19, I used to walk up Sixth Avenue and look at the marquee of Radio City. I’d see the lines outside. I’d be like ‘Man, I just want to…Radio City!’…It just so happened the venue was open during the same time frame I was willing to play.”
Chappelle also talks (again) about that little 2005 incident, wherein he fled his $50 million Chappelle’s Show contract with Comedy Central and took a break in South Africa. —“You know, for a while, I was kind of sequestered,” Chappelle says. “Well, sequestered is not the right word. It was more like Superman’s self-imposed exile.”
Chappelle’s disappearance caused many to wonder if drugs or alcohol had anything to do with his supposed breakdown. In the end, however, Chappelle just didn’t want to deal with the pressures and possible creative compromises he’d have to make working on a weekly television series. The split with Comedy Central also strained his relationship with Chappelle’s Show co-creator Neal Brennan. “We’ve always had a strange friendship, but I don’t think it was ever as icy as people thought it was publicly,” Chappelle tells GQ. “We just almost never talk about it. Like, ‘Let’s just not. We’re just not gonna agree on certain shit, so let’s just not.’ It was a valuable friendship above and beyond whatever work we did together. He’s an important part of my life.”
Chappelle is one of six cover subjects of GQ’s December Men of the Year issue (collect all 6 maybe?), which hits stands nationally on Nov. 25; it’s available now in New York and Los Angeles. Or, you can read the entire feature online. Because what’s a magazine?