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Dave Chappelle Speaks: Not in Rehab, Hospital

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Drudge Report claims that Dave Chappelle, comedian and recent recipient of $50 million to continue producing Comedy Central’s popular Chappelle’s Show, has spoken out amidst speculation that he winged off to South Africa for drug treatment or psychiatric care.

“I figured, Let me just cut myself off from everybody, take a minute and pull a Flintstone-stop a speeding car by using my feet as the brakes. I am surprised at what I would do for $50 million. I am surprised at what people around me would do for me to have $50 million,” Dave Chappelle tells TIME’s Christopher John Farley in an exclusive interview.

CHAPPELLE tells TIME he’s not in mental hospital or drug rehab, debunking earlier reports in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY and elsewhere.

Dave Chappelle has always struck me as a laid back yet sharp-witted performer. The audio commentary on the DVD version of the first season of Chappelle’s Show reveals a lucid, ambitious, and highly intelligent artist who was very careful about how he presented his material on camera.

So while Chappelle likes to play up his enjoyment of marijuana, my guess is that his sojourn to South Africa was more of a getaway than a get-me-away-from-drugs / mental health trip.

Here’s hoping that Chappelle and his Show are back in action soon.


Update: Here’s the Time story. A very interesting read, it showcases an attempt by a talented and successful man trying to stay sane amidst money, fame, and the trappings of both.

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  • Eric, Chapelle should have gone to India for his treatment; medical costs are cheaper and there are creative ways to enjoy himself

  • That’s funny Swinging.

    A sketch comedy group that I wrote for a number of years ago is now called Drunken Monkey.

    They were called Johnny Kats back in the day…

  • MJK

    After reading this here

    it really looks like Neal Brennan is the one who really freaked out…or at least changed with the big money…or just started to get jealous of Dave.

    This article state’s “Dave’s inner-circle”…”not his family”…”material they were producing”…It’s been said before that Neal IS his inner-circle.

    It’s not hard to believe that the material was rushed or came with a different attitude after the big money first presented itself.

    And if this is indeed the case, then I think Entertainment Weekly owes Dave a big apology for jumping to break the mental institution story. EW is a cousin of TIME, right?

  • MJK – I’ve updated the story with the Time article. I’m relieved after reading it: basically, Chappelle needed to get away from it all while dealing with mega-success, hangers-on, and the stress of trying to stay edgy as the stakes continue to rise. The voice that comes across is Dave being Dave: mellow, intelligent, introspective, funny.

    So he’ll be back. Good news for all of us.

  • Thats creppy Eric…
    what, did you have a wire in the secret studio I was at last night? I was in a debate about Dave, and I KNEW he wasnt in a rehab…I was almost ready to put money on it…but I was having that conversation around 1-2:30 in the morning…close to when you posted…creppy

  • So you almost made money off Dave’s situation but couldn’t pull the trigger on the bet?

    How’d you know?

  • sydney

    I don’t see where there is any indication that he ever used any drugs. I mean of course he might have been a secret user, but this article seems to suggest that he possibly could have been in rehab for weed?

    Anyone who ever smoked weed would realize its not a drug you need rehab for. OR at least I’ve never in my life heard of anyone who wanted to quit but couldnt. Despite its toxicity, it doesnt have that sort of addictive power as far as I’m concerened.

  • Tristan

    and I’ve worked in Treatment centers for 8 years; one of them being Hazelden- the most acclaimed in the world, and I have never seen anyone ever treated for marijuana…there IS no treatment for it..it is not an addictive drug.

  • T & S: In my experience marijuana is addictive for some, and not for others… just like another drug called alcohol. Some can quit heavy usage, others can’t, while most users do so with some degree of moderation. Marijuana is known as a “gateway drug,” but I believe if that’s the case, it’s due to its illegal status (in the US, anyway).

    All I wrote in my original post is that Chappelle likes to play up his affection for the herb. If you’ve seen Half Baked, you’ll know what I mean. His stage persona is of a drowsy, intelligent, affable pot head. I have no idea whether he is or is not a head: I’ve never hung with the dude, nor have I claimed to.

    I then went on to speculate that his trip to South Africa was a getaway, which the Time article proves out.

  • Tristan

    as I said: marijuana is not addictive.
    Alcohol IS totally addictive—
    and the withdrawals from alcohol are worse than even heroin withdrawals; 1 in 10 people that are in a HOSPITAL setting with medical staff treating–that goes into Delirium Tremors (DT’s–alcohol withdrawal)—will DIE…!!!!!
    Ther is NO withdrawal from marijuana.

  • There are people who smoke marijuana every day and would like to stop but can’t. So, they’re addicted.

  • sydney

    ERic, I think your mistaken.

    People who can’t quit marijuana can’t because they simply dont care too. They haven’t the motication to do it. Anyone who makes up their miind to stop it can do it without problem.

    Marijuana is like ice cream, if you liek eating it and can’t see a problem with eating it than you will continue to. Hoever, if you decide it is bad for your health and want to won’t than you wont have a problem doing so. other than to brake a pyschological habit that is….

    But people don’t go to reahab to quit sweets, or ice cream or marijuana.

  • A study conducted by researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has demonstrated that laboratory animals will self-administer marijuana’s psychoactive component, THC, in doses equivalent to those used by people who smoke the drug. Animals’ self-administration of drugs has long been considered a model of human drug-seeking behavior and has been characteristic of virtually all addictive drugs.

    The study confirms the addictive nature of marijuana, according to researchers.

    “This emphasizes the similarity between marijuana and other abusable, addicting substances,” said NIDA director Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D. “Both animals and humans will work to acquire access to marijuana in the same way that both animals and humans change their behavior to get other drugs of abuse, like cocaine and heroin.”

    Source: Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly, Oct 23, 2000 v12 i41 p6

  • HW Saxton

    I used to like to smoke herb a lot when
    I was younger and I still don’t see that
    anything’s wrong with smoking it.As long
    as you are responsible about it.IE: Not
    smoking in front of or around children.
    Keep it private.Do it either at home or
    well away from the public view.Do not be
    driving while ripped to the gills after
    bonging out all night. Accept any & all
    responsibility for your actions while
    stoned.I still smoke it once in a while,
    but as an adult this is just not a vice
    you can indulge in if & when you get the
    notion.Too many other responsibilities
    to take care of plus good herbage ain’t
    cheap! And, workplace drug testing can
    derail your career overnight.So it isn’t
    worth risking it to me.

    The fact that people are allowed to get
    drunk whenever they want without any
    fear of retribution seems to be highly
    hypocritical as alcohol is infinitely
    more debilitating than the herb is.The
    damage that alcohol causes families &
    individuals is huge.All the broken homes
    and shattered lives,health damage,wrecks
    and accidents are well documented. Many
    violent crimes are committed under the
    influence of drink.It’s very rare that
    you hear about anybody getting pissed
    and shooting up a bar or club after they
    smoked one too many bong hits.It’s an
    every day occurence that police respond
    to drink related fights that’ve gotten
    out of control or escalated to murder.

    But I’ve never ever felt any sort of a
    withdrawal symptom from weed and could
    not imagine anyone having to go through
    detox or rehab because of rocking the
    ganja a bit too much.I’ve gotten grouchy
    and a little irritable at times when I
    have quit using herb at times but I have
    always been back to *normal in a day or

    *Normal being a relative term,of course.

  • HW — I stand by my point: marijuana is a recreational drug that many people can handle in a reasonable and responsible way. I agree that the laws are hypocritical and that marijuana should be legalized.

    However, I also stand by my point that both alcohol and marijuana are addictive for some. How much so and to what degree are subject to debate by those more qualified than me.

  • Tristan

    Eric: you are simply WRONG.

    According to all treatment centers that are reputable in the United States, if there is no WITHDRAWAL—there is no addiction; it might be psychologically COMPULSIVE–as sex, gambling, etc., but if there is no physical withdrawal–there can be no addiction or actual treatment.

    Now if you think you are more intelligent than the entire Substance Abuse Community in the United States, and ALL of the Treatment Professionals—then so be it!

  • Tristan, you are simply WRONG to call Eric wrong on this.

    There are a number of substance abuse treatment professionals who do consider marijuana addictive. Your inability to find them doesn’t prove their nonexistence.

  • Tristan

    I guess you know more than the best Certified Addictions Professionals in the United States as well Victor ..????

    You know what they say: sometimes it’s better to remain silent and let everybody think you are a fool—than to open your mouth and remove all doubt, eh Victor?

  • Tristan — I issued my opinion, and then backed it up by quoting a passage from Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly.

    I’m sure there will be those that have a different opinion.

  • And Victor: thanks!

  • Nah, I just know you’re confused, Tristan. You are confusing “addiction” with “physical dependence.”

    If there are no physical withdrawal symptoms, there is no physical dependence. However, this is not the same thing as addiction.

    Addiction is defined as behavior that continues in spite of negative consequences. By this definition, widely accepted in the medical field, some users of marijuana are addicted, although certainly not all of them.

  • Very important distinction there.

  • gonzo marx

    ummm..i like the ice cream analogy..

    i bet if you tried the same testing quoted above with ice cream, you woudl find the same behaviour in those mice

    or chocolate…or >insert pleasurable by physically harmless food stuff here< hell...i like orange soda, i drink a glass or two every day..it makes me smile.. am i addicted? Excelsior!

  • Gonzo — If that works for you, that’s cool with me and I’m all for it.

    I’m a Ben & Jerry’s man myself, and I’m trying like hell right now to stay away from it.

  • Tristan

    Gonzo~~~ obviously they would rather be right than happy; let’s just leave them alone with their little “game”…..

    the children need to play, eh !!!

  • gonzo marx


    and that’s my point, Eric me boyo..

    a big difference between an addiction…adn something ya like a lot

    take those mice in the THC experiment..if you remove the dosage…do the mice show any ill effects…except mebbe being a bit pissed for a few hours because they don’t have their buzz?

    in the same manner i would get if i had only ginger ale for the evening, when i wanted my orange soda…or you if B&J was unavailable..and all you could get was frozen custard

    i see that as far different than addiction…i have dealt with close firneds that i have had to detox off smack, booze, crank and other bad things..

    never once have i had to deal with more than minor bitching if someone didn’t get any weed for a few days…

    let a junkie miss a few hours off his normal fix time…even an alcoholic…and they are mean and sick

    that’s where i draw the line between a harmless habit, and an addiction…

    your mileage may vary


  • Tristan

    you cannot argue with them; they know more than anyone in the Substance Abuse field…..and they are really just kind of having a circle jerk with themselves.

    So more power to them!

  • Again, I refer back to the Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly I quoted. And again, I mentioned that for some and perhaps many, marijuana may not hold addictive qualities. But I believe that for some people, it certainly does.

  • Tristan

    Methinks he doth protest a bit too much, eh ~~~!!!!

  • Eric quoted a reliable source for his definition. I borrowed mine from a board-certified physician and addiction medicine specialist, and it is also confirmed here.

    But apparently we’re supposed to ignore reliable sources, and trust Tristan’s imagination and Gonzo’s anecdotes instead.


  • God, you guys could all use a bong hit! Relax.

    BTW, David Chappelle is last mentioned in comment 9 of this thread.

  • Tristan


    I cannot stop looking at Angelina Jolie’s lips and breasts—I must be an “addict! Where can I go for treatment for this —
    Angelina’s bedroom…?????

  • gonzo marx

    hey Victor..i will NEVER say to “trust me”

    in fact , as some can tell you..i am a staunch Advocate for figuring it out yourself…looking it up, and making up your own mind..

    you want a source from a Respected scientist and his work..here’s a link to a book featured recently here on blogcritics


    this gentlemans work tends to refute quite a bit..and he is a totally independent scientist with NO axe to grind

    addiction is a difficult question..i do believe a lot of the problem in communication here stems from poor epistomology…the difference between mental and physical addiction…which is what i was trying to show…

    obviously i did a poor job of the task

    i tend to call “addiction” something which causes some kind of physical “withdrawl”…tobacco..alcohol..heroin…methamphetamines

    these show such a symptomology

    chocolate, orange soda, ice cream and marijuana do not

    now..can some folks, show addictive symptoms to the second category..

    hell yes..why there are soem folks who claim addiction to gambling, porn and peperoni pizza

    are those in the same league as booze and smack?

    but you get my point by now, i hope..

    so before you get too into the “studies” and such..see who funds them..and THINK about it..i believe i showed quite clearly where the afore mentioned mice test is flawed..

    if you substituted any tasty food item for the THC, you would get the same behaviour

    another point on which all studies seem to agree, any truly addictive substance causes a certain percentage of overdose deaths

    can you cite me ONE such case with marijuana…EVER..in the history of mankind

    then compare it to your local papers police blotter on a monthly basis

    that’s just my one sixth billionths of the world’s Opinion..

    your mileage may vary..


  • From the immortal words of the immortal PCU:

    We’re not gonna protest…

    Now when’s Chappelle’s Show on?

  • Tristan

    Board-certified physicians usually know nothing about addictions—even the ones we used in treatment centers; that’s why they are doctors and not Substance Abuse Professionals.
    A few of them have had a few hours in Addictions and/or Substance Abuse…but they, as well as most lay people know almost nothing about the Substance Abuse field, as evidenced by most of the comments posted in here.

    But having been an Addictions Professional for over eight years, and having worked at Hazelden–the Benchmark in the world for Addictions Treatment—I guess doesn’t measure up to Victor and Eric’s idea of what makes someone “qualified to say what is or is not an “addiction” …..

    Far be it from me to cast doubt on their reliable and professional “SOURCES” quoted! (a medical doctor???
    and an on-line free encyclopedia….totally unimpeachable sources for the Addictions Field..!!!! NOT!!!!)

    Victor and Eric–if I may ask, and I know this will be a very uncomfortable question for both of you, and I wouldn’t blame you if you just turned tail and ran and ignored it, but, what exactly are both of your credentials in the Substance Abuse field to justify the authority with which you keep refuting the best Professionals in the Substance Abuse field who all agree that marijuana is NOT ADDICTING ..???

    Please let the readers know your professional training and experience in the Substance Abuse field so they can tell whether you know what you are talking about or not.

  • – Victor referenced a “board-certified physician and addiction medicine specialist

    – I referenced Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly:

    Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly is an indispensable resource for directors of addiction treatment centers, managed care executives, federal and state policy makers and healthcare consultants.

    * Finally: I’m not interested in going into this further with you, Tristan. I’ve explained my position, and you’ve explained yours. Let’s leave it at that.

  • Sorry, Tristan. It’s clear your position is based on having a political axe to grind, rather than any sort of credentials you might have, so I’m not going to play the “my credentials are bigger than your credentials” game with you.

    Admitting marijuana can function as an addictive substance for some people does not require us to buy into the whole war-on-drugs propaganda about the “demon weed.”

    It merely requires us to be realistic about facts. One fact is, not everyone responds exactly the same way to every substance.

    This doesn’t make marijuana as bad as heroin, but it does mean some people require treatment to get free of it, while others are able to drop it without hardly blinking.

  • gonzo marx

    to Eric…thanx for the link..please pardon my cynical self from pointing out that your source makes it’s living off of treating “addicted” people…just a concern..NOT something that neccesarily disqualifies them..

    Victor sez..
    *This doesn’t make marijuana as bad as heroin, but it does mean some people require treatment to get free of it, while others are able to drop it without hardly blinking.*

    ok..please define “addicting”

    you see..a substance that is truly addictive..by my understanding of the definition, can NEVER be dropped without hardly blinking..

    i don’t care who you are..one month of a daily habit of ciggs, smack, crank or crack…and you suffer withdrawl..

    see my feeble attempt at definition for the sake of epistomological integrity earlier in the Thread..

    nuff said?


  • Gonzo — Good / interesting point… but I don’t think that it discredits the study that I referenced.

  • Man, I miss those days talking about Pop Copy and the Home Swap spoof…

  • gonzo marx

    my point about the study was stated earlier Eric..you could put ANY pleasing substance in there and get the same result

    the proof is in the taking it away and observing if there is any overdosing when unlimited supply is available

    the same experiment has been done with cocaine..and EVERY time, the poor mice dose themselves to death

    withdrawl and willful overdose define “addiction” for me…

    your mileage may vary


  • Gonzo, I defined addiction in comment 21, above.

  • gonzo marx

    thanx Victor..

    i guess we will just have to disagree..

    i eat potato chips..they are bad for me..and cause me to carry around a few extra pounds, which is also bad for me

    i have no desire to stop eating potato chips

    so by your definition i am addicted and need treatment to stop…am i understanding you correctly here?

    i’ll stick with the definition i stated above..but i DO easily Recognize that your definition is used quite often by those who make their living from treating “sick” people..

    no arguments from me here..i think i begin to understand..

    but i still stand by my statements..and will respectfully disagree on the obvious points of contention…

    all that being said..

    i like Dave Chappelle…i think he is bright, funny and makes some excellent social Commentary..

    which IS the place of any good Jester..

    i hope he is back on the air soon..and i Wish him nothing but the best..

    nuff said?


  • Tristan

    Sorry Victor–but it appears YOUR position is the one that TOTSLLY has the “politica axe” to grind~~~

    And I STATED MY professional qualifications several times above in the Substance Abuse field which you have totally ignored obviously since you have none.

    I asked you what your qualifications were and you totally ignored that question and refused to respond to it, which makes me realize (and all the readers !!!) —that you have NONE, which is exactly what I thought.

    You base your supposed “facts” on some uncited report and expect everybody to just lie down and roll over and accept you as an “expert” …???
    I don’t think so buddy! You’ve proven repeatedly in your comments to myself and Gonzo that you have absolutely NO professional expertise at all in this field.

  • Tristan


    Anyone can do a Google search on “drugs” and come up with some “report” . THAT does NOT make you an “EXPERT” in the field!

  • Tristan – I’ve already addressed your concerns and asked that we agree to disagree.

    You have a history of baiting others to attack you and then crying foul about all the abuse that’s being heaped upon you.

    It’s not going to work here.

  • Gonzo, no, you have not understood what I said here.

    Nor do you seem especially interested in doing so. That’s fine, and we can certainly agree to disagree without ever having communicated clearly. If I’m mistaken, and you do honestly wish to understand the definition of addiction I’ve been using, you could always read the article I linked in comment 30.

    Either way, have a nice day.

  • sydney

    I didnt mean to provoke all this debate on the addictive qualities of MArijuana.

    In any case, regarless what the study in Alcholsim and drug abuse weekly said I don’t believe that many if any pot smokes go to rehad clinics to brake the habit. That was my point. I smoke, nearly all my friends smoke, and countless thousands of people I’ve known over the years have smoked. MAny have quit regularly for periods of mnths to years and/or have been very periodic smokers at time.

    The truth is that ciggarrettes, and any of the other common drugs are more addictive. I would say also that nicotine is as addictive as marijuana.

    That study you give there ERic is very shody. I know enough about scientific experiments to know that that particular study doesnt hold much water. It’s not wrong, per say, it’s just really weak and inconsequential.

    You could offer rats penut butter and they would likely alter their behaviour to get more of it.

    And I’m certainly not for legalizing marijuana. Decriminalize it perhaps, so that its not cloggin up our courts and costing us billions to prosecute. Legalizing it is rediculous in my opinion. Why don’t we find somthing else that kills us and legalize that too? OF all the issues to harp on why the hel to people spend their energy on trying to legalize marijuana?

  • There’s a lot inconsistency within your statement there Sydney:

    You and friends smoke weed, an illegal activity.

    Yet you go to make the claims that marijuana a) is not addictive and b) kills people.

    You also see a movement to legalize marijuana as a “waste of time.”

    You’ve known “countless thousands of people”?

    That’s a lot of people.

  • In the Time article, Chapelle does not seem to clearly indicate whether he intends to ever in fact resume his show or not. Or did I miss something.

  • The article seemed to suggest that, without actually saying it, Chappelle’s considering reorganizing/reassessing his production staff.

  • sydney

    ERic Berlin,

    There is no inconsistancy with my statement. I smoke weed, despite knowing it is dangerous to my health, and I am against legalization. Whats inconsitant about that?

    You ever drink alcohal despite knowing that its bad for you?

    Just because I smoke pot on occasion does not mean am Addicted to it. Secondly, yes most of my friends smoke weed, but that doesnt mean they are addicted either, nor that I think it shoudl be legal just because they smoke it. A good number of my friends use cocaine on occassion as well. Should I be for legalization of Cocaine as well?

    I am a recreational drug user who uses drugs very seldom and uses them at a risk to my health. I am young, single and havent any childeren. At that point in time when those things change well than I will cut out the drugs. As it stands now I rarely use them anyway.

    And yes I may have exagerated how many people I know… but I have been in studying in three different universities over the past 8 years and I have lived in three different countries. I have had many friends and social aquaintences (perhaps hundereds). Many of them were pot smokers. I don’t mean to villify these pot smokers, only to say that legalizing this drug is misleading to the rest of society. It is a dangerous drug at times and we dont need to send the message out that its fine and dandy to smoke. Pot should seen as a socially unacceptable just as ciggarette smoking should be in my opinion. ITs not good for you.. so we should make it hard for people to do it.

  • Thanks be to the Gods — non-marijuana talk.

    Hopefully Chappelle will find the right people — the people that he can trust — to continue to perform to the best of his ability.

    I found what he said really interesting about attaining a great deal of fame and success. He had heard that when that happens, “you” don’t change but the people around you do. And he found that to be the case.

  • I can’t imagine how disheartening it must be to leave the country and still be approached 3-4 times a week by strangers recognizing you. The man just needs some peace and stability. Hollywood doesn’t offer that to folks of his talent and accessibility.

  • This confirms what I’ve always thought: I’d love to be rich beyond my dreams, but famous? No way. I’ll take respected and admired within my various communities, thanks very much.


    On sycophancy, isn’t there a comdy show or film coming out based on a has-been and his leeching friends? It looks like it will be pretty funny.
    I wonder why Chappelle chose South Africa? Not that there is anything wrong with it, I’d love to go there too.

  • Chappelle’s got an old friend there who he goes to see when he wants to chill out and get spiritual.

    Haven’t heard about the film/show, but it sounds like a pretty good concept.

  • gr

    hi im bob

  • toby

    i love dave come back soon homie your my hero!!!!!!!!!!