John Mulaney recently reflected on how his successful career in comedy came to be.
The former Saturday Night Live writer got his start at Comedy Central. While that’s every aspiring comedian’s dream, Mulaney there was nothing funny about his job there. Especially when he had to break the news to execs that Dave Chappelle was leaving the network.
At the time, Mulaney worked as the head of the development’s temp assistant. The stand-up comic revealed that he was the one who received a phone call that Chappelle “went missing.”
If one can recall, the landscape of American pop culture changed forever when Chappelle abruptly walked out on his successful career. This was during Season 3 of his Comedy Central’s Chappelle’s Show. Speculations went wild as no reason behind Chappelle’s disappearance was immediately reported. It was later found that he fled to South Africa to start anew.
“They were like, ‘You have to interrupt the meeting and tell them’,” Mulaney recalls on a special from the YouTube channel, Netflix Is a Joke. “I was like, ‘Okay.’ So I went in and was like ‘So, Dave Chappelle’s gone.’”
But according to Mulaney, execs didn’t panic upon hearing the news because Chappelle was usually hours late. The Big Mouth star had to tell them that it was because of a “health and safety issue” before they realized the crisis.
“They wanted to get season 3 of Chappelle. The tapes from production. They were going to put me on a plane that day and send me to L.A. to get physical tapes so they couldn’t be destroyed and fly back to New York with them,” Mulaney added.