As Dave Chappelle promised a few months ago, his new Netflix special is causing major stir. Billed as a “refreshed and expanded” version of the former “Best Time Ever With Chappelle,” the stand-up special promises to bring the comedian back to the stand-up stage, and fans and critics have been waiting, breathlessly, for its premier on January 13. But as you might expect from a premier of anything on Netflix, the entire situation was shrouded in mystery, right up until now.
New: Dave Chappelle walk outs from his Netflix show of performing “apologies” pic.twitter.com/gLhg7NrwJB — Emily Heller (@annebethfeis) January 13, 2018
But now that the next few days are upon us, the internet is in a tizzy over what’s going on behind the scenes at the streaming giant. What fans are buzzing about is the fact that on Friday night, when the special was supposed to premiere on Netflix, almost everyone present walked out at the same time, after Dave chatted about his death and even took a shot at President Trump. The staff exit and Dave ended up presenting the whole situation as a joke, “Not everybody was going to be there, so I thought it would be cool to get everybody to leave at the same time.”
The Netflix staff walk out was observed by the comedian pic.twitter.com/KZDGgVNFhc — Emily Heller (@annebethfeis) January 13, 2018
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Chappelle continued to make jokes about the situation later, even delivering a few of his raunchy routine’s that included some sexual innuendos, such as, “Can someone make me a zombie? I wanna meet David Fincher.” Oh, and he also got serious, announcing that he “won’t work for these f*cking people anymore” and that “if I can’t have fun, I’ve got to do something else.” The comedian received a standing ovation as he took a bow, which led him to joke about it at the end of the hour.
The stand-up show ended as he said he was leaving, leaving most people empty-handed.
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“I thought he was joking. The staff walked out. And Dave Chappelle said, ‘How did you all leave? Somebody f*cking liked my Netflix show’ and I’m like, ‘All right man, cool story.’ Then he said, ‘I’m on Twitter right now talking about how nice it is to be a dad.’ And I was like, ‘Awww!’” said one staff member who left.
“Dave Chappelle ended the show with a blessing. And I was not thinking that this was real until he said it,” said another woman.
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You can watch the full episode over on Variety here, and you can read our full review of the special here.
This article originally appeared on Entertainment Weekly.