“Of course I would like to have that money,” Chappelle said. “Sometimes I listen to a Jay Z record, and it starts making me feel bad about some of the choices I’ve made. This guy has had more fun on two songs than I’ve had over the last 11 years.”
Chappelle said friends have tried to console him about the lost deal by citing his integrity, but he said there are still some who think his decision to walk away from the Chappelle Show in 2005 was crazy.
“I go home and make my kids some integrity sandwiches,” said the father of three. “There are other things in my life that I do not purchase with money that are very valuable.”
The comedian acknowledged that, at times, he misses the lucrative payoff of his Comedy Central contract.
“The only difference between having $10 million and $50 million is an astounding $40 million,” he said.
— V.F. HOLLYWOOD (@vfhollywood) June 11, 2014
Chappelle said he took off for South Africa after making the decision and was unaware of all the coverage of his “mysterious disappearance.”
The comic joked with Letterman that he techically never quit his show. “I’m seven years late for work,” he said.
He told Letterman his departure from the show was equivalent to a divorce in the 1950s.
“People didn’t go to Divorce Court. They’d look at their wife like, ‘baby I am going to go get a pack of cigarettes I will be right back,” Chappelle said. “They just leave with the clothes on their back and make a go of it.”
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