"Technically, I never quit," Dave Chappelle recently told David Letterman. "I'm seven years late for work." Actually, it's more like nine years since he walked away from Chappelle's Show in May, 2005. But now is not the time to argue over details, since America's most-missed comedian is returning for nine consecutive shows at Radio City Music Hall, June 18 to June 26.
Chappelle, who infamously walked away from a contract that might have been worth as much as $100 million, has been making low-key appearances in stand-up clubs around the country for a few years, but this is the high-profile comeback his fans have been craving — complete with musical guests, including Erykah Badu and Nas. On the eve of his return, we retrace the winding path that led from Fairfax, Virginia and Yellow Springs, Ohio, through New York and South Africa, back to Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall. By Logan Hill