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COMEDY CENTRAL Departure of Chappelle spells doom for series



Published: Thu, August 4, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



NEW YORK (AP) -- Time to face the facts: Dave Chappelle's hit Comedy Central series isn't coming back, says one of its stars.

"'Chappelle's Show' is over, man. Done," comic Charlie Murphy told TV Guide. "It took me a long time to be able to say those words, but I can say it pretty easy now, because it's the truth."

Chappelle's sudden "spiritual retreat" to South Africa on the eve of his show's third season has left the series in limbo since May. About half of a new season had been filmed before Chappelle left, Murphy said.

"I'm disappointed it ended the way it did, but I'm not angry with anybody," he said. "'Chappelle's Show' was like the Tupac of TV shows. It came out, it got everybody's attention, it was a bright shining star, but it burned out and for some strange reason, it burned out quick."

Comedy Central has always said the door is open for Chappelle to return, spokeswoman Aileen Budow said Wednesday.

Network chief Doug Herzog met with Chappelle on June 3, but that has been their last communication, she said.

Murphy, the older brother of comic Eddie Murphy, said his two seasons with Chappelle made him a star.

"Now I can go out and do stand-up," he said. "I'm getting movie offers. It's off the hook. Me getting to the next level or whatever's going to happen is going to come from the next things I do, but 'Chappelle's Show' served its purpose and I'll always be grateful."




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