Just as Chappelle's Show seemed to be peaking—it had achieved critical praise and devoted fans in a short stretch of time—the wheels came off when Dave disappeared. Rumors flew about what had happened to Dave—even making the pages of publications like Time and Newsweek.
Some people said Dave had gone crazy or was on drugs. Some media reported Dave was locked in a mental institution.
In reality, Dave says, he went to South Africa to slow down. How could he have just left like that? "One, I needed a break," he says. "Two, we have family and friends down there. I felt like it was a place where I could really reflect... And here's the other thing: I was only gone for two weeks! They made it sound like it was so mysterious."