Considering it would be hard to hide the fact that host Dave Chappelle isn't present for the new season of Chappelle's Show, Comedy Central is emphasizing the fact.
A preview episode sent out in advance of the July 9 broadcast tackles the issue of Chappelle's absence from the outset.
"Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for Dave Chappelle," the studio announcer says as the crowd goes wild.
Chappelle doesn't show, but Charlie Murphy and Donnell Rawlings, two of his cast members, appear. They serve as hosts for scenes that Chappelle shot before suddenly leaving behind a reported $50 million-plus deal for the critically acclaimed show. He's been in hiding for months.
The network, however, is trying to continue its hit. It's pieced together the sketches he did before bolting and named them Chappelle's Show: The Lost Episodes.
The clips in the first episode take direct aim at the news of Chappelle's sizeable raise. In the first, he's seen trying to convince a barber that he doesn't get paid much on cable. Just then, BET reports that he's getting $55 million. Suddenly, the price of his haircut goes to $11,000.
Chappelle's bodyguard is later shot and his last words are: "Your greed did this to me, Dave. ... You didn't have to do two more seasons. You know they're going to say it's not as good as last year."
Chappelle's told Oprah Winfrey his departure was due to stress and a feeling of disgust that his work he began to feel "like a prostitute."
The show will air Sundays at 9 p.m.