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The Welcome Return of Dave Chappelle: On the scene at Funny or Die's Oddball Fest

Just after 10pm last night in Austin, TX., the image of Dave Chappelle, with an American Spirit hanging from his lips, appeared behind a white scrim. When the curtain rose the crowd at the COTA amphitheater gave the man they were so happy to see back on stage where he belongs a standing ovation. After some eight years out of the spotlight, popping up every now and then across the country for a club performance, Chappelle is headlining the 15-city Funny of Die Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Tour. “Hey little fella,” Chappelle said to a 12-year-old he was shocked to see in the front row. “Thanks for taking a break from jerking off and joining the rest of us.”

“I have terrible news for the audience,” he said by way of an opener. “I don’t have any material.” A besotted woman towards the front shouted “I still accept you!” The crowd cheered. We were just glad to have him back after Chappelle abruptly bolted from his Comedy Central show and a $50 million dollar paycheck in 2005, igniting rumors of drugs and crazy town. Last night the audience made sure his homecoming was sweet. READ FULL STORY

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