The outspoken comic and the network honcho meet to talk, though neither is commenting

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated June 09, 2005 09:00 AM

Dave Chappelle, who was MIA from his Comedy Central show last month, has met with executives at the network for the first time since his unscheduled “spiritual retreat” in South Africa forced the suspension of the third season of his program.

On Friday in Los Angeles, Comedy Central president Doug Herzog met with Chappelle, according to network spokesman Tony Fox, who declined to comment to the Associated Press on when – or if – Chappelle would return to the network. A spokesman for the outspoken comic also declined to comment.

Last week, Chappelle, 32, delivered a surprise performance at L.A. comedy club the Improv. During Chappelle’s routine he reportedly took aim at his own disappearing act, saying: “When I see people, they pretend that they haven’t heard anything about this whole thing. Then I’ll say something like, ‘I’m not crazy,’ and then they’ll say, ‘Oh yeah, that’s right. I read something about that.'”

Chappelle told Time magazine he left for South Africa because he was unhappy with the direction of his show, which had been scheduled to start a third season on May 31, and denied reports of drug or mental problems.

Meanwhile, Comedy Central sold another 400,000 copies last week of its DVD of the Chappelle’s Show second season, for a total of 1.4 million so far. The first season’s DVD has sold 2.9 million copies, the biggest-selling DVD of a TV series of all time.

Chappelle even made reference to the record sales on the Improv stage. He quipped: “Of course, if I want to see any of that money I better get my ass back to work.”