DETROIT – Chain smoking his American Spirits, laughing at his own jokes, Dave Chappelle was back in his comedy groove.
It's been a long, interesting road for Chappelle. From leaving his hit comedy show, "Chappelle's Show," to apparently escaping to Africa, and now, making his return to the spotlight.
Chappelle began the first night of three nights in Detroit, performing at The Fillmore on Thursday night to a sold-out crowd. As Dave put it, Detroit has always been a tough place for him.
The last time Chappelle performed at The Fillmore, just a few years ago, it was an utter disaster. He was heckled so hard that he stopped performing material, and just talked with the crowd for three hours.
At the time, Chappelle was just beginning to return to the spotlight -- three years later, Chappelle has shaken the hecklers, and is back to doing real comedy.
A more polished, calm, cool and collected Chappelle took the stage in Detroit -- and that's good news for his fans.
Chappelle touched on many familiar topics, including race, talking about an incident where he says a fan threw a banana peel at him. He touched on Detroit's bankruptcy, "even the white people are poor in this city."
The 41 year-old-comic seems to be warming back up to his old self. "When you see 'Half-Baked 2', you'll know I'm broke. I'm saving that for a very rainy day," Chappelle joked.
Perhaps the most relatable thing about Dave is the feeling that he really believes none of his fame is real. That it could all end, very quickly. Judging from his sold-out shows all over the country, including six here in Detroit, Dave isn't going anywhere -- and that is GREAT news for all of us.