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Dave Chappelle bombs at a stand-up performance in Miami

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Dave Chappelle's absence from the world of show business has been acutely felt by his fans these last few years. Since he ended Chappelle's Show way back in 2006, the comedian has been shying away from the spotlight, claiming creative burnout and disillusionment with Hollywood and his place in it. Now, any hopes of a brilliant return to form, however, may have been dashed this weekend by Chappelle's surprising bomb at a stand-up performance in Miami

Just a month after an impromptu appearance in New York, Chappelle was booked to perform an hour-long set at a recent Miami charity event. Something obviously went wrong, as reports of the event paint a distracted Chappelle whose performance consisted of silent stares at the audience broken only by his frequent checking of text messages. According to a Twitter post by CNN reporter Roland S. Martin, who was in attendance:

This Dave Chappelle set is bizarre. He's spent more time going back & forth with one audience member, & pretty much stopped telling jokes.

While there has been no official follow-up statement from Chapelle's representatives, a rumor has been issued from someone close to his camp that Chappelle was put-off that night by a group of hecklers and wasn't able to recover his performance. That's surprising, considering how many years he's been doing stand-up. But knowing how vocal people can be about their expectations, I also wouldn't be surprised if some assholes yelling "Rick James, bitch!" made him sigh on the stage and wonder: "Why bother?"