Tuesday, September 12, 2006

"I used to be cable's hottest star and now I'm just a Yellow Springs guy"

Dave Chapelle, a comedian probably most well-known for his creation, Chapelle's Show, on Comedy Central, has opted to live not in the bright lights of Hollywood but in the tiny town of Yellow Springs, Ohio (read about it here).

"Turns out you don't need $50 million to live around these parts, just a nice smile and a kind way about you. You guys are the best neighbors ever... That's why I came back and that's why I'm staying."

Chappelle, who lives near this southwest Ohio village, walked away from a $50 million deal to continue his "Chappelle's Show" on Comedy Central.

Chappelle's decision to quit his show and jet off to Africa was the talk of the town for quite some time. Chappelle has said that he needed some time for thinking and evaluation, so he went to South Africa. He denied that he left because of mental problems or substance abuse, although there were some reports that he checked into a mental hospital. He talked about his experiences on James Lipton's program Inside the Actor's Studio.

I am quite familiar with Yellow Springs, located about 40 minutes from my hometown of Dayton, Ohio. I attended college in Cedarville, only 10 minutes away from Yellow Springs. Yellow Springs is a quaint little town with some very nice shops - it certainly has a New-Age, aging-hippie vibe to it. As a student, I often visited this famous Yellow Springs establishment, which has been featured on Food Network's The Best Of. I also enjoyed eating pizza here - the place has always been rumored to have a special condiment of marijuana to put on pizza, but I never saw - or tasted - any. The dishes at the Winds Cafe are good enough to rival any big-city restaurant.

Yellow Springs is the home of Antioch College, where both of Chappelle's parents worked. In the early 1990s, Antioch obtained national noteriety with the implementation of this policy. Famous Antioch alumni include Coretta Scott King, scientist Stephen Jay Gould, Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling, and author Sylvia Naser.

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