NEW YORK - Dave Chappelle is under pressure, according to a Newsweek report. The star of Comedy Central's popular "Chappelle's Show," is exhausted due to tension, partying and creative differences with Comedy Central, causing last week's halt in the show's production, the report said.
"I saw him start trippin' when the buzz started to get real loud," one unidentified celebrity friend told Newsweek. "I think he was in shock after the first season, and then (during) the second, it hit him that he was the man. That freaked him. And then came the pressure of living up to expectations for the third season. He's never been there — where something's so good and you got to come even stronger the next time. It was too much."
Neither Comedy Central publicist Tony Fox nor Chappelle's spokesman, Matt Labov, has discussed what caused the halt in production or how long it will last. The third season was to premiere May 31.
Another source pointed to the 31-year-old actor-comedian's partying, although Labov has denied that his client has a drug problem.
"Everyone knows Dave likes to have fun," a music industry source said. "I wouldn't say it's out of control ... but at some point that has to affect you if you've got a regular gig."
Newsweek writer Devin Gordon visited the set in November 2004, just a few weeks into shooting on the third season. Gordon didn't notice any out of the ordinary behavior.
The Newsweek report claims Chappelle wants to delve into more controversial racial issues, unsettling "Comedy Central" executives; Comedy Central and an employee in Chappelle's camp said last week the delay "is not a network issue."
"Dave is not compromising what he wants to do," another source said. "He's waited a long time for this chance, and he's not trying to do anything that isn't 100 percent his vision."