Donnell Rawlings Tells Comedy Hype How He Joined ‘Chappelle’s Show’

This week, comedian Donnell Rawlings connected with Comedy Hype, as he gets ready for his upcoming set at ‘JFL NorthWest’ in Vancouver this February 2020. Correspondent, Dom Smith interviewed the comedian who opens up for Dave Chappelle.

They discussed Rawlings’s career, how he got cast on Chappelle’s Show, his time spent on the radio and how that led to his new podcast, ‘The Donnell Rawlings Show’.

When asked how he originally got involved with Chappelle’s Show, Rawlings would reveal that meeting Neal Brennan would be the reason.

“After Neal and Dave wrote ‘Half Baked’, Neal had a career as a writer, but none of his movies were getting the green light…he wanted to be more involved and he wanted his films to get the green light, he never directed. He had this short film that he wrote and he reached out to my manager and I told him that I would do it. I told Neal that I know you can’t pay me, but if you’re ever in a situation to throw me a bone, I’ll take it. 3 months after we shot that, he was already in the developmental stages of Chappelle’s Show and I was one of the first people he called.”

Now for those who can remember, Chappelle’s Show would come to an end in 2003 because it was rumored that a white audience member laughed at a skit in a way that made Dave Chappelle uncomfortable. Years would go by and some even would go on to make claims that the ‘white audience member’ was none other than then cast member, Bill Burr. Rawlings would go on to deny those claims.

It wasn’t Bill Burr, but even if it was Bill, he was probably laughing at something that was funny. A lot of times when you initially think of something that’s funny, your initial thoughts are funny, but after you let it weigh in, you say, ‘Well, maybe that was inappropriate, or it might’ve been people laughing at some off-color humor.

On his new podcast, The Donnell Rawlings Show, Rawlings has become the latest veteran comedian to take their shot at podcast streaming.

“It’s great, it’s another outlet for me to be funny. It’s another platform, I really miss radio and there’s not a lot of opportunities in radio anymore. This gives me 100% creative control over everything I put out there and I can do whatever I want, so it’s going to be another way for people to get more Donnell.”

Check out Donnell’s upcoming appearance at ‘JFL North West’ this February in Vancouver.

PHOTO CREDIT: Johnny Louis/

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