(NEW YORK) — Dave Chappelle couldn’t be happier to get back on stage.
“It’s been wonderful,” Chappelle told People magazine, after hitting up Radio City Music Hall in June. “Being back, what I’ve found this year is that everywhere I’ve gone, people have been overwhelmingly supportive.”
Fellow comedian and the reigning King of Comedy, Kevin Hart, couldn’t agree more. “It’s so great for Dave to be coming back on stage. Dave left for a long period of time. To be able to come back, it’s the most amazing feeling in the world,” he told ABC News Radio. “So I not only always salute Dave and bow down to Dave Chappelle, I think everybody else should just realize what you’re seeing. You’re seeing a man who is great at his craft.”
“I’m doing what I do because of guys like Dave Chappelle, who have paved the way,” Hart added.
Chappelle, 40, said he left his hit show in 2005 because of what was most important to him.
“I never stopped being on stage. What I did was step off of the main stage,” he said. “That kind of attention wouldn’t have been conducive to raising a family.”
Chappelle and his wife Elaine have two sons Sulayman and Ibrahim, and daughter Sonal.
Though he took time off and stepped away from a mega-hit show to be with his family, the comedian missed being on the big stage. “The audience-comedian relationship is one of the more consistent relationships in my life,” he said. “I started doing this at such a young age, that not doing it was alien. [Being back] has been a healing experience. I couldn’t even tell people what it means to me. It’s sincerely a pleasure to entertain.”
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Madison Park, Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN
Eric Levenson, CNN