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Published: Saturday, 7/8/2006

Show goes on without Chappelle tomorrow

BY ROB OWEN
BLOCK NEWS ALLIANCE

What's Chappelle's Show without host Dave Chappelle? Pretty much the same as it was when he hosted.

For Chappelle's Show: The Lost Episodes at 9 p.m. tomorrow, Comedy Central has cobbled together the sketches Chappelle made before ditching his eponymous series last year. Cast members Charlie Murphy and Donnell Rawlings host the newly created introduction and transition segments in front of a studio audience, and in tomorrow's premiere they address Chappelle's absence head-on.

"I'm not mad at Dave Chappelle, because if it wasn't for Dave Chappelle, you would still be calling me Eddie Murphy's brother," Murphy says.

Only three lost episodes exist (they're out on DVD July 25), and in this first we see what was going on in Chappelle's head prior to his departure. Two of the four sketches reference the windfall contract ($55 million) he signed for the show's third season. In another, he takes revenge on everyone who's done him wrong.

The funniest sketch concerns a Tupac Shakur song that seems oddly up-to-date in its cultural references, considering it was written by a rapper who's been dead for almost 10 years.

Until the remaining two episodes air, it's too soon to say whether Chappelle quit his gig too soon. But judging by the first episode, the third season was poised to be as funny and irreverent as the first two.

The kooky cops of Reno are back tomorrow at 10:30 p.m. on Comedy Central for a fourth season of madcap mayhem as Trudy Wiegel (Kerri Kenney-Silver) returns to work after a six-month absence. She's pregnant, and her co-workers assume her death-row lover is the baby's daddy. Stay tuned till the hilarious end-of-episode revelation regarding paternity.

At the start of this half-hour, I thought I was beginning to tire of Reno 911!, but between the gut-busting ending and one of the cops reminiscing about the 1980s sci-fi show V and whether Trudy might give birth to a lizard baby, Reno 911! drew me back in.

The Block News Alliance consists of The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rob Owen is TV editor of the Post-Gazette.

Contact him at:

rowen@post-gazette.com.



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