Wed May 25, 7:46 PM ET
Dave Chappelle's South African "spiritual retreat" has apparently reached its conclusion.
The Comedy Central stalwart, whose disappearance, alleged mental breakdown and sane and crack-free reemergence have been well chronicled, has reportedly returned to Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he makes his home for part of the year.
Residents of the small town have spotted the Chappelle's Show namesake running errands around town and generally going about his business since last week.
"He was just chilling and walking around with his friend," Cole Lindemuth, an employee of Ye Old Trail Tavern told the Dayton Daily News, after spying Chappelle last Thursday.
After Chappelle pulled his disappearing act late last month, production on Chappelle's Show was shut down. The expected start date for the third season, which had been slated for May 31, was pushed back indefinitely.
Explanations for the comedian's alleged meltdown included suggestions that he had been partying too hard and that stress had caused him to check into a psychiatric institute.
However, with the exception of the stress factor, all those rumors were false, according to Chappelle.
"I'm not crazy. I'm not smoking crack. I'm definitely stressed out," Chappelle told Time magazine in the only interview he's granted since his impromptu retreat.
Chappelle told the magazine that he first halted production on the show late last year after he was dissatisfied with the initial batch of third-season skits.
Comedy Central subsequently bumped the series' return date from February to May, blaming the delay on Chappelle's health, as well as on a lack of material.
Despite the extra time to work on the series, Chappelle was still unhappy with the creative direction of his show.
"My personal feeling is I didn't like the direction of the show. I was trying to explain it to people, and no one was feeling me. There's a lot of resistance to my opinions, so I decided, Let me remove myself from this situation," he told Time.
"So I figured, let me just cut myself off from everybody, take a minute and pull a Flintstone--stop a speeding car by using my bare feet as the brakes."
Despite the fact that the comic has returned to the United States, the future of Chappelle's Show remains murky. The network has said it does not expect the show to return this year, but does expect that it will be back at some point.
For now, Chappelle's Comedy Central timeslot is being filled by new episodes of Reno 911! and a new variety show from D. L Hughley called Weekends at the D.L..
Chappelle's spokesman, Matt Labov, had little insight to offer on his client's state of mind.
"We have no update and I won't speculate on when the show might come back," Labov told MTV.com.
Fans of the comedian who are currently suffering from withdrawal can console themselves by picking up the Chappelle's Show Season Two DVD, which was released Tuesday.
The DVD of the show's first season has sold more than 2.8 million copies since its February 2004, making it the best-selling TV DVD package ever.
Meanwhile, Chappelle's fellow Yellow Springs residents are simply glad he's amongst them once more.
"He's from here and he's part of the community," storeowner Cyndee Perkins told the Dayton Daily News.